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How to Make Hemp

Historical records show that hemp is the oldest cultivated fiber in the world. For thousands of years, its fibers have been used to make everything from rope, to clothing. The material that can be derived from treating hemp fiber, is not only more durable than cotton or wool, but resembles linen in texture, and while stiffer than other fabrics, becomes more comfortable with wear. And acre of hemp produces more fiber, than two acres of cotton.

In the beginning of modern cultivation, hemp was allowed to mature, and then cut and left in the field for some weeks to "rett", or decompose to the point where its fibers could be hand stripped. Now, there is machinery that can harvest the mature stalks, break them down, and drop them into a machine which extracts the fibers and bundles them for shipment to whatever manufacturing company may want them.

In the case of making clothes, the hemp would be treated to soften it, spun, and placed on spindles or in balls to be woven into fabric in the same way that linen is made from flax. In fact, a lot of materials from Europe that are perceived as being linen, are actually hemp or partly hemp, having something of the same feel to them.

Hemp offers not only environmental, but economic advantages, since it is inexpensive to grow, and provides durability in many of the items it's used to make. However, current laws regarding the growing of hemp are restrictive because the same laws also govern the use of hemp as marijuana.