How to Soften Hemp Fabric (Step by Step Guide)

how to soften hemp fabric

Hemp fabric can be softened at home or industrial level during processing to ensure comfort with durability.


Softening at home

Hemp is a fabric that softens with each wash. But it retains its strength and durability and never degrades in quality. That's the reason it is most suitable for clothing


Hemp clothing gets soft and more comfortable over time, without deteriorating. But if you want the process to go a bit faster, it can be softened by the following ways:



Wash your hemp fabrics many times

Hand washing your hemp fabric a few times and you'll notice it will get softer. Lukewarm water is preferred for this purpose. 


Vinegar wash

Vinegar wash is the easiest way to soften your hemp T-shirt or any kind of apparel. Follow the following steps:

  1. Take one tablespoon of baking soda in a bowl.
  2. Add one cup of clear vinegar slowly to ensure the effervescence. 
  3. Let the baking soda dissolve. Stir and check by a spoon.

Add this vinegar solution to the washing machine and wash your hemp fabric normally.

Air-dry the fabric and you will see the difference.



Salt Magic

You need a lot of salt for this DIY. But you'll get the results.

  1. Pour water in a pot.
  2. Add one cup of salt.
  3. Put this on the flame until it begins to boil.
  4. Wet your fabric and put it gently in the salt solution.
  5. Let it be for 30-45 minutes on low flame.
  6. Rinse the extra salt and wash the fabric normally.

Pumice Stone

Rub with a pumice stone all over your fabric. Prepare a mixture of water and fabric softener and soak your fabric overnight. By the morning, the fabric will have softened considerably.



Softening during processing

Hemp when first formed is very similar to cotton. But it feels more like canvas, with fibers interwoven. 100 % pure Hemp is not very often used. It is blended with linen or silk. It is obtained from plant fibers. So, it is processed through many stages to achieve a softer and finer yarn. 

The processing of hemp involves:


1. Retting

For this purpose, the hemp fibers are put in water bodies; lakes, or ponds for ten days. Water is preferably warm and laid with bacteria to accelerate the process.


2. Decortication

It involves squeezing, breaking, and scutching of the fibers. In other words, fibers are freed from their stems. And then to set them free from their woody cores, the fibers are beaten with beech sticks.


3. Softening:

The fibers after decortication are softened using a hemp softener or a hemp roller.


4. Combing:

The softened fibers are smoothened by separating the parallel and same length fibers. A hackling machine is employed for this purpose. The shorter and tangled ones are combed out as well. 


5. Spinning:

Wet or dry spinning produces the finally fine form of Hemp. For this purpose, the fibers are first washed in caustic soda to refine them and then bleached with hydrogen peroxide.

To soften the pectin and separation of fibers, they are allowed to run through hot water before spinning. 

All these steps of processing add to the cost of Hemp.