Marijuana or Hemp fibre shoes, jewellery and dress
Hemp Fibre Shoes
Ever since the ancient times the man has striven hard to brave the vagaries of nature and the whims of inclement weather. In order to protect himself from the heat and cold associated with changing seasons, he built the houses and designed cotton and woolen clothes. All these luxuries got modified and reformed with passage of time as and the descent of new inventions and inventions.
In this case the shoes were no exception. The protection of the feet began with the shoes made of grass, wood, leather, hides, wool, cotton and natural fiber. Now the modern shoes come in plastic, rubber, leather, canvas etc.
But the prototypes of the shoes made from hemp fiber are still being used by the people of Himachal Pradesh in India since time immemorial. These shoes have travelled a long distance to reach the present stage of becoming obsolete as their use is now limited to rural households and these are only in the far flung areas.
There was a time when these shoes were a part and parcel of each household. The people never used other shoes indoors as the hemp fiber shoes were there to embrace the person immediately on entering the threshold of the house.
Now the people wear the same shoes both indoors and outdoors, and we can imagine how hygienic this activity is.
Interesting Facts About Hemp
For over the last 12,000 years hemp has been grown for fiber, textiles, paper and food . Due to its importance for making sails, the word "canvas" has its origin from "cannabis": and rope for ships.
Because of the long fibers of hemp, the products made from it are stronger and lighter than those made from any other fiber.
Over 25,000 ,ecologically friendly products could be made of hemp fiber.
At present the hemp is used for several industrial purposes like textile, paper, shoes, clothing, jewelry, bio-plastic, insulation, health food, construction, making ropes of different strengths, body products, filters etc.
Obsolete rural art of the villages of Himachal in IndiaClick thumbnail to view full-size
About Hemp Fibre
There are two types of fibers in hemp.
a) Bast or long fiber, which is valuable and high quality fiber and is present in 25-30% of the stalk fiber. It further has two forms.
i) The primary bast fiber makes up about 70 % of the fiber. It is long, high in cellulose and low in lignin. This fiber is the most strongest plant fiber ever known. It is the valuable part of the stalk. Earlier the extraction of primary bast fiber was very laborious but modern ultrasound and steam explosion techniques have made the process easier. After separation the bast fiber is ready to be spun or weaved into textile products. But the rural people of Himachal Pradesh still use the traditional methods to make hemp fiber for making shoes, ropes etc.
ii) The secondary bast fiber is the remaining 30 percent of the bast fiber. It.It is medium in length and higher in lignin. It is less valuable and more abundant with short or thick stalks, when the plants are not dense, because then they do not have any rivalry for sunlight. This fiber is best for paper products like currency paper, cigarette paper, industrial filters, tea bags etc.
b) Hurds comprise the short fibers inner woody core of the plant. It consists of libriform fiber which is high in lignin and is 70-80 % part of the stalk. It is the waste and by-product of bast extraction. But it has 50-80 % cellulose which makes it ideal for making paper. The production of hemp pulp in 1 acre is equal to that of in 4.1 acres by trees. This is shorter than bast fiber, but suitable for products like newsprint pulp, food additives, rayon, cellophane, biomass fuel, industrial fabrication materials, ornaments, acoustic ceiling insulation etc.
How the Hemp Shoes are made
The plants of hemp shed the foliage by the end of June. Then the dry plants are uprooted and their bundles are kept immersed in water generally in some rivulet or or pond or any standing water body for two or three months. Then the wet plants are repeatedly beaten against the stone or boulder and re immersed in water till the fiber leaves the plant.
The fiber is then washed and dried. Thereafter the fiber is woven into the ropes of different thicknesses. It is from these ropes that the shoes are woven. The thick ropes make the sole of the shoes while the thin one is dyed in different colors to weave the upper part of the shoe.
The weaving is usually done in the winter months in Himachal Pradesh when the people remain confined indoors due to heavy snowfall.
There was a time when the entire female population made the hemp fiber shoes at home as the knitting was popular sometimes back. It was considered even the added aesthetic trait of the prospective bride. Even the elders of the households kept themselves busy in the vocation during the old age. The different designs and motifs depended upon the artistic tastes of the maker of the shoes.
The geometric and floral designs are woven into the upper fabric of the shoes in hemp fiber.
These shoes are washable and are durable too, if worn indoors and are saved from being worn on getting excessively wet.
Natural Hemp Fiber
Long slender primary fibers of the hemp is found on the outer portion of the stalk.
Other products found from the hemp plant is its seed, seed meal and seed oil.
The long and strong fibers that grow along the length of the hemp stalk have the properties similar to other fibers like flax, jute etc.
The fiber length, strength and durability of hemp fiber is better than other fibers.
Hemp fiber was used to make clothing by the rural people. Pure and fine hemp texture is similar to linen.
Hemp fiber is one of the strongest natural fibers which is naturally resistant to saline water, mold, ultraviolet light and mildew.
At present China is the major producer of hemp fiber based textile.
Hemp fiber provides organic clothing and the fabric gives no chemicals to cause adverse effects on health.
The hemp fiber is much more long, strong, lustrous, mildew resistant and absorbent than cotton.
The cotton production uses 50 percent of the pesticide or herbicide produced in the the world.
So cotton is the greatest toxic generator which contaminates the air, water, soil and nature.
Whereas no chemicals, fertilizers and herbicides are needed in hemp production.
Hemp grows well without the use of herbicides, fungicides, or pesticides etc. On the other hand the cotton production consumes about 50% of the agricultural chemicals used on all crops. Hemp fibers are the longest, strongest, more absorbent, more mildew-resistant, and give better insulation than cotton.
Instead of cotton, the hemp fiber will provide more warmth in winter and cooler feeling in summer.
Hemp effectively blocks the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays. Hemp fibers are more absorbent to dyes and less prone to fading than cotton fabrics.
Hemp can remove the impurities from the waste-water that is it cleans the sewage effluents and other harmful chemicals or salts from water.
By phyto-remediation process of cleaning radiations and other toxins from water, soil and air, the hemp was even used to clear the radiation contamination of nuclear disaster at Chernobyl.
When hemp fiber is blended with cotton, linen, and silk the final product is more durable.
The deep root system of hemp plant prevents soil erosion, removes toxins from soil and aerates the soil for the benefit of other crops.
Hemp fibers are more absorbent to dyes and less prone to fading than cotton fabrics.
Composite panels for automobiles are being made by a mixture of hemp fiber, flax, fiberglass and kenaf.
Hemp and bead Jewelry is made by giving macrame knotting to hemp twine instead of weaving or knitting. This type of jewelry includes the anklets, bracelets, rings, earrings, necklaces, watch bands, laces and other adornments used by rural folk. The thickness of hemp twine varies according to the adornment and has variety of colors. In jewelry and shoes the the half knot and full knot stitches are commonly used.
© 2013 Sanjay Sharma
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