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Important Tips

What Every Customer Should Know about Natural Hemp Fabrics


Hemp fabrics are sold in their natural state. NATURAL IS NOT A COLOR! IT IS THE ABSENCE OF COLOR! The natural appearance is determined by the raw color of the hemp fibers and the length of time the fabric was half bleached. NOTE: DIFFERENT LOTS OF NATURAL HEMP FABRIC MAY NOT BE THE EXACT SAME COLOR.


The shrinkage has not yet been taken out of natural fabrics. Natural fabrics will shrink when washed anywhere from 5%-15% depending upon the weave, the composition, and the lot number.

Tightness/Openness of Weave

When the hemp fabric is washed and shrunk, the weave will naturally close up. This is in direct proportion to the degree of shrinkage obtained. In practical terms, this means that identically woven fabrics may appear different if one of them has been washed, dyed, bleached, or shrunk.

How do I work with natural hemp fabric or half bleached fabric?

Sample fabric bought in the natural state needs to be washed to remove shrinkage. The best way to do this is to cut the fabric into 2-3 yd. pieces. Surge the edges to avoid unraveling and put the pieces in the washing machine. NOTE: HEMP FABRIC THAT HAS NOT BEEN SURGED MAY UNRAVEL WHEN WASHED. Wash with hot water and mild soap. After the wash, place fabric in the dryer and dry until damp. While the hemp is still slightly damp, remove it from the dryer and iron it. This should remove most of the shrinkage and leave you with crisp clean fabric.

What if I don't want to do all this work?

Hemp Traders is fully equipped to finish the hemp fabric to fit our customer's needs. We have the capability to provide dyeing, softening, shrinkage, brushing, washing, printing, water resistance treatment and more. We only require a minimum of 200 yards. Hemp Traders can also refer our customers directly to the dye houses who perform these functions.