Hemp fiber is obtained from the transformation of the hemp plant. Also called hemp straw, it represents 30% of the composition of the plant and corresponds to the external part of the stem. During the transformation of the hemp plant, the fiber is separated from the chenille (wood) and the hempseed (seed). Once carded, the fiber becomes hemp wool. In general, we obtain 29 to 32% of fiber, 55% of chenvot, 10 to 15% of dust and 2 to 5% of waste and losses. Hemp fiber is ecological and healthy because the plant is cultivated without pesticides and phytosanitary products, although its quality depends on the cultivation and climatic conditions. The quality of the fiber is judged on the percentage of impurities, density, mechanical and morphological properties, and chemical composition.
In the industry, the two most used hemp materials are wood, which is very light with a density of 0.12, and fiber, which is very resistant to traction, both of which are complementary. Hemp fiber is used in the textile industry, in marine ropes for sailing, in home insulation, but also in road construction, in the paper industry, and in the plastics industry. These short fibers are also used in the creative arts as filling for dolls or cushions.
In the textile sector, this ecological fiber is pleasant to wear and antimicrobial, allows to avoid bad odors, it is durable, and is naturally repulsive against rashes. The resistance of this fiber allows to obtain very strong clothes. This fiber is also often mixed with other fibers such as cotton to obtain softer clothes. Absorbent and breathable, they are good regulators that keep warm in winter and cool in summer. In addition, they offer a very good protection against UV and do not produce static electricity.
Hemp wool used as thermal insulation has several advantages, it is a healthy, ecological, and recoverable material, regulates hygrometry and temperature, is easy to install, is very durable and resistant, and allows a filling of horizontal construction voids. It insulates roofs, ceilings, and walls of buildings.
Hemp fibers are also used in paper making, the production of paper per hectare is much higher than that of wood, 10t/ha against 1.5 t/ha. Moreover, hemp is much sought after for its strength, its low lignin content, it is less sensitive to yellowing and decomposition. Hemp paper can be recycled 7 to 8 times, unlike conventional paper which can only be recycled 2 to 3 times. Long hemp fibers are used for special papers such as cigarette paper, filter paper, and bank bills while ordinary papers such as newspapers, packaging, and tissues are made with short fibers.
Hemp fibers reduce the impact of plastic on the environment and make plastic parts lighter. Nowadays, they are found in plastic objects such as electrical boxes, boat hulls, technical parts, musical instruments...