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Fibre Intro: Hemp

Used in textiles for centuries, hemp derives from the fibres of the cannabis plant. It is grown from a different (though very similar-looking) cultivar to the plant that produces the well-known narcotic. To get the fibres hemp is ‘retted’ (soaked in dew or chemicals to soften) and then ‘scutched’ (the fibres scraped off) like linen.

It is now possible to do this mechanically using little energy and no chemicals.

Hemp has a reputation for being coarse and heavy. However, modern techniques now …

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