Children of the eighties have recovered their parents’ fascination with hemp, but they have put it to practical use instead of relegating it to the world of poor jokes and sniggering allusions. By the time the children of eighties children have their own children, hemp probably will be the fabric-of-choice, the norm for cloth diapers worldwide.
Fast Facts and Considerable Advantages
Yes, hemp belongs to the same family as marijuana, and you might easily mistake one for the other in the wild, because their leaves have very similar shapes. Hemp, however, contains absolutely no THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Children of the eighties already have outgrown the jokes and allusions. In fact, hemp’s genus and species name, translated from Latin, specifies it as “useful cannabis”-a huge distinction from its intoxicating relative.
Three times stronger than cotton, considerably more absorbent, and far more durable, hemp grows abundantly with very little care or cultivation, and it requires no pesticides because it has no insect enemies. In other words, hemp is an infinitely sustainable high-yield crop. And hemp fibers are by far the strongest known to humankind.
Hemp naturally resists fungi and bacteria, and it is both biodegradable and easily recyclable. Medical history contains no record of allergic reaction to hemp fibers-not one reported case in more than 10,000 years of regular household use.
Despite hemp’s conspicuous advantages and tremendous profit-making potential, it has not become a cash crop. Although it ought to cost considerably less than cotton or synthetic fibers, hemp’s relative scarcity has driven-up its price as demand for hemp diapers and other hemp clothing steadily has increased. This scarcity remains the single obstacle to hemp’s emergence as the world’s leading diaper material. In 2009, only one Chinese manufacturer produced the hemp/organic cotton blend used in diapers.
Hemp typically is processed and woven into one of five fabrics:
(1)muslin, common in women’s blouses and dresses;
(2)knit jersey, comparable with everyday t-shirt fabrics;
(3) stretch-knit terry, a blend of hemp and Lycra prized for its exceptional absorbency;
(4) French terry, a hemp cotton blend woven to the texture of good bath towels; and
(5)fleece, comparable with sweatshirt material and most commonly used for diapers.
Ashley J Michaels is an home economist. For more great tips on Hemp Diapers, please visit http://reusablediapers.us/
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