Hemp has been used by humankind throughout the centuries. Hemp comes from the eastern part of the world and has a history of use in the east of over 12000 years. It has many names: Ma in Chinese, Taima in Japanese and Ganja in Hindi/ Nepali. It is one of the most versatile plants in the world, and can be turned into 24,000 products. Hemp was used extensively in the textile industry. The English and the American Navy used to make sails from hemp and almost 85 per cent of the ropes used in the world were hemp. Paper, textile, oil, rope, soap, wax, resin, and fuel are some of the things that can be made from hemp.
Hemp can grow almost anywhere and will bring exhausted soil back to the right PH level. In a country like Nepal hemp is very useful as it can grow on steep land where irrigation is not possible. Hemp grows very quickly, without any pesticides or insecticides and can rely on just the rains from above to water it. Hemp is very important plant for Nepal as there are vast expanses where nothing else can be grown.
During the turn of the century, it was found that cotton sails on ships made made them go faster, and cotton became one of the most cultivated crops in the world. These days when there is excessive use of fossil fuels and the chemicals used on cotton fields, hemp is on many peoples minds, and today you can find a lot more products being made from hemp. At WildWeaves we mix hemp with cotton, silk, and now nettle: hemp is incredibly versatile and can combine with other natural fibres to make products that are great to touch and gentle on mother earth.
Hemp seeds have been used as a food in Nepal for centuries. I grew up eating hemp seed pickle made by my mother. The hemp seed and the oil from it contains a high percentage of EFA (essential fatty acids) such as omega3 and omega6. The hemp seed also contains amino acids, including many that are essential to the human body, but which the body cannot produce. Of course our ancestors in Nepal seemed to know all this and ate a lot of hemp seeds. Even these days, you will not find many hemp seed products coming out from Nepal as the seeds are used for food there. The seeds are very good for dry skin conditions and help treat dry skin conditions such as eczema. The seeds can be made into milk-like soya milk and can be eaten this way too. These days you will find many companies using hemp seeds in baking and cooking. We will endevour to bring you more products made from hemp seed oil.
Hemp is also used in bank notes to give them strength. The American Declaration of Independance was also written on hemp paper. Most people in the hills of Nepal used to wear hemp clothes and use hemp ropes and mats. Hemp is becoming increasingly popular as people find out the many uses of the plant and the negativity created to make the cannabis plant illegal and allow other products take more of its market share erodes. Today hemp is again being used to make building materials, composites, food, fibre, animal bedding, clothing and other goods, paper as well as plastics, fuel, and for purifying the soil and water.
At WildWeaves, we bring you various hemp products mainly from Nepal to create work for the people in the difficult middle hills and to let the next generation know how important it is to carry on using this versatile plant in Nepal. In Nepal hemp is retted using tradional methods and using no chemicals. The hemp that grows in the middle hills is not only organic but completely wild. We hope this information will help you to understand why we use hemp in many of our products and use them with the surety that you are helping the environment and the planet.