Title Hemp fibre, a textile fibre from the Swedish island Gotland in the Baltic Sea
Keywords Hemp, Cannabis Sativa, Textile, Strength, Fineness
Author (s) Gunilla Östbom1) & Bengt Svennerstedt2)
Address 1) Department of Domestic Science, Trädgårdsgatan 14, Uppsala University,SE-753 09 UPPSALA, Sweden (corresponding author)2) Biofibre Technology Research Group, Department of JBT, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 86, SE-230 53 ALNARP, Sweden
Telephone 1) +46 18 471 23 13 (corresponding author)
Fax 1) +46 18 471 23 21 (corresponding author)
Mobile 1) +46 70 362 39 71 (corresponding author)
E-mail 1) Gunilla.Ostbom@ihv.uu.se (corresponding author)2) Bengt.Svennerstedt@jbt.slu.se
Abstract ID no.(to be assigned by conference organisers)
Hemp, Cannabis sativa L has been grown for its fibres for thousands of years. In Sweden it has been prohibited to cultivate hemp for about 40 years, but now it is possible for farmers to grow it again. Before the ban, Gotland, a limestone island in the centre of the Baltic Sea, was the last major growing area in Sweden. At that time the main crop was used for production of rope. During later years, hemp has received increased interest as a sustainable crop and for a multitude of possible uses. To use hemp as a textile fibre, knowledge of the properties of varieties and under different growing conditions is of interest. Fabric made of hemp fibres for clothing coming from China and Rumania can now be seen, but is the quality of hemp cultivated on Gotland also good enough for clothing textiles?
To be suitable for textile purposes, a fibre should have enough strength, enough fineness, enough length and some friction on the surface of the fibres. These four aspects interact and if one factor is lacking, one or more of the others have to compensate. To be suitable for clothing and not only for coarser textiles, the fibre has to be finer than 0,04 mm and down to 0.01mm in diameter. It also has to have enough strength. There is no doubt that the friction and the length of a hemp fibre, grown almost everywhere, are enough to create a textile product. More interesting is the strength of hemp, since the stronger it is, the finer it can be, and the softer the fabric can be made. Cottonizing of hemp can make the fibres suitable for high quality fabrics.
This paper focuses on the strength and fineness of hemp fibres from six different varieties, grown on Gotland, on different locations and handled different during the process from seed to fibre. The varieties were Beniko, Futura 75, Fedora 17, Felina 32, USO 31 and Finola. Those varieties are available on the market and not specialized for the soils and climate on Gotland. Therefore it is important to investigate the quality of the fibres. Samples from the varieties were tested according to strength and fineness. The strength varied between 247-570 MPa. Variation was also noted in fibres from different parts of the stem. “Normally” fertilized and not retted, only dried and mechanically decorticated, Futura 75 had the best value in samples from the middle of its stem. The fineness varies also a lot and it is planned to perform tests before this summer.
2005. 632- p.