At the L.A. International Textile Show, American Hemp Mills showed the first hemp fabrics to be woven in the US in the last fifty years.
On display were thirty US woven fabrics, called "the Fairhaven Collection". These fabrics use design elements unseen in hemp before. Using CantivaTM true hemp fibers, bought from farmer collectives in China and Poland, thecollection makes use of the many natural colors (from blonde to brown, and gray) and textures (from rustic to silky and refined) of hemp. The fabrics, ranging from 9 to 13 ounces, also make use of subtle colors of yarn dyed cotton, and intricate dobby patterns.
"Clothing, upholstery, and accessory designers are actively seeking to work with hemp for its ecological appeal, durability , and natural fiber comfort but have been often disappointed with the imports available on the market," says Yitzac Goldstein, President of American Hemp Mills. "Before, only natural color fabrics were available with very little pattern variation or surface interest. By working domestically, we are able to design and manufacture hemp fabrics with a sophistication that designers demand."
The US is the only industrialized nation in the world that currently prohibits cultivation of true hemp, the industrial strain of Cannabis Sativa
l. Grown since the first settlers came to the New World, the plant was banned in the US in 1937 due to a misclassification of hemp as a narcotic.
Other countries quickly followed suit under pressure from the US. In the last five years, many nations have realized hemp's potential as an ecological and valuable industrial raw material and lifted the ban. Canada fully legalized hemp this year.
"We would like to also use hemp fibers grown in the US," says Goldstein. "Our fabrics symbolize the bitter irony of the current politics. Where else in the world can you import and process a crop that is illegal to grow?"
American Hemp Mills is owned by Hemp Textiles International, of Bellingham, Washington, manufacturer of CantivaTM true hemp fibers.
For more information contact Hemp Textiles International Corp.,3200 30th Street Bellingham, WA 98225 Phone: (360)650-1684 Fax: (360)650-0523
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