Hemp - the forgotten fibre
Originally, hemp was used to make ropes, sails and clothing, until the plant was banned by the Opium Law in 1929 and was gradually forgotten as an industrial plant. It is only since 1996 that it has been possible to legally cultivate hemp in Germany again. Industrial hemp has a THC content of 0.2% and the cultivation is strictly controlled. In Germany, the possibility of processing hemp fibre into textiles has been so far forgotten due to decades of prohibition. As a result, knowledge is outdated and further research is required. In order to further process the fibre hemp, there are no suitable machines and the right seeds still have to be researched.
Today, the world´s largest hemp production takes place in China, where the plant was never banned. Thus China is considered a pioneer in making the forgotten plant suitable for the textile industry.
Nowadays, a much finer fabric can be made from the hemp stalk than in the past. This is due to the fact that research is being carried out into the production of so-called "cottonised hemp fibres". These fibres are refined by chemical-physical processes so that they can be spun on cotton spinning machines. This processing is still very time-consuming and expensive.