Link to: International Year of Natural Fibres 2009: Hemp
Link to: European Industrial Hemp Association
Link to: Hemp Industries Association
Link to: Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance
Link to: Indian Industrial Hemp Association
Link to: International Hemp Building Association
Press Release: Hemp a key driver for economic success
Hemp fibre is obtained from the bast of the plant Cannabis sativa L. It grows easily – to a height of 4 m – without agrochemicals and captures large quantities of carbon. Production of Hemp is restricted in some countries, where the plant is confused with marijuana. Optimum yield of Hemp fibre is more than 2 tonnes per ha, while average yields are around 650 kg..
Long, strong and durable, Hemp fibres are about 70% cellulose and contain low levels of lignin (around 8-10%). The fibre diameter ranges from 16 to 50 microns. Hemp fibre conducts heat, dyes well, resists mildew, blocks ultraviolet light and has natural anti-bacterial properties. Shorter, woody core fibres (“tow”) contain higher levels of lignin.
Between 2000 and 2006, world production of Hemp fibre grew from 50 000 tonnes to almost 90 000 tonnes, almost half of it produced in China. Production in the EU was 23 000 tonnes. China is the largest exporter of Hemp textiles, mainly to Europe and North America, where the market for hemp clothing is growing rapidly. China also exports hemp-based fibreboard.
Source: FAO 2009