Tuesday, April 17, 2007

h-emp-ire: hemp around the world

Hemp has been used in this world for textiles for at least 6000 years, it is one of the most renewable resources and humans can eat, use, and wear it. The fibers are very long and possess anti-mildew, UV protection, thermodynamic and hypoallergenic properties. The fiber can be blended into any weight fabric from heavy weight upholstery to fine silky dress material. Hemp cellulose has almost infinite uses: as a bio-fuel, paper pulp, MDF for construction, eco-cement, insulation, furniture filling and fuel are a few. The seed is a source of nutrient rick protein great for digestion, the seed oil is wonderful for the skin in cosmetics, eco paints and varnishes, binders and fuel oil and as animal feed. Hemp represents a lifeline crop for rural and hunger-prone areas, of particular value for its’ versatility and organic nature. A famine-stricken village could clothe, house and feed themselves from one hemp field. Around the world hemp is still valued, in Romainia it is the largest commecial producer of hemp with 40,000 acres planted. Japans' emperor must wear hemp garments for a religious tradition, France produces the most low THC hemp seed for trade, Canada grows the largest amount of certified organic hemp, China is the largest exporter of hemp paper and textiles. Australia allows the growing of industrial hemp but USA prohibits hemp only allowing the import of raw hemp. Poland grows hemp for fabric and cordage and has proven that using hemp cleanses soils of heavy metals. Russian has the largest hemp seed variety seed collection in the world, India grows it for cordage, textiles and hemp seed oil, Switzerland is a hemp producer as well as "Cannatrade Fair" host and Spain grows and exports hemp pulp, rope and textiles. Still need convincing? Why not pick up this haute hemp dress by Stewart & Brown at The Green Loop.

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