Until the early nineteenth century, hemp and flax were the main ingredients used to make paper. Wood-based paper only came into use when mechanical and chemical pulping was developed in the mid-1800s, in Germany and England. Today, at least 95% of paper is made from wood pulp.

The oldest surviving paper has more than 2.000 years. It comes from China and was made from hemp fiber. Egyptian papyrus sheets that were once thought to be the oldest form of paper are not actually “paper”. Experts understand this term as fiber strands that are woven instead of “wet-laid.”

Eastern Societies Traditions with Hemp

The Hmong are one of China’s largest minority ethnic groups (they are known as the Miao in China) and they can also be found in Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam.  According to their tradition, they must be buried in hemp garments. They believe that their ancestors will refuse the dead person’s soul in the afterworld if they are not wearing hemp clothes.

Each child must give their departed parent a trousers or a skirt in these material for the burial clothes, so the deceased may be buried in as many sets of clothing as there are sons or daughters.

There were several Japanese martial artists, including Samurai warriors, who used to dress with this fabric. The reigning Sumo champion had to carry a giant hemp rope around his stomach to purify the fighting ring and drive away evil spirits.

In eastern societies, hemp garments used to be a symbol of wealth, exclusively worn by wealthy Japanese. A Yukatabira—absorbent bathrobes made of these fiber —were put on after bathing in hot springs. The cotton kimono was the common person’s version of these expensive bathrobes. In Japanese traditional marriages, it was also a symbolic gift of acceptance and obedience from the groom’s family to the bride.

Western Society Tradition with Hemp 

Reminiscent of the Chinese tradition of using hemp as burial garments, in Norwegian tradition, it was used to make clothing for both births and burials, as they symbolized the beginning and end of life.

Historical documents in the western societies used to be made of hemp. The first and second drafts of the American Declaration of Independence were written on hemp paper. The final version was copied onto animal parchment and signed on August 2, 1776. The Magna Carta and the King James Bible were also written on hemp paper.

Hemp was so important in England in the sixteenth century that King Henry VIII (1491–1547) passed an act in 1533 that fined farmers who failed to grow hemp. Overseas, in colonial America, citizens of several colonies were also required by law to grow hemp.

hemp what we need to know

Modern Days Hemp Products

These fabric has been popular for more than a hundred year now, but somehow found its way into our modern day’s fashion lookbook.

It’s of popular belief that Levi’s first jeans were made of hemp. The Levi Strauss Company has denied this, but the composition of early fabrics is uncertain. The company’s records that were kept in its San Francisco were lost when the headquarters burned down during the fires caused by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

Designer Giorgio Armani created an all-hemp tuxedo for actor Woody Harrelson to wear to the 1997 Oscars, where he in the running for an Oscar for his performance in The People vs Larry Flynt.

Marialma and Hemp Bed Sheets

This magic fabric has natural breathable and antimicrobial characteristics and that makes it the perfect prime material for creating bed sheets which are allergen free. This fabric is also a natural thermo-controller. It naturally cools down the body and absorbs moisture, so it’s perfect for hot, humid climates, or for anyone who is prone to sweating at night. On the other hand, the magic fabric also helps to keep you warm in colder months.

Our Hemp Sets are 100% made of hemp, they help managing temperature and sweat during the night, making it the perfect choice for hot sleepers. Get to know all about our products here.

We hope you have enjoyed our article about hemp usage throughout the years. Feel free to pin all the images to your favorite Pinterest board and subscribe to our newsletter, so you can be the first to know about our latest articles. And don’t forget: sleep well, live well.

Marialma team.

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