5 Things You Need to Know about Hemp Cloth Diapers
- We don’t really know a lot – there’s not a lot of knowledge sharing out there in regards to how hemp is grown and how it becomes a textile. It’s a work in progress for myself. Part of this is due to the cultural sensitivity we have around cannabis.
- The power of hemp is in its growth cycle because it grows really quick without any assistance from pesticides and fertizliers. It also gives back to the soil more than it takes and is an all around great crop for the environment. That said there are legal concerns because it is from the cannabis family which means you can’t grow it everywhere despite it’s amazing benefits to the agricultural family. This has been part of the issue with getting hemp textiles popular. It does have to a plant with less than 0.3% THC to be grown in Canada.
- Hemp is always blended with another textile – you might be able to find 100% hemp but it’s going to be a rough and thick material. Hemp for cloth diapers is always blended with bamboo or cotton. Typically it is mixed with organic cotton which gives you that all around good feeling about the material. The most common blend is 55% hemp, 45% cotton, with Geffen Baby producing the highest ratio at 60% hemp.
- Hemp Inserts are not actually that absorbent – yes, the hemp fibre is absorbent, but when we look at the cloth diaper marketplace, and we eye up all the different options from bamboo, to cotton, to hemp, we see mixed numbers. Just because it’s hemp doesn’t mean it’s more absorbent than anything else. Like everything there are different weights, blends, materials, and qualities in the hemp cloth diaper. This means that you will and can have vastly different experiences. Some hemp booster only absorb 3-5 ounces which is comparable to their bamboo booster counterpart. Hemp is absorbent but it’s not double or triple other fibres, And I think that is the myth in the community, it’s just like everything else it does the job.
- Hemp really holds onto moisture – and this totally sucks if you’re talking about trying to dry hemp inserts because it can take forever and a day to get hemp dry (espeically thicker fleecy hemp from overseas wholesalers, I don’t have the same concerns with North American hemp and I wonder if it’s due to a design flaw). But that’s really good in your diaper because it means that it is not prone to compression. I have tried to do compression testing on hemp materials and it’s really hard. Hemp is a tight weave that just once it’s wet it doesn’t want to get dry. I don’t find that hemp is a slow absorber as much as I find it’s just really good at sopping up the leftovers from microfibre compression.