Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Fibre stories: "Cottonization", hemp's future in fabrics in China

The key difference between China and the United States economies
is hemp is legal, researched and promoted in China.

Fibre stories: "Cottonization", hemp's future in fabrics in China - International Year of Natural Fibres 2009

"China's President, Hu Jintao, visits the country's first commercial hemp fibre processing mill - Hemp Research Centre
Zhang Jianchun, Director General of China's Hemp Research Centre in Beijing has a dream: to see lush green plantations of Cannabis sativa growing across 1.3 million hectares of the country's farmland. That would be sufficient, Zhang calculates, to produce up to 10 million tonnes of hemp plants a year and, with it, around two million tonnes of hemp fibre.
Expanded production of hemp, he says, offers enormous benefits for China. First, it would provide a major new source of fibre for the textile industry, reduce dependency on cotton and, in the process, free large areas of cotton-growing land for food production. In addition, hemp cultivation would generate extra income for millions of small-scale farmers in some of the country's poorest rural areas.
China currently cultivates industrial hemp over an area of around 20 000 ha. That is just a fraction of the 5.6 million ha dedicated to cotton (China is the world's biggest cotton grower, with a harvest of some 6.6 million tonnes in 2006). Among natural fibres processed for use in Chinese textiles, hemp output ranks far behind that of wool and silk and of other bast sources such as flax, jute, kenaf and ramie.
"Performance properties". The Hemp Research Centre is working to change that - and restore hemp to its once important place in Chinese agriculture and textiles. Zhang points out that China is the birthplace of industrial hemp: archaeological evidence shows that the plant was grown for fibre some 4 000 years ago, and it was not overtaken by cotton in clothing until early last century."
For more information on hemp textiles be sure to visit the USA Hemp Museum's Textiles Room.  For a deeper understanding on how to use hemp to solve our economic crisis, I urge you to read HEMP FOR VICTORY: THE TRILLION DOLLAR CROP by Richard M. Davis. 

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