We are going to be picking up where we left off yesterday when we talked about using Microfleece as a cloth diapering fabric.
So what does happen to the moisture after the microfleece has done it’s job wicking? In my cloth diapers the next step is the Hemp. What makes hemp good enough I will use it? Let’s find out.
Hemp is a more eco-friendly choice of fiber. It is easily produced, hemp can yield 3-8 dry tons of fiber per acre. Hemp produces twice as much fiber per acre as cotton.
Hemp is from the Cannabis Sativa plant.
This plant is mistaken for the Marijuana plant often, but really the differences are plain to see. The Marijuana plant needs space for the leaves to spread out and grow the Hemp plant does so much better all when it is grown close together this makes the stalks longer and produces more fiber. You also have to smoke or ingest an awful lot of the hemp to get a “buzz”. The actual smoke from smoking it would make it an undesirable choice, and speaking of undesirable, the effects of ingesting enough to get a buzz would be equivalent to taking 2 or 3 laxatives! Hemp grows well in a variety of climates and soil types. It is naturally resistant to most pests, precluding the need for pesticides. It grows tightly spaced, out-competing any weeds, so herbicides are not necessary. It also leaves a weed-free field for a following crop.
As a fabric Hemp is awesome! Hemp fabrics excel in strength, durability, absorbency, antimildew and antimicrobial properties. Cotton and synthetic fiber can not match Hemp’s ability to absorb moisture. Hemp fabric is three times stronger than cotton of the same weight, absorbs more moisture, and will last much longer than cotton alone. Hemp is 10X’s more absorbent than cotton! 10X’s! Hemp has inherent antifungal, antibacterial properties, is breathable, recyclable and non-allergenic. All this makes it the ultimate cloth diaper fabric. Bleach should not be used in caring for hemp, as it causes the fibers in the fabric to break down causing holes and making it rough. As they manufacture hemp they sometimes use oils in this process. When hemp is being used for absorbency it needs to be washes AT LEAST 5X’s to wash these oils out. If you don’t do this you WILL have a leaky diaper. The magic of hemp is the more it is washed the more absorbent it will become, so start washing!
There are a few types of hemp fabric, but the one I chose to use is:
Organic Hemp Fleece (55% Hemp 45 % Cotton): It is similar to a sweat shirt, with a knit on one side and a soft brushed fleece on the other side. The fleece feeling side of the fabric will loose some of its fullness after a few washes and tends to feel rougher. This does not affect the quality of the hemp though. When I sew the inserts now I turn the fleece to the inside so that the roughness will not affect your diaper at all. The cotton blend helps keeps the hemp soft and supple, and it is an organic cotton.
So now you know why I picked hemp as the absorbent layer in my diaper. I thought it was a pretty obvious choice.
Hey, did you know that the United States Declaration of Independence is written on hemp paper? Just a parting thought.