Hemp: From Forest to Fabric/Fashion
As an eco-friendly, sustainable, and versatile fiber alternative, hemp fiber has been in use in Nepal since time immemorial. It is often mistaken for marijuana as the two are from the same cannabis plat and both of these have greater degree of resemblance. But this fiber is extracted from the species of Cannabis Sativa (has fibrous bark), while marijuana comes from a different species Cannabis Indica (has woody stems), cultivation of which is illegal in most countries including Nepal.
Cannabis Sativa mostly grows in the wild in high hills of Nepal with temperate climatic condition from 1500-3500m above sea level. Since it is an annual plant, it is harvested when it gets fully matured from October to December depending on climate. Its slim stalks are cut right at the ground level, left to wither and shed leaves for a few days and retted in water for a couple of days or three to soften them. Then the fibrous barks are extracted, coated with fine clay, sundried for a few days and beaten with large sticks/peddle to further soften the fiber. Then the yarn is spun and it is boiled in wood ash and water in a large cauldron to soften and remove any impurities and germs. Next, it is washed and sundried again. Sometimes spinning the yarn is done after the fiber is boiled in ash water. The hemp threads are transported to the cities for weaving them into fabric by using handloom, not power loom. The fabrics of various thickness, textures and sizes are then used to make into a wide variety of products. The whole process is done manually and without the use of any chemicals.
The people mostly harvest the wildly grown hemp, but a fistful of people have even started commercial farming lately. It is mainly done mid- and far-western hill districts of Nepal such as Rolpa and Rukum, Salyan, Pyuthan, Darchula, Bajhang, Bajura, Dailekh, Jajarkot. Rukum and Rolpa Districts are not only the hemp capital in Nepal but also the epicenter of a decade-long Maoist insurgency that started in 1996 and cost 17,000 lives and a lot of infrastructural destruction. The so-called civil war worst affected the local indigenous ethnic communities, especially Magar in these two districts and left a lot of widows, orphans and handicapped as a result. Now the same communities are trying to make a decent living through hemp fiber extracting. Among them involved in this occupation, more than 90% are women who have limited or no other income-generating work (Fair Pay Rate) As each of these hemp products comes in this form as a result of unparalleled toil of those industrious people, so we ensure they get a fair share of every penny you pay for these products. Along with the popularity of hemp fabrics and fashion accessories in the domestic and international markets, there has been a visible change in positively transforming the lives of such people in those remote Himalayan hamlets.
Needless to reiterate the environmental benefits of using such wild hemp fibers which don’t cost any energy, irrigation, pesticides and human resources until the time of harvest. Compared to its competitor cotton, hemp fiber has more than twice the yielding in the same area of land. On top of that, hemp fabric is many times more durable, stretchable, and moisture-absorbent and has quick drying properties.
The Eco Friendly Organic Wild Hemp Yoga Mat is 100% Handmade, Natural and Biodegradable, Non- Slip and Machine Washable. It is suitable for Multipurpose use.
The Yoga Mat is made from one-layer Organic Hemp and 2 layers cotton. The mat doesn't have a smell and It is larger than a normal size mat.
It is sold with a good size Yoga bag as well.
Yoga Mat Size: 200cm x 77cm x 0.7cm - 1.7kg.
Yoga Bag- size 85cm x 13 cm, with a phone pocket on the outside.
The hemp yoga mat is suitable for machine wash - 30% -40% with warm water. For best result and long-lasting experience, we would advise the product to be washed by hand, in soapy water and rinsed with warm water and leave it to dry it in an airy place, naturally without a dryer.
Enjoy the product!