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Home> About Jute>  Natural fibers Hemp


    Hemp is an environmental “savior”. Hemp can be used in a variety of ways; it can produce everything from clothing to paper to fuel  easily, cheaply, and most of all, in an environmentally friendly fashion. Hemp can be used as a source of sustainable fuel that can actually wean us off fossil fuel dependence. Hemp is completely renewable as an energy source and it grows fast, too, so it’s easily replenished.
    It’s a fantastic source of raw, organic protein. Hemp fibers can be woven into any type of clothing that cotton fibers can be, without using the massive natural resources cotton production does. Hemp fiber is longer, stronger, more absorbent and more insulative than cotton fiber. Oilseed and fiber varieties of hemp are not psychoactive and cannot be grown as a drug- producing crop. Industrial hemp has many uses, including paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, health food, and fuel.
   Hemp grows almost anywhere and requires no pesticides or fertiliser. The plant is good both for the soil and the atmosphere. The potential for Hemp is vast - including sustainable bio-mass (power) and bio-diesel (fuel). Hemp also makes an excellent source of textile and paper. The fibres are long and very strong, making the most beautiful fabric and paper.

  Hemp male flower
  Hemp male flower

  History of Hemp
   Hemp fibre imprints found  in pottery shards in China and Taiwan over  10,000 years old. In ancient   asians  used hemp fibres to make clothes, shoes, ropes, and an early form of paper.  Specimens 0f  paper were found in the Great Wall of China which date back 200 years earlier. These papers were made from hemp..
  Hemp cloth was more common  until the mid 14th century. In late medieval Germany and Italy, hemp was employed in cooked dishes, as filing in pies and tortes, or boiled in a soup. The traditional European hemp due to its low narcotic effect not used as a drug in Europe. The Spaniards first brought hemp to the Western Hemisphere and cultivated it in Chile starting about 1545. 
  The Puritans are first known to have cultivated hemp in New England in 1645.George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both cultivated hemp on their farms—the Declaration of Independence was drafted on paper made from hemp fibers. Benjamin Franklin started the first American paper mill, which made paper exclusively from hemp. In the Napoleonic era, many military uniforms were made of hemp.  
  Hemp was used extensively by the United States during Word War II. Uniforms, canvas, 
and rope were among the main textiles created from the hemp plant at this time. Much of the hemp used was planted in the Midwest and Kentucky.  The invention of artificial fibers in the late thirties by DuPont further put strain on the market.

    Hemp plant  
Hemp is a common name for Cannabis and the name is most used when this annual plant is grown fo r non-drug purposes. When grown for industrial purposes hemp is called, often, industrial hemp.
There are broadly three groups of Cannabis varieties being cultivated today:
  Varieties primarily cultivated for their fibre, characterized by long stems and little branching, called industrial hemp. 
 Varieties grown for seed from which hemp oil is extracted. 
 Varieties grown for medicinal or recreational purposes.  

 Hemp plantation
  Hemp fields

   The soils most suited to the culture of this plant are those of the deep, black, putrid vegetable kind, that are low, and rather inclined to moisture,  loamy, or sandy descriptions.  In the cultivation of hemp crops  the seed should be new, and of a good quality,  The early growth of the plants would be more effectually promoted, and the land be kept in a more clean and perfect state of mould. In the culture of this plant, it is particularly necessary that the same piece of land grows both male and female, or what is sometimes denominated simple hemp. 
   When the grain is ripe,  this happens commonly about thirteen or fourteen weeks from the period of its being sown, according as the season may be dry or wet, the next operation is that of taking it from the ground; which is effected by pulling it up by the roots, in small parcels at a time, by the hand,. After being thus pulled, it is tied up in small parcels, termed as baits. It is then conveyed to pits, or ponds of stagnant water, about six or eight feet in depth just below the surface of the water. It is left in these pits 
four, five, or six days, or even more, according to the warmth of the season. and then taken up and conveyed to a pasture clean field, spread and dried. When hemp is in a perfectly dry state, it is tied up into large bundles, and placed in some secure building  for breaking it, in order to separate the hemp. Next process are breaking, scutching, and bleaching the yarn. 
  Hemp diseases
Hemp plants can be vulnerable to various pathogens including bacteria, fungi, nematodes, viruses and other miscellaneous pathogens. Such diseases often lead to problems such as reduced fiber quality, stunted growth, and cause  death of the plant.



   Chemical  Properties
 About 30–35% of the weight of hempseed is an edible oil that contains about 80% as essential fatty acids (EFAs); i.e., linoleic acid, omega-6 (LA, 55%),  alpha-linolenic acid, omega-3 (ALA, 22%), in addition to gamma-linolenic acid, omega-6 (GLA, 1–4%) and stearidonic acid, omega-3 (SDA, 0–2%). Hempseed also contains about 20% of a highly-digestible protein, where 1/3 is edestin and 2/3 are albumins.
  Nutrition Properties
  Nutritional analysis of hemp nut (hulled hemp seeds) Calories/100 g567 
 Protein -30.6,  Carbohydrate-10.9, Dietary fiber- 6, Fat - 47.2,  Saturated fat- 5.2,  Palmitic- 16:03.4,  Stearic - 18:01.5, Monounsaturated fat -5.8, Oleic 18:1 (Omega-9 )5.8, Polyunsaturated fat -36.2, Linoleic -18:2 (Omega-6) 27.6, Linolenic 18:3 (Omega-3) 8.7, Linolenic 18:3 (Omega-6) 0.8, Cholesterol -0 mg, Moisture -5., Ash -6.6, Vitamin A (B-Carotene)-4 IU, Thiamine (Vit B1)-1 mg, Riboflavin (Vit B2)-1 mg, Vitamin B- 60 mg,  Niacin (Vit B3)- 0 mg, Vitamin C- 1.0 mg, Vitamin D- 0 IU, Vitamin E- 9 IU, Sodium- 9 mg, Calcium- 74 mg, Iron- 4.7 mg, 


  Hemp as Medicine 
  Hemp seed oil has anti-inflammatory properties. Hemp seed oil is noted for these benefits:  Superb moisturizer, natural anti-inflammatory , Rare source of gamma-linoleic acid, Protects from UV radiation and pollution, Assists healing, soothes acne ,  Prevents and repairs hair damage,  Treats eczema and psoriasis,  Rich in anti-oxidants.  
Hemp as Food
Hemp seed milk has  the full nutritional  values, This milk may  combine  with all fruits and vegetables. At a volume level of 81%, hemp oil is the richest known source of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids (the "good" fats). It's quite high in some essential amino acids, including gamma linoleic acid (GLA), a very rare nutrient also found in mother's milk.*While the original "gruel" was made of hemp seed meal, hemp oil and seed can be made into tasty and nutritional products.
   Hempseed is an adequate source of calcium and iron. Whole, toasted hempseeds are also a good source of phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, copper and manganese. Hempseed contains no gluten and may be a healthful food for people with celiac disease.

Hemp seed milk has  the full nutritional  values

 Uses of Hemp
The main uses of hemp fibre were in rope, sacking, carpet, nets and webbing. A hemp clothing industry was reborn in the West in 1988, and hemp is being used in increasing quantities in paper manufacturing. The cellulose content is about 70%. Construction products such as medium density fiber board, oriented strand board, and even beams, studs and posts could be made out of hemp. Because of hemp's long fibers, the products will be stronger and/or lighter than those made from wood.The products that can be made from hemp number over 25,000.
  Hemp Fiber
  Hemp fibers are longer, stronger, more absorbent and more mildew-resistant than cotton. Hemp can displace cotton which is usually grown with massive amounts of 
chemicals harmful to people and the environment. 50% of all the world's pesticides are sprayed on cotton.
  Fabrics made of at least one-half hemp block the sun's UV rays more effectively than other fabrics.
Hemp Seed Oil
Hemp seed oil is extracted from raw hemp seed and contains a fully balanced spectrum of essential fatty acids. When processed and stored correctly, the beneficial properties of the oil can be readily absorbed by the skin. Hemp oil once greased machines. Most paints, resins, shellacs, and varnishes used to be made out of linseed (from flax) and hemp oils. Rudolph Diesel designed his engine to run on hemp oil. 
  Hemp as a fuel
Biofuels such as biodiesel and alcohol fuel can be made from the oils in hemp seeds and stalks, and the fermentation of the plant as a whole, respectively. The energy from hemp may be high based on acreage or weight, but can be low based on the volume of the light weight harvested hemp. It does, however, produce more energy per acre per year than corn, sugar, flax, or any other crop currently grown for ethanol or biodiesel.
  Henry Ford grew industrial hemp on his estate after 1937,  possibly to prove the cheapness of methanol production at Iron Mountain. He made plastic cars with wheat straw, hemp and sisal.  In 1892, Rudolph Diesel invented the diesel engine, which he intended to fuel "by a variety of fuels, especially vegetable and seed oils."
Hemp Paper
Hemp can be made into fine quality paper. The long fibers in hemp allow such paper to be recycled several times more than wood-based paper. Because of its low lignin content, hemp can be pulped using less chemicals than with wood. Its natural brightness can obviate the need to use chlorine bleach, which means no extremely toxic dioxin being dumped into streams. Kimberly Clark (on the Fortune 500) has a mill in France which produces hemp paper preferred for bibles because it lasts a very long time and 
doesn't yellow.  
  Check Global Warming
  Hemp can displace wood fiber and save forests for watershed, wildlife habitat, recreation and oxygen production, carbon sequestration (reduces global warming), and other values.  Hemp can yield 3-8 dry tons of fiber per acre. This is four times what an 
average forest can yield.

Hemp grows well in a variety of climates and soil types. It is naturally resistant to most pests, precluding the need for pesticides. It grows tightly spaced, out-competing any weeds, so herbicides are not necessary. It also leaves a weed-free field for a following crop. Hemp can be made in to a variety of fabrics, including linen quality so it is called a "New Billion Dollar Crop." 
  Is Hemp the same as Marijuana?
  No. Hemp and marijuana are similarly distant cousins within the species of Cannabis Sativa L. Hemp is grown for food and fiber and contains only trace amounts of the psychoactive component of marijuana. You will not fail a drug test by eating hemp foods. They are legal, safe and healthy to consume! Hemp seeds are the edible part of the Cannabis Sativa L plant. They are a tiny fruit-like nut covered by a hard shell. They have been cultivated as a food for centuries in China, Europe and Africa. Shelled hemp seeds (hemp nuts) are similar in size to sesame seeds and can be eaten right out of the bag, sprinkled on salads, yogurt or baked in muffins and breads!
  Industrial hemp and marijuana are both classified by taxonomists as Cannabis sativa, a species with hundreds of varieties. C. sativa is a member of the mulberry family. Industrial hemp is bred to maximize fiber, seed and/or oil, while marijuana varieties seek to maximize THC (delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol, the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana).*While industrial hemp and marijuana may look somewhat alike to an untrained eye, an easily trained eye can easily distinguish the difference.*Industrial hemp has a THC content of between 0.05 and 1%. Marijuana has a THC content of 3% to 20%. To receive a standard psychoactive dose would require a person to power-smoke 10-12 hemp cigarettes over an extremely short period of time. The large volume and high temperature of vapor, gas and smoke would be almost impossible for a person to withstand. *If hemp does pollinate any nearby marijuana, genetically, the result will always be lower-THC marijuana, not higher-THC hemp. If hemp is grown outdoors, marijuana will not be grown close by to avoid producing lower-grade marijuana.

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