Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Save Water With Natural Fiber Fabrics For Home Furnishings

Saving water by choosing natural fiber fabrics may not be at the top of your list when fabric shopping for your home furnishings, but it can be.  Natural fibers like hemp require virtually no water and produce beautiful fabrics.

Hemp is one of those natural fibers that can be made into beautiful home furnishings and beautiful clothing, as well.  Hemp is strong and soft.  With clothing, the more you wash hemp, the softer it becomes.

Of course, you couldn’t stick your sofa in the washer, but you can find easy tips to cleaning natural fiber fabrics by signing up for our DIY Newsletter. 

Hemp is often blended with other fibers for a number of reasons.  One of those reasons is that hemp helps keep items from stretching and losing shape.

It absorbs moisture and has moisture transfer properties that make it an ideal fabric for hot weather climates.  Hemp is also UV, mold and rot resistant.

With all these wonderful qualities, hemp becomes an even better choice for our home furnishing fabric when we look at its growing requirements.

Hemp requires very little to grow.  Hemp is a ‘bast’ fiber which means it comes from the bark of the plant.  Bast fibers are very hardy.  It requires little to no pesticides and no herbicides.

Cotton, on the other hand, requires tons of pesticides and chemicals to protect itself from pests throughout its production process.  Cotton also uses an enormous amount of water to grow.

Check our my video “Eco Living Textiles” to learn more about cotton.

Hemp starts from seed and produces a dense crop with a canopy that keeps moisture in and weeds out.  It provides fertile ground for a diverse population of animals, insects and other micro-organisms. 

Hemp’s root system is deep preventing soil erosion.  The skin of the hemp plant is insect resistant.  Hemp is often used as a rotational crop. 

Hemp has been grown for over 12,000 years.  It’s used in textiles, wood fibers, for paper, biodegradable plastics, construction, fuel and health food products. 

Hemp can produce 4 times per acre what an average forest can yield.  Using hemp in place of some wood products can help save forests, wildlife habitats and increase carbon sequestration. 

Because of the long fibers in hemp, its paper products can be recycled several times over and more than wood based paper.  Hemp is the fastest growing biomass known. 

As a health food, hemp oil is the richest known source of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids and essential amino acids.

Hemp often gets confused with marijuana and is not allowed to be grown in the United States.  Other countries, however, are moving forward and have successfully introduced hemp farming, creating a multi-billion dollar industry.

Just to keep things clear, hemp comes from the same species as marijuana, but hemp contains virtually no THC, the stuff that makes poco loco in marijuana.  Hemp cannot be used as a drug.

Need some questions answered about choosing the right fabric for your next home improvement project?  Creating your eco living lifestyle is easier than you think.

1 comment:

  1. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.