What Are Hemp Clothes?

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  • Written By: M.C. Huguelet
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 27 December 2019
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As its name suggests, hemp clothes are clothes made from hemp, or fibers which are derived from the Cannabis sativa L. plant. Hemp clothing enthusiasts hold that hemp fabric is superior to that made from other fibers, both natural and synthetic, due to its environmentally-friendly properties and its durability. Almost any type of clothing imaginable can be produced from hemp. Further, despite its rustic “hippie” image, hemp fabric is not derived from the same plant that produces marijuana, and thanks to late-20th century technological innovations, it can take on a fine, linen-like texture.

Hemp clothes are produced with fibers which have been derived from the Cannabis sativa L. plant and then woven into fabric. Advocates for hemp clothes hold that this fabric is superior to that made from other fibers, both natural and synthetic, for reasons of environmental friendliness and durability. Cannabis sativa L. grows quickly, produces a significant amount of fiber per acre, and can be cultivated without the use of pesticides, meaning that it ultimately has less environmental impact that many other natural fiber sources, like cotton. Further, hemp fabric provides the extreme durability of synthetic fabrics like nylon while offering breathability and comfort that cannot be matched by synthetics.


Almost any type of clothing imaginable can be produced from hemp. It is possible to buy hemp t-shirts, sweatshirts, sweaters, shorts, pants, jackets, socks, and shoes. Hemp can even be used to produce more formal clothing items, like dresses, skirts, and button-down shirts. Despite the versatility of hemp fabric, however, availability of hemp clothes can be limited in countries where domestic cultivation of Cannabis sativa L. is illegal, such as the US. No matter where one lives, though, it is possible to purchase hemp clothing through a wide variety of Internet-based specialty retailers.

It must be noted that, in the minds of many, hemp clothes have a difficult-to-shake “hippie” image which comes, no doubt, from the fact that hemp fiber is derived from the Cannabis plant, and that the clothes have a reputation for appearing rustic. Yet it should be understood that hemp is derived from a different Cannabis species than that which produces marijuana, and that any associations of hemp clothing with psychoactive substances are thus fatuous. As for the stereotypical image of hemp fabric as suitable for “tree-hugger” types only, it should be noted that late-20th century technological innovations have allowed for the production of hemp fabric which has a fine, soft texture and an appearance that resembles linen.


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