Hemp Traders announced the launch of a new line of hemp knit fabrics, marking what the company said is the first time since before hemp prohibition that American-made hemp fabrics will be made available to the general public.
The fabrics will be produced and dyed in Los Angeles by Hemp Traders, which also manufactures hemp boards, twine, rope and webbing.
“Many customers want hemp textiles that are made in America,” Hemp Traders president Lawrence Serbin said. “This is the first step in bringing the entire process back home. Not only does this help the American hemp industry to position hemp textiles for a larger share of the market and make hemp products more available, it does it at a cheaper price than the same Chinese imports.”
The U.S. Hemp Farming Act of 2018, which were incorporated in the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill, legalized hemp production by separating it from the closely genetically related cannabis, which is a controlled substance, allowing for commercial usage.
The Hemp Traders development came in the same week that Dallas-based Panda Biotech announced it had selected the Texas town of Wichita Falls to be the home of what it said will be the largest state-of-the-art industrial hemp processing center in the United States.
The Panda Texas Plains Hemp Gin will also be the first facility in the country to “cottonize” hemp fiber on a commercial scale for the U.S. textile industry, the company said. Panda Biotech has contracted for a 500,000-square-foot facility and surrounding 97-acre campus that was formerly the home of a General Motors assembly plant.
Hemp Traders said it will start by making three types of fabric–jersey for T-shirts, French Terry for sweatshirts and sweatpants, and rib knit for accessories and apparel. The first fabrics became available this week at HempTraders.com, with more available within the next two weeks.
“While we currently still need to import hemp yarns from China since the machines literally don’t exist in the U.S., this is a huge step toward building the market,” Serbin said. “The demand already exists. We are currently working with farmers and processors to bring decortication, processing and spinning facilities online. The ultimate goal is to perform the entire process in the United States utilizing 100 percent American grown hemp.”
A natural fiber, hemp’s sustainable characteristics include low water usage and require few herbicides, fungicides or pesticides, while having significant soil-remediation qualities. The global industrial hemp market has been projected to grow to $26.6 billion by 2025 from $4.6 billion in 2019.