By Linda Merrill, Networx
Hemp is a strong fibrous plant that is grown predominantly in China, but also in many other parts of the world. Environmentally friendly, hemp requires few pesticides or herbicides and is one of the fastest growing plants known. In various forms, hemp can be used as a health food product, fuel, and has industrial and commercial applications. The strong fibers can be turned into twine and woven into many different products. For progressive concrete contractors, Hempcrete is a concrete product made from hemp. Green contractors from Austin to Boston are embracing hemp building materials, like hemp insulation. If you think that hemp is hippie stuff, think again. I selected chic home furnishings made from this sustainable material:
Lancaster Rug from Ralph Lauren: The beautiful Lancaster Rug is handknotted in India from hemp and jute fibers. The yarns have been brushed for a soft feel and dyed. The pattern is an interpretation of a classic Persian rug.
Tailor Sofa from Crate and Barrel: Contrary to its classic name and style, the Tailor sofa is made from a hemp fabric and comes in snappy red or stone tan or white. The seat cushions are a soy-based polyfoam with a feather-down blend wrap for comfort.
Handprinted Hemp Pillows from Cloth and INK via Etsy: These eye-catching pillows are made with 100 percent hemp canvas, or with hemp and cotton blend fabrics. The maker purchases the fabric from privately owned farms that don’t use pesticides or fertilizers and the dyes are considered “low impact.” The artist screen prints the fabric using eco-friendly inks.
Antique Hemp & Linen Pillow Covers from Paula J Designs via Etsy: Antique hemp grain sacking has been a popular trend in interiors for the last few years. The strong hemp fibers, which first were used as sack cloth for shipping grain have survived to be “upcycled” into upscale interior accessories. The natural colored fabrics with dyed stripes or brand names has a chic, vintage appeal.
Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap: Dr. Bronner’s has been on the market for decades. Made from vegetable and hemp oils, Bronner’s has no animal fats, is organic and all natural. Due to its super concentrated properties, the soap also lasts forever, cutting down on the use of plastic bottles. Castile soap is a type of soap made exclusively from vegetable oil rather than animal fats or synthetics.
Hemp Chair from Studio Aisslinger: Designed in 2011, the Hemp Chair made its debut at the “Poetry Happens” exhibition in Europe. This is a concept design for a monobloc chair made of natural hemp fibers. It was designed for a lightweight manufacturing process and made of raw hemp and kenaf plant that are compressed with a water-based binder into the chair shape. It is both lightweight and strong.
DIY Hemp Pendant Lamps at Craft Nest: This easy DIY project results in a stylish and upscale pendant lamp. Simply wrap glue-covered hemp twine around an inflated beach ball, leaving an opening at one end. Allow the glue to dry and deflate the ball and remove. Add a hanging light kit and enjoy!