The Wonder Fiber

My latest pattern, the Skyler Hoodie, is knit in Hanf Natur, a new blend of superwash virgin wool and hemp. This light weight, heathery yarn inspired me to revisit what I discovered two years ago. That hemp is a wonder fiber. It is stronger and softer than cotton, will last twice as long and will not mildew. Which sounds like a necessity to someone that lives in a humid climate. And surprise, the version of this plant grown for industrial use has no drug properties. It was a major crop in the US between 1776 and 1937, then declined during the government’s War on Drugs. Ironically, Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson farmed hemp. But it was rediscovered in the late 1980s by the fashion industry. It’s a sustainable crop and an acre of hemp will produce as much fiber as 2 to 3 acres of cotton. Cotton grows only in moderate climates and requires more water than hemp, which is also frost tolerant and grows in all 50 states, including Alaska. Isn’t that amazing? While pesticides and herbicides are used in the production of other fibers, hemp requires none. Now, every time someone comments on my Skyler Hoodie, I tell them my hemp story. So, try knitting my new pattern in my new yarn, and see what kind of hemp story you will have to tell. — Cheers, James