The world of textiles is an imperfect one, filled with imperfect choices - so I thought I'd tell you about some of the fabrics I'm using and why. Fascinating, right?
This is hemp. Not that kind. This particular hemp fabric is one of my favorites. It hasn't been bleached or dyed, that's the natural color. At 11 ounces, it feels like an upholstery-weight linen and it's perfect for bags. Super-strong, rugged and soft.
The upside: Hemp is an extremely fast growing crop, producing more fiber yield per acre than any other source. (Fewer resources used.) It is commonly grown without the use of pesticides and herbicides.
The downside: Though industrial hemp is a different variety of Cannabis Satvia from marijuana, is cultivated differently, and has a low THC level, it's currently illegal to grow it in the United States. I source this fabric from a small American importer with factories in China, Romania, and Canada. My supplier has a deep knowledge of hemp production, engages in free and fair trade, and answers his own phone.
So there you have it - imperfect, but better than most choices.