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From the Earth to the Market: The Origins and Uses of Hemp Fiber

Hemp fiber is used in a surprising variety of products.

Although the focus has been on CBD over the last few years (and for good reason), extracts made from the flowers of cannabidiol-rich hemp plants are far from the only gift of the sturdy, sustainable “wonder crop” known as Industrial Hemp. Anyone who has set foot in our Phoenix shop or browsed a few pages of our website knows that as much as we appreciate the many applications of CBD, we are equally excited about showcasing the variety of ways that hemp fiber can be utilized in day-to-day life.

Gone are the days of seemingly nothing but beige-colored patches of hemp cloth that are rough to the touch, the ways in which hemp fiber is now used will make you wonder why anyone would knowingly choose similar products that take a toll on our natural environment. So how does this stalky plant become an eco-friendly material full of potential?

What is it?

Let’s first talk about what hemp fiber is and where to find it. While the flowers of the hemp plant are used for CBD extracts and the seeds are used for nutritional products, the stalk of the plant is composed of long strands of material that get separated from the bark through a process called “retting” and then are woven together to produce a fabric suitable for clothing, luggage, kitchen towels, fashion accessories, pet toys and much more. 

The Process

In order to have hemp plants with preferable properties for fiber production (tall, sturdy plants are best), hemp farmers take great care in ensuring that the cultivation process includes dense sowing of seeds and harvesting at the right time; after flowering and before the seeds are set (if the plant is harvested after seed setting, the fibers have typically become more course). After harvest, the retting process takes place and is then followed by a series of steps to remove unwanted particles such as stems before finally being spun into a yarn that’s ready to be formed into various textiles.

Where to Find Quality Hemp-Derived Goods
While conscious consumers should be mindful of additional processes that are employed to dye hemp fiber as well as the semi-synthetic, less sustainable hemp viscose (aka rayon), there are a large number of products on the market today that are helping give hemp a better reputation than it’s had in decades past. Check out the selection of brands and products we carry that take great care in putting quality homegoods, clothing, and accessories on the market with the intention of cultivating a cleaner, greener, more sustainable planet for everyone.