Hemp Clothing: All You Need to Know

Hemp Clothing: All You Need to Know

Did you know that you can purchase clothing that lasts longer, is more cost effective, and is less harmful to the environment than your regular cotton clothes? You might not believe it but hemp clothing fits all the descriptions mentioned above. 

The problem with hemp is that it is always associated with recreational drugs, and this is why hemp clothing has been laid in the background for a long time. In this article, you will learn more about wearing hemp clothing and why it is a good alternative to most other fabrics. 

Does hemp clothing shrink?

Hemp clothing won't shrink if it is washed in cold water since hemp is strong and keeps its shape well. However, washing it in hot water and putting it in the dryer will make it shrink or become misshapen, just like any other natural fiber. It is better to dry hemp on the line or else tumble low on your dryer.

If the fabric is not pre-shrunk, then the material will physically shrink and make your garment smaller. The shrinkage, when washed, will be anywhere between 5% and 15% depending on the weave and composition of the fabric. The kind of shrinkage will also be unpredictable. A pre-shrunk garment, however, will not be harmed even if it is put in a hot dryer. 

Do hemp clothes breathe?

Hemp fabric is porous and thus breathes excellently. This will help you keep cool in the summer. Breathability is the result of the unique structure of the cellulose fibers in hemp clothing. This structure also helps to insulate so that the clothing will also be warmer in cooler weather.

Since hemp is a breathable fabric, it does not hold moisture. Thus, your skin can breathe. The fiber does not cling to your skin. Breathable hemp fabric is ideal for those who want to wear comfortable clothing all the time.

Does hemp clothing last longer?


The strength of hemp is thrice that of cotton. This means that hemp clothing lasts longer and you can get more out of it. So, you don't have to worry about wear and tear. You also don't have to keep on replacing your favorite clothing items.

Cotton gradually breaks down over time. This is not true with hemp fabric. Its tensile strength is high so that it lasts much longer. The hemp clothing that you purchase will surely last you for years.

The reason for the hemp materials strength is in the nature of its fibers which are long and highly coupled together. Because hemp fiber is strong, hemp clothing is also necessarily strong to stand up to the elements. Even when you do rough activities, your hemp clothing will not be affected because of its strength and durability which will make it last a while.

Does hemp clothing dry quickly?

Compared to other fabrics, most hemp clothing will dry extremely quickly because it has large pores. You don't have to worry about drying your hemp clothing. You can simply hang it on the line and it will naturally dry quickly. 

If you decide to machine dry your hemp clothing, don't dry it too long and too hot. Since hemp clothing dries quickly, you might as well forget about the dryer, save energy, and simply line dry them.

Does hemp clothing smell?

Odors are not held by hemp clothing. Since the fabric is breathable and has anti-bacterial characteristics, it resists things like mold and mildew. Moisture is easily absorbed away from your body without holding on to it. Thus, it stays smelling good for a long time. Your clothes stay fresh for a long time compared to other fabrics.

When you sweat on your clothes or you haven't washed them in a long time, the tendency is to start to smell. And sometimes these odors don't go away so you have to resort to throwing your clothing away. With hemp clothing, however, this will never happen. This is because hemp does not collect bacteria that make your clothing smell. And you will be able to wear it more before washing.

Does hemp clothing wrinkle?

Hemp clothing does wrinkle. To be able to manage wrinkles in your hemp fabric, follow the tips given below.

*After washing your hemp clothing, and before drying it, don't wring it.

*Use a tumble dry setting if you will use a dryer.

*The best time to iron your hemp clothes is when they are still slightly damp. Iron until the cloth is smooth but not dry. Then once the wrinkles disappear, hang your clothes until it becomes dry. 

*After washing or drying your hemp clothing, remove it immediately.

*If you don't have much time on your hands, squirt or spray water or a wrinkle release spray.

*If you are ironing a very dry hemp fabric, make sure to dampen the fabric thoroughly and iron on medium to high heat.

Wrinkles in hemp fabric are caused by heat and moisture. With heat and moisture, the molecular bonds that bind the fibers are weakened. Thus, the fibers shift and are reshaped. When the temperature is lowered and the moisture dries out, the fibers reform new bonds which give the fabric its wrinkled look.

Does hemp clothing stretch?

Because of its high tensile strength, hemp clothing will not stretch like cotton clothing. The fabric will remain intact. Hemp fabric is not only strong but it also holds its shape. Thus, it is prevented from stretching out or becoming distorted with use.

Is hemp fabric sustainable?

The hemp crop has a positive impact on the environment. When growing hemp, the amount of water it uses is 50% less than what is used for growing cotton. It can give a high yield no matter what type of soil it is planted in. Because of its durability, there is no need to spray pesticides on the plants.

The hemp crop is sustainable and it does not have a negative impact on the environment. It grows densely and any competing plants are literally choked out. So, as mentioned above, there is no need for herbicides or pesticides since it also naturally reduces pests. What is amazing with the hemp crop is that it returns 60 to 70% of the nutrients it takes from the soil.

When cultivating hemp, you only need a small amount of land. The crop yields double per hectare than what you can get from cotton crops.

Is hemp fabric soft?

Yes, hemp fabric is very soft on the skin. It is also known to grow softer with each wear. This softness comes from the long and sturdy fibers from the hemp plant. 

Cotton shirts normally last you 10 years, but a hemp shirt can last double or triple that time. And since the basic manufacturing processes are the same in making hemp fabric around the world, you get a fabric that is stronger than cotton, softer than canvas, and is very durable, and can last for decades. 

If hemp is blended with other fabrics, the resulting textile is softer and more durable. After each washing, hemp fabric softens and even if it is washed dozens of times, the fibers don't degrade. 

It feels good to put on exceptionally soft clothing. With hemp clothing, you will experience great comfort because of its excellent softness. It is just one of those fabrics that looks and feels great. This is because hemp fibers are very fine.

If you compare linen and cotton with hemp, hemp produces a softer feeling, even with the same number of thread count. So, the higher the content of hemp fiber in your clothing, the higher the level of softness you will experience. 

Is hemp fabric better than cotton?

Cotton fabric wears out quickly but hemp fabric lasts longer. The tensile and flexible strength of hemp is three times more than cotton. Thus, it holds its shape and becomes softer after each wear and wash.

It is clear that hemp is a better choice than cotton. It is stronger, more absorbent, more durable, and a better insulator than cotton. And hemp does not stretch out of shape like cotton does.

The large surface area of hemp fibers makes them very water absorbent. Thus, the fiber dyes well. It will also retain color better than cotton can.

Hemp becomes softer and more comfortable without losing its integrity as a fabric, over time. This is not true with cotton since it does not maintain its integrity but thins out and starts falling apart.

Hemp is more absorbent than cotton and can wick out moisture away from the skin. This will keep you from feeling sweaty and clammy.

Is hemp clothing fire resistant?

Hemp material has met fire standards and has fireproof properties.

But what makes hemp clothing fire resistant? It is its fiber content, fiber weight, weave, and fit. When a fabric is fire resistant, it takes a while for the fabric to ignite when exposed to fire.

The fiber content of fabric defines its resistance to fire. Natural fiber like hemp will simply turn to ash as they burn.

Another defining factor for fire resistance is the weight and weave of the fabric. Weight is the fabric's thickness and the weave is how tight or loose the fabric is woven.

A loosely woven fabric will be more flammable because more oxygen can get into the weave. If the weave is tight, it will be less flammable since less oxygen can get into the weave. Also, a tightly weaved fabric is less flammable than a loosely weaved one. 

When it comes to weight, a thicker fabric is more fire resistant. The fit of the clothing is also important to determine fire resistance. Loose clothing will have a greater chance of getting contact with fire than tight clothing. Loose clothing allows more oxygen to flow through and so that chances of contact with fire are greater than tight clothing.

Just because hemp is a natural fiber does not mean it can't catch fire. Nothing is fireproof. If it catches fire, it will burn. But it can be more fire-resistant depending on the fiber content, weave, weight, and fit.

Is hemp clothing biodegradable?

Hemp is ecologically friendly. It breathes and is biodegradable. When hemp fabric decomposes, it usually takes a few weeks or a month. It does not stay in the compost much longer. Hemp goes back to the ground faster than other fibers do.

Is hemp fiber itchy?

Being plant-based and organic, hemp fabric is hypoallergenic. You can use hemp clothing no matter how sensitive your skin type is. It is a lot better than most other fabrics since there are no chemicals used when hemp fabrics are made.

However, potentially, hemp can be itchy on the skin. But this depends on the percentage of hemp used to make the fabric. Sometimes 100% hemp fabric is itchy. But it all depends on the fibers used. Good hemp fiber is long and silky. The coarse, short fibers stick out like wires and itches. 

Many factors can influence the irritant properties of fabric rather than simply its organic status. It can be the physical qualities of the raw fiber, the processing method of making the fiber into thread, the processing of the thread into the fabric, and the final processing of the fabric. 

Hemp can be coarse and hairy but it can also be smooth and silky. So, the quality of being itchy depends on the hemp used and how it is processed.


Hemp fabric is not so popular because of the illegal status of cannabis in most places. However, times are changing and the hemp industry is now seen and viewed differently.

This is good news. We now know how environmentally friendly, durable, and versatile hemp is compared to cotton. Buying clothing made from hemp will not only last for years but you will be reaping all of the benefits that we have mentioned within this article. 

So, the next time you shop for clothes, remember hemp. This is a decision that will yield you a great return for many years to come! 

1 comment

  • elena

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    We are a company dealing with hemp fabric business, We have been in this line for more than 17years, our customers mainly come from USA, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Denmark, Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

    Our headquarter office in US, Our partner and very old friend Ms.Barbara Filiphone have been in this line more than 30years, she is a supper expert of hemp business and she is the founder and president of Enviro Textiles LLC.

    1. Woven fabrics: We have many different kinds of woven fabrics, such as Twill(for pants), Canvas(for coats), Plain Weave(shirts & sheets) etc…
    2. Knitted fabrics: Our 3 most popular fabrics are Single Jersey, Fleece and French Terry. Jersey are mostly used for t-shirts, Fleece & French Terry are more often used for hoodies and diapers.

    We have both pure hemp and hemp/organic cotton blended fabrics. We also have many different composition of hemp/organic cotton blended yarn, like 55%hemp/45%organic cotton, 30%hemp/70%organic cotton, 40%hemp/60%organic cotton, 20%hemp/80%organic cotton. Yarn count can be maken from 7s to 40s.

    We also deal with linen fabrics and Bamboo fabrics.

    Please feel free to have a look on our webiste www.fine-hemp.com and see what is your favorite fabric?

    Thank you

    Elena / Developing Dept. Manager

    Tel: +86 – 135 0532 2722
    skype: elenayuan

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