Although the major demand for hemp is rooted in society’s recent CBD boom, there has also been a resurgence for the fibers contained in the crop’s stem. The industrial hemp plant commonly grown today is made up of two fibers found in the stem. The outer fiber is called the bast, and the inner is labeled as the hurd.
The bast fiber is what gives the hemp plant strength, growing thicker and longer as the plant resists winds during its developmental growth stage. The inner hurd fibers are short and less useful than bast fibers in an industrial sense, although the hurd fiber is said to still be more durable and just as useful as cotton by many farmers.
Hemp fiber uses
You may be wondering what exactly makes hemp fibers superior to other natural fibers. The past century’s dominant cotton industry was threatened by industrial hemp, so they resorted to slandering hemp plants via association with marijuana. I’ll touch on the history of the hemp plant more in a future post, but essentially the heads of the cotton tycoon started the war on hemp in order to maintain their position at the top of the fiber industry. The main reasons why hemp is the superior fiber can be broken down into three factors; it requires 50% less water to grow, hemp naturally fights off bacteria, plus it won’t ever shrink such as cotton does. Beyond those factors, hemp is also used to strengthen concrete and it can be converted into a bio-fuel which is much more efficient than ethanol. Furthermore, paper created from hemp fiber is one of the most durable papers on the planet. I hope you learned something from this post, check back in next week for more hemp content!