Hemp is the new black

Hemp is the new black

New material in the Nurmi #4 // SS13 collection is European 100% hemp. It’s the softest, most wonderful hemp fabric we have seen. It comes in two colors, black & gray, and the feel is much like light linen fabric. Usually you would think that hemp is always really thick and rugged but this material proves otherwise.

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Production

The hemp is grown, spun & woven on the boarder of Hungary & Romania. It is cultivated without using synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. Crop rotation maintains the natural biodiversity of the cultivation.

For dyeing there has been used fiber reactive Bezema dyes which are low impact with no formaldehyde, no heavy metals and azo-free. The bleaching is made in yarn stage, with hydrogen peroxid, no chlorine or other chemical substance is used in the bleaching process.

Although the cultivation has been made in a organic manner the supplier doesn’t have a certification for organic production. The supplier has not seen it necessary because of price and burocracy involved in the transition phase. Hopefully in the future also this material will have a certificate!

We have sourced this material through a Finnish textile company Saana ja Olli.

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The hemp products for spring/summer 2013 are cut & sewn in Lahti, Finland by UNQ Designs, except the tote bags which are made in Hämeenlinna at Vanaja prison. In the collection there are blazers (Dahlia, Dana), skirts (Daria, Dawn) and tote bags – and a bit later on also men’s two-colored shirts.

As said the material is similar to linen so it gets a bit wrinkly by nature. That just gives it more character so although you can iron it don’t mind the wrinkles!

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Why hemp?

For a long time hemp has been a forgotten plant.

It is one of the oldest textile fibers ever used and for example in the United States hemp was used extensively still during World War II. But then came cotton and oil-based fabrics. The easiness and speed of producing cotton and polyester where considered much more important than the negative environmental impacts connected to making these materials.

It took quite many years but now finally hemp is making a comeback. There are many environmental benefits in cultivating hemp compared to cotton which makes hemp really the crop of the future.

Hemp is easily adaptable to all kinds of soil. It can be grown in rural areas and doesn’t need irrigation. Hemp can be grown without synthetic fertilizers and as it outcompetes other weeds the use of synthetic herbicides becomes unneccessary. Growing hemp improves soil quality and with its roots hemp also fights erosion.

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Hemp is a versatile and plentiful crop: all its by-products can be used and it gives approximately twice as large a crop from the same harvested area as cotton.

The downside of using hemp fiber is that it still has some negative connotations related to hippies & smoking weed. But  the hemp fabrics are not made out of the same breed of hemp plant as the ones which are used for smoking. So we can assure you: you won’t get high using our garments.

In the future we wish to source even more hemp materials to use and want to show that hemp clothes can be stylish!

Nurmi hemp garments available from Nurmi webstore.

Photos: Antti Ahtiluoto