Hemp has been a pivotal part of our culture for thousands of years. Evidence of its cultivation, for the use of its fibres in the production of textiles and weaving, dates back approximately 10,000 years; It was a major part of European culture from the first century AD. Hemp has had a long and important place in history, its fibres, resins, and oils have many proven uses and show promise for much potential.
At Agápē Movement we are interested in the use of the hemp plant in regards to its fibre. Hemp fibre was used to produce the first known paper product in China, circa 70AD; even a hemp facemask has been found dating back to the first century AD. Some of the greatest literary works have been printed on hemp paper, including the Gutenberg Bible, and the American Declaration For Independence. Some of the great advocates and farmers of hemp range from European kings and queens, such as King Henry the 8th and Queen Victoria, American presidents such as the first three American presidents: George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson, to prominent businessmen such as Henry Ford.
In the USA Levis Straus & Co produced the Worlds first pair of jeans, which was made from hemp. In World War Two, hemp was essential for the production of uniforms and equipment for American soldiers, and it’s military, making Americas efforts to assist its allies highly dependent on hemp. Hemp was also used for sails; rigging and ropes for the British navy and Christopher Columbus used it in his discovery of the new world.
Hemp is a great eco product; it has countless pluses from an environmental standpoint. It is a much more robust plant than cotton and needs significantly less land and water throughout the entire process from seed to final product, and unlike polyester it is biodegradable.
One of hemp biggest attributes is its great yield ratios. In comparison to cotton, the plants require approximately 50% less water than cotton. Cotton needs around double the landmass as hemp, per ton of finished textile. This is due to how close hemp plants can grow to each other. The plant is known to average around 3 inches per day and has been known to grow a foot a week. The plant can reach heights of 16 feet and has a 3-month growth cycle that makes for great yields. In short, hemp is a super efficient plant, when it comes to textiles.
But that’s not the only reason we love hemp at Agápē Movement; we also love the aesthetics of hemp, namely the way it performs over time and its ability to retain a natural look in many different weaves and styles. It also has great durability and a rugged structure. We love hemp as much as our ancestors did, and it is our passion to help further that tradition and bring it into our current era, by promoting and producing contemporary hemp products that are produced honestly and naturally so our customers can have a beautiful quality product they can be proud of.