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Wednesday, February 6, 2008


HEMP is currently being used by designers in clothing. When thinking of hemp, the illegal plant, marijuana comes to mind. No, hemp fabric does not contain the narcotic chemical that, when smoked produces the "high" that smoking marijuana produces. Marijuana is from the dried flowers and leaves of the Cannabis Sativa plant. Hemp fabric is made from the stems of the plant. The stems are processed to dissolve the gum or pectin and separate the fibers which are then processed again and woven into yarns and fabric. The finest hemp for fabric is produced in Italy. Hemp fabric is like linen in both hand and appearance. Hemp fabric withstands water better than any other textile product. It wrinkles easily and should not be creased excessively to avoid wear and breakage of the fibers.

RAMIE is also similar to linen and is a bast of plant fiber. It is natural white in color, has a high luster and an unusual resistance to bacteria and molds. Used in fabrics, and often mistaken for linen, it is extremely absorbent and dries quickly. Ramie has excellent abrasion resistance and has been tested to be three to five times stronger than cotton and twice as strong as flax. It is an inexpensive fiber from an East Asian plant and can be spun or woven into a fabric.

JUTE is a glossy fiber from a plant. It is seen most often in sacks, rope, twine, and as backing on carpeting.


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