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Fabric Focus: What Is Hemp?

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When it comes to crafting hard-wearing goods that will last you through everything from dusty off-trail hikes to muddy days at the dog park, we prefer to take the natural route. Case in point: hemp.

This all-natural fiber boasts a wide range of environmental benefits and has serious time-tested strength (like 8,000 B.C. time-tested). With a rare balance of breathability and durability, it’s long been a go-to for our clothing and accessories. Here, a few hemp highlights, including what it is, why we love it, and some of our favorite ways to wear it.


patagonia

So, What Exactly Is Hemp?

Real talk: we had some questions ourselves. A few words straight from our designer, Brendan:

“Hemp is a great, versatile fiber that can have all the softness
of a cotton and the luxury of linen. Every textile made with hemp also has the natural benefits of the fiber.”

Aside from being super soft, hemp fabric is incredibly strong. It is made from cannabis sativa fibers, an herbaceous flowering plant native to Asia. Its durable fibers are removed from its woody core to create the base for a variety of hemp fabric blends.


Hemp Fabric Properties

Hemp historically has been used to make everything from rope to sailcloth. We love it for giving shirts and socks do-it-all versatility thanks to a few fundamental properties. Hemp fabric is:

+ Breathable

+ Extremely durable

+ Anti-microbial

+ Washer and dryer-friendly

+ Soft (and gets softer with every wear)

+ A linen look-alike

+ UV resistant


patagonia

Sustainability Benefits

Hemp is a sustainability all-star. It grows at lightning speed, needs very little water to thrive (it’s a weed, after all), and when spun into our unique fabric blends, will last you for years to come. A few more environmentally friendly features, in handy list form:

+ Grows very fast

+ Does not require pesticides (it grows so quickly that pests barely have a chance to disrupt it)

+ Does not drain soil of resources, meaning the land can be turned over quickly for the next crop instead of having to wait through a fallow period

+ Can help clean and restore contaminated soil (just take a look at what it did for Chernobyl)

Our Hemp Must-Haves

Have we made you a believer yet? Let’s just let the clothes do the talking. Here, some of our best-selling hemp pieces, from clothing to accessories:

Whether in a light-as-air button down or wear-forever socks, hemp fabric lends a little luxury and a whole lot of breathability to whatever it touches.
For a full look at our entire hemp clothing and accessories collection, check out our newest line here.


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