Hemp is a natural, plant based material. It is one of the oldest fibers found by archeologists and was used to make clothing, ropes, paper and shelters. Next to that, it was a widely used medicine in Asia and Africa. Today it is known for its hallucinative characteristics and has been illegal in most countries since the 1930s.

However, there is a comeback of hemp clothing. Patagonia and other brands, especially outdoor brands, are reintroducing hemp clothing in their collection. Hmep is one of the strongest and most breathable materials. Therefore, perfect for outdoor activities but also for regular clothing that is supposed to last a longer time.

“Hemp seeds were harder to find than I anticipated”

After the linen and cotton experiment, I wanted to continue the research of growing materials at home by adding hemp to the process. But hemp seeds were harder to find than I anticipated. Fortunately, BlueCity started a campaign with Hempje, LoopedGoods and Hempowerment. By doing so they want to join forces to spread the growing of hemp for the fashion industry.

When hearing about my project, Nienke van Binnedijk from BlueCityLab, gave me two hemp seeds to grow at home. The plants from these seeds are not suitable for other purposes than harvesting it for fiber. The official name of this kind of hemp is Cannabis Sativa Linneaus,
Fedora 17.

After harvesting the plants I can send them to Hempje where they are going to be used for the next collection of clothing. By doing so, I will receive 10% on my next purchase. It is a great initiative and campaign to educate and activate people about the characteristics of hemp and use of it in the fashion industry. In the future I would like to start such initiatives on a research and design level as well.

If you are interested in growing it yourself, order here.

growing hemp at home

On the 29th of May, I sowed the hemp seeds in a glass jar. I was not sure the seeds will start growing therefore I did not sowed them in a bigger pot.

May 29th 2020

The day of sowing the seeds.

June 4th 2020

After only 2 days the hemp plants are a few centimeters high and have multiple leaves on them.

June 2nd 2020

After 4 days I already seed the plants growing.

June 21st 2020

the hemp plants have been growing in the glass jar. They are now so big that they fall over, therefore I am replanting them in a bigger pot.

Repotting the plants in the same size pot as cotton and linen. By doing so the amount of soil is the same as by the other two experiments. Therefore, when converting it into data, the same resources can be compared by each other.

2nd July 2020

After repotting the plants they have been growing faster. There was enough rain and the temperature did not go below the 15 degrees. The plants are around 20 cm tall with multiple leaves.

The goal

The goal is to experience and understand the process of growing hemp. According to Hempowerment, today 2000 hectares are used to grow fiber hemp in The Netherlands. During the global COVID-19 pandemic the demand for local production is rising harder than before. Western countries are realizing their independence on East Asian countries when it comes to production of goods. Therefore, combining critical thinking, agriculture and simple curiosity could be a changing factor in future production of textile goods.

This is an ongoing investigation and experimentation about materials that I find in my closet.