Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Hemp Review Part I

Initial observations about the hemp yarn:

The yarn is equivalent to a 2/16's linen with about 2400 yards per pound and about a 2/8 cotton grist - slightly finer to my eye but since it is stiffer than cotton I used 24 epi for a twill sampler.

Comparing it to the 2/16 linen I have on hand, the hemp is hairier and more pliable.  I assume the hemp fibre is shorter than the linen used in the linen yarn.  It feels 'softer' than the linen, especially after weaving.  I was actually expecting the yarn to produce quite a dense stiff fabric and even before wet finishing it feels quite nice.  Certainly appropriate for towels and other household textiles (placemats, runners, etc.)  It would probably weave up nicely for curtains.

The yarn is only available in natural so any colour will have to come from whatever crosses it.  In this instance I used the yarn for warp and as many different types/kinds of weft I had available.  In order:

2/8 cotton (green - lower right)
2/16 hemp
7's cotton/hemp (very dusty!)
12 Bambu (brown)
7 Bambu (teal)
cotton boucle
cotton slub
singles linen (20/s? looks too fine for 12's)

There is a fair amount of twist in the yarn and because it is so hairy I would not recommend trying to beam a warp of this yarn front to back.  Back to front for a short warp worked okay but needed some coaxing.  If I decide to put this yarn into production, it will go onto the AVL sectionally and as such, I don't expect any problems with it.

I will also use the 2/16's hemp as weft on a striped cotton warp for towels.  I think that will also work quite nicely.  I am not so enamoured of the singles cotton/hemp because it casts off so much dust although I think the resulting cloth will be quite nice.  I will probably try using that on a 2/20 mercerized cotton and see how it looks.

Further update after wet finishing.

Doug has gone up to the annex to repair Puff and I hope to get up there with a huge pile of wet finishing in the next day or two.  The towels for the Handwoven article have to be done as well as the hemp sampler and the place mats I used to kick start myself back to work before Christmas.  There are also some scarves but not enough for a load in the washing machine so those will wait until I have more to go in the machine.  No rush for the scarves - those are for next fall's inventory.  The towels I need now so I can finish the article and get everything into the mail.

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