Hemp collection is a newly expanding arena. Hemp has been grown for thousands of years, but in modern society was banned in a lot of areas and was not grown at all for hundreds of years. Recently, it has been growing in popularity. One of the main reasons for its increased popularity is the modern fashion industry. Hemp is being touted as an ecologically friendly fiber that dyes well and has good drape in clothing. It can also be grown organically, which is something that is hard to get in other fibers like cotton. It comes in natural colors and weaves up finely, and it is also used in some sports clothing because it dries quickly.
Hemp does not have the best reputation because it comes from the cannabis plant, which is still banned in a lot of places. But it is rising in popularity as people scramble for enough fiber to meet the modern demand for fast fashion, which uses and enormous amount of thread. Perhaps aiding its cultural acceptance is the idea that hemp can make organic fabric, which has a lighter environmental impact than its non-organic counterparts.
Hemp does not often bleach out all the way to white, which is one reason it hasn’t been widely used. It tends to come in light tan and light olive green shades, which can be more difficult for modern designers to work with. In older societies, there was more brown fabric, and so fibers like hemp were used more often. Modern designers are starting to embrace more natural shades in things like baby clothing, however, hemp is still on the rise despite these color differences.
Many people like the feel of hemp in clothing and its drape. It can tend to wrinkle more than other fabrics if it is not used in jerseys, though, so it is more often used in knitted baby clothing or quick-drying sundresses than other items. Besides searching for ways to use hemp in a way that is aesthetically pleasing, designers also have to work with the demand for fibers that are fashionable in and of themselves. Cotton has been outrageously popular for the last few centuries in Western culture, and silk has remained popular in Asia for millennia. As Asian fashion expands and Western fashion becomes more about jersey and blended fibers, it remains yet to be seen what role hemp will play in major fashion industries.
Hemp could benefit from a lot more research as far as the fiber goes. It weaves up extremely well, but not much has been done with this fiber beyond blending it with cotton for jersey knits. While it blends well with cotton and bamboo for organic jerseys, there is certainly a lot more that could be done with this fiber. Making hemp socially and aesthetically acceptable is a major fashion move that could happen as people search for more and more innovative fabrics and take on more natural trends, as opposed to the super bright fabrics of the 1980s and the darker fabrics of the 1990s.