Hemp Viscose vs. Raw Hemp

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Along our diligent process in constructing a basic lightweight t-shirt using a natural and sustainable fiber such as hemp, we've worked with a variety of Hemp jersey fabric that we felt would make something that resembles a classic Fruit-of-a-Loom tee that daniel had worn earlier on in life, but with some fitting tweaks: more neck space; airier; lighter & more relaxed.  After six long months into the process--we are a bit slow because neither one of us are clothes maker by trade--just when we thought we've tried all the hemp jersey fabrics (the kind often used to make tees) from the limited hemp textile vendors around the world, we were then offered a different hemp jersey option that was claimed to be 100% hemp that really caught our attention.

Classic Hemp T-Shirts
heather grey fruit of a loom tee

This new fabric was everything we wanted it to be, light, consistent in its weave, stretchy, sturdy, and naturally fresh looking all-the-while looking really good after the wash.  However, we were a bit skeptical because the fabric had almost too much stretch to it which made us suspect that it carried some form of elastic.  Also, it had this kinda sheen that reminded us of Rayon, a synthetic version of silk that got many people in the textile world hyped when it was first introduced some years ago.  Because of this skepticism, we kept bugging our vendor for a certificate of authenticity to see if it's truly 100% hemp and after they had handed it over, we were able to confirm our suspicions that it wasn't the traditional raw hemp that we were used to.  Instead, it was something modified and labeled as VISCOSE HEMP.  

If you don't know what Viscose is, a bit of research on Google will give you more than enough info.  After doing just that, this is our super simple interpretation of what Viscose Hemp is (here's an elaborate illustration should you be interested in knowing more: https://oecotextiles.wordpress.com/category/fibers/viscose/). 

Take hemp fibers, break it down to a gel-like liquid state using chemicals such as Sodium Hydroxide & Carbon Disulfate--both considered bad for the environment.  From here, it is shaped into really small fibers by forcing it thru really small holes.  Because this gel dries to a fishline like state (but much finer) the moment it makes contact with air, you can then roll these fibers in a spool to be later used for its intended purpose, such as spinning thread.  To better understand this, you can watch this short vintage video on how Viscose Wood (Rayon) is made.  The process in this video we believe is just like that of Viscose hemp and Viscose bamboo whereas the difference is simply wood vs. hemp vs. bamboo, respectively.  CLICK HERE to watch it.

hemp viscose supporters

Jung Maven Hemp Viscose Tee.  Click image to visit their shop if you are looking for some viscose tees or more hemp tees in general!

Speaking of bamboo, if you remember the early days of bamboo fibers when it was first introduced, like hemp, it didn't receive enough positive feedback to thrive for textile purposes because it wasn't soft enough.  Additionally, the fibers size & quality wasn't consistent enough to use in a controllable manner.  Shortly after being rejected as a superior textile fiber, it was re-introduced in the form of Viscose and was beloved by so many in the industry... that is until people started realizing how harmful the Viscose process can be for the environment as well as the workplace where it is made.  


How is Viscose Hemp Made?

Synthetics in the form of fibers and other resources when made from toxic substances, we believe to have a disharmonious vibration relative to our very own natural genetic vibration.  I'd like to describe this vibration as a rhythm, beats for seconds for example, no different than the frequency of the planets rotation about the Sun or the beating organs operating in concert with one another to complete our bodies' tasks.  However, being that our bodies and nature at large are incredibly resilient, some consumption of it, be it food or clothes, can only do so much harm.  It is only when the majority of our clothes and food consumed, unconsciously over a longer period of time, that really makes a lasting effect on our bodies and health. 

That said, we believe that it doesn't mean that man cannot make cheaper synthetic fibers and foods that are simultaneously harmless to our bodies and environment.  It'll just take some insights to postpone short-term bigger gains and having the patience to reap the rewards in the longer run.  Due to today's business models of pleasing the investors with obscene +++ percentages year over year, this makes it difficult to do or even see worthwhile.  I suppose that's why most small businesses that are environmentally & health-conscious like us are motivated to be here.

The Hemp Cooperative raw hemp tee.  U can click the above image to visit their site.

Anyhow, after positively testing the Viscose fibers, we were very hopeful that Viscose Hemp could be that magical method that makes hemp textiles more dynamic and superior.  Likewise, the Viscose Bamboo yoga pants that Brittanny had purchased for me some years ago (from Rawganique.com) also proved to be harmless to wear, even extremely comfortable.  Despite all this, we cannot neglect the harmful effects that the chemicals--mentioned above--used in the Viscose process are known to have on the people and environment that produces them.  For that reason, we're going to move forward with the design of our Hemp Basic Undie Tee using a jersey fabric that is weaved from Hemp and Organic Cotton in its traditional form from HempTraders.com. 

To test our Hemp Tee and help us with a product feedback, feel free to use the following coupon code during checkout: HempTeeFeedback15.  Tees are made in limited supply and coupon expires after we've received sufficient reviews.  Click here for the 3-pack.  If you have any questions or useful content about the Viscose Hemp process that will enlighten us and our readers on this topic, please feel free to comment below. 



UPDATE: Since mid 2016, we completed the Hemp Undie Tee that we had been working on for a while to get the fit right for both genders. It's designed to be classic, yet with touches of modern. The neck is U-neck; the fabric is sturdy yet lightweight / airy; the shirt in color natural is un-dyed whereas the black color shirts are dyed in Los Angeles w/ a low impact dye that doesn't use harsh chemicals to bind the colors like normal synthetic dyes.  You can purchase them in the box above and be sure to size down one size for the ladies.


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  • Although I certainly support the ecological motivations described in this post, I prefer real hemp fiber in clothing over rayon or hemp viscose because of the feel. The synthetics feel sort of slimy to me. Also, they smell better when worn and they wear in more attractively.
    Michael Christian on
  • Hi Michael! Being that most things we make are done so supporting domestic businesses and higher quality, our cost makes it difficult for us to offer wholesale without overpricing our retailing customers. However, we are beginning to make a higher quantity of hemp socks that is allowing us to wholesale. If you’re interested, please reach out to us: Shop@ilovebad.com. Perhaps we can start there, maintain a working relationship and work towards putting ourselves in position to collaborate further. Looking forward to hear from you. Also, please share your store website if you have one so we can visit/shop/support. Thanks Michael! <3 daniel

    daniel on
  • Do you offer blank wholesale “non-viscose” hemp or hemp/cotton tee shirts

    Michael Haley on

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