February 06, 2018

Why Hemp Clothing is Better than Cotton Clothing

hemp shirt hemp clothing 


Why hemp clothing is better than Cotton clothing

Hemp and Cotton are both fiber crops that have been cultivated for a very long time. They are very useful raw materials in the textile industry, forming the main materials for clothing. Cotton is very popular in the fabric world, usually referred to as the king of fabrics. The crop grows naturally on large acres of land. Currently the leading cash crop raw material in the textile industry, cotton has been cultivated industrially for more than 7000 years.It is durable and produces great income for its cultivators and distributors. The fiber can easily be knitted into clothing. There are three basic ways of doing this, plain weaving, twill weaving and satin weaving. The products of plain weaves are clothing like gingham, chambray, percale, and broadcloth. Other more durable clothing like denim, gabardine, and khaki are products of twill weaving. Although not very common, a satin weave is used to make materials like sateen that have a high sheen and look dressier. Perhaps the reason for the popularity of cotton as a fabric is it's easy to use characteristics. It is suitable for both hot and cold seasons and can be laundered under any temperature condition. However, the real question is, is it actually better than hemp?

Hemp, on the other hand, is not as common as the cotton due to the past prohibition of cannabis. Hemp is an expensive fabric and the reason is very understandable. Hemp has been around for long dating as far back as the 8000 B.C. The crop is very fast growing and produces a large amount of fiber on a small land compared to most crops in its category. It is usually grown in tropical moderate temperature regions. Its roots penetrate very deeply into the ground, sometimes as deep as three feet beneath. This is great for the soil as it helps prevent erosion, preserving the top layer levels of the soil. They also help with moisture retention property of the soil by adding an organic compound to the soil. Hemp clothing in the textile world is made from cannabis fiber. The fabrics can be used for a lot of textile needs like curtains, furniture covers, duvet and everyday clothing. The fabric is eco-friendly, addressing a lot of environmental problems currently facing us. It has a lot of peculiarities and advantages over the cotton fabric and can easily be said to be superior.

Advantages of Hemp over Cotton

1. Hemp’s Production Process is more eco-friendly: In terms of safety of the environment and enhancing a greener lifestyle, hemp leads the cotton fabric behind. Cotton makes use of a lot of pesticides, contaminating the atmosphere and contributing to an unsafe environment. The use of these harmful chemicals can also cause health problems for the cotton field workers. Hemp might use as much pesticide as the cotton, but it doesn’t require so much land mass like cotton, making the impact less severe. Hemp farming also has lesser disadvantaged effects on the ecosystem than cotton production.

2. Less amount of Water is needed for Hemp’s growth: To produce the cotton that would be enough to make a shirt and pants, you will need to use about 5,000 gallons of water which is just so excessive. The crop is very water thirsty, leaving farmers no choice but to perform irrigation which limits natural water sources. Hemp, on the other hand, does not require such large volume of water to grow and flourish. If you can use 10,000 liters to grow 1kg of cotton, you’ll need just about 400 liters to grow the same quantity of hemp.

3. Hemp Fabrics are more durable than cotton fabrics: You cannot categorically state that hemp clothing wears out, all they do is soften with years of usage. It can be woven to form fabric for commercial and industrial purposes. It can also be used in the production of ropes needed for heavy lifting. Hemp also maintains its strength even when wet as opposed to cotton which becomes relatively weak. Hemp also has anti-bacterial purposes, making it a healthy clothing choice.

4. Hemp has more color Varieties: Cotton comes naturally in white, off-white and cream. However, it can be dyed artificially to achieve any color. Hemp, on the other hand, comes in a variety of colors like black, cream, grey etc, even without the use of synthetic dye. You can also choose to dye hemp to achieve any desired color.

5. Hemp clothing does not hold odors: Both cotton and hemp are breathable fabrics made from natural fiber. However even though cotton doesn’t hold so much odor when you sweat throughout the day, it does sometimes. On the other hand, hemp does not hold any form of odor. It has anti-bacterial characteristics making it resistant to things like molds and mildew. It absorbs moisture away from the body without holding on to it. It is good for hot and cold seasons.

Even though hemp beats cotton on a lot of grounds, it still has some downsides. For instance, it wrinkles very easily and can be itchy on the skin. Usually, to reduce this scratchy feel it is mixed with other fabrics to present a perfect blend.  The colors of hemp are not so rich because they are not colorfast. This particular characteristic has both advantageous and disadvantageous sides. When caring for hemp, it is best to use cold water without chlorine bleaches. It is also best to allow it to dry naturally using a dryer can make it shrink and look wrinkly. To straighten its often wrinkled look, an iron can be used. It is also safe and often better and energy saving to dry clean your hemp clothing.


Considering all the advantages that hemp has over cotton, one might begin to wonder why it is not as popular and widely used, unlike cotton which forms the basic g-to clothing material choice. As mentioned earlier, this is due to the ban on cannabis which made it illegal to use. The fact that it is expensive might also be a factor why it is not commonly used. However, hemp is beginning to gain its grounds in the textile industry as its advantages have been widely noticed. Perhaps in the near future, hemp might bounce cotton from the throne and fabrics, and begin to rule as the people’s choice.