My name is Nadine and I`m a mom of three lovely children (2 boys and 1 girl). Today, I would love to talk about an echo-friendly fabric, hemp.
I was intrigued by a post on this blog from a year ago about hemp beyond organic. When Michelle offered the chance to try fabric in exchange of a blog post, I thought this was my chance to try it out. I made this opportunity even more special for me by making it a selfish project! I’m sure a few of you will understand that with 3 kids there is a lot of special requests, and mommy falls very low in the “to do list”.
Hemp fiber has a lot of interesting properties including durability, absorbency, anti-mildew and anti-microbial properties. Fabric made of at least one-half hemp blocks the sun`s UV rays more effectively than many other fabrics As you will see in my pictures below I’m quite pale, so this is real bonus for me!
I selected the hemp and organic knit (55% hemp & 45% cotton) for my cardigan.
When the fabric made it to our place, what a surprise! It was not the silky feel I`m used with the Stenzo line, it was rough to the touch and had a texture similar to linen. I was wondering if I should rethink my choice of pattern! After the first wash, the roughness feel and look was not as evident. The fabric has been through the wash a few times now and it is softening. It has a very light weight (190 gm² (5.6 oz yd²)) compared to Stenzo (199.37 gm² or 5.88 oz yd²) with a similar stretch property of 50-60%.
For this project I decided to try the Julia cardigan from the Mouse House Creations. I have had this pattern since it was released, but I was waiting for the perfect fabric, which I believe I have found. I completed the small size using 1.5 meters of the hemp and organic knit. This fabric is wider than usual (172 cm (68 inches) wide). I had no fabric left over, not even enough to make something for my kids!
The pattern was easy to complete and did not require any special supplies. I used my serger to finish the seams by preference; it was definitely not required with this type of fabric. With the light weight of the fabric, I decided to make the version no hem version which is the doubled over version which gives a clean finish to your cardigan. The tricky part of this project was to match the stripes. The fabric selvage was not straight after the wash and the edges were rolling. I used many pins and I was able to manage. I debated before cutting the fabric if I was going the easy route and changing the stripes direction on the collar to give it a different look.
At the beginning of my post I said hemp is echo-friendly fabric, this is because of its environmental attribute that are extremely remarkable: it can be grown without fungicides, herbicides and pesticides, it absorbs carbon dioxide five times more efficiently that the same acreage of forest and it matures in three to four months. Like the marijuana plant, industrial hemp belongs to the species Cannabis sativa L. However, unlike marijuana, it contains no measurable amounts (less than 1%) of the psychoactive drug, so the high I get from wearing my cardigan will be perfectly legal!
I`m very happy with the end result and it will be a piece of clothing that will get lot of use. I will include more pieces, in my handmade collection, using hemp. This is a type of fabric that you should not be afraid to try.
Thank you Michelle (and Colin) for this opportunity!