Hemp vs Cotton

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Hemp vs Cotton

Lets weigh them up!

A textile is a material consisting of a network of fibers. These textiles are then woven together to form rope, clothing, baskets. The clear king of textiles in our world is cotton but it wasn’t always that way. For many decades hemp reigned supreme. Let’s compare the two and see which is better.

Lets look at water use, a particularly poignant and relevant topic in South Africa. To grow 1 Kilogram of cotton fibers it requires 9 liters of water. While to grow 1 kilogram of hemp fibers it requires 2 liters. Hemp is a clear winner and an obvious choice for countries struggling with droughts and lack of water.

Land use is another important topic in a world shrinking as more and more land is required to support a growing population. Here cotton loses needed almost double the amount of land to produce the same amount as hemp.

Damage to the soil is an factor farmers have to consistently watch and react to. Hemp is another winner in this category being able to grow in the same soil for 14 years without causing much damage. Amazingly if you dry hemp on soil it will return 60% of its nutrients back to the soil. While growing cotton is terrible for the soil.


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