The textile industry is one of the most polluting in the world, so the market is studying ways of introducing ecological fibers to face the problem. The fiber derived from industrial hemp, which is Cannabis with a very low THC content (0.3%), a vegetable carbon, is the most promising alternative because it is biodegradable.
It is the second-strongest known natural fiber and it can have synthetics added to it; it is used in paper, fabrics, building materials, plastic products, strings, technical composites. As it is flexible and durable, it has the potential to replace fiberglass, long fibers and cotton fibers.
The industrial processes of cotton are parallel to those of hemp, minimizing any impact on the adaptation of the textile industry to hemp fiber. The industry is only making sure that its production is efficient and competitive and that it responds to the growing demand for sustainable and technological development. The costs of fertilizing, maintaining and reforming the land have been analysed, as well as the use of water, the cost of the seeds, the control of pests and the cost of operation. What was found is that industrial hemp is a high-yield crop with an average of 3 times more tonnes of fiber produced per cultivated hectare, reducing production costs by 77% when compared to cotton. It is an alternative, because it is economically viable.
In 2014, Professor David Mitlin, of Clarkson University transformed hemp fibers into carbon nano sheets that can be used as electrodes for supercapacitors and more than 2500 scientific articles cite fiber as potential in several areas, pure or processed.
There are hemp fabrics in China that fight staph bacteria, and Enviro Textiles, from Colorado, manufactures a blend of rayon and hemp that fights 98.5% of staph and has 61.5% resistance to pneumonia, important technological innovations for the health sector.