Saturday, July 23, 2011

Spinning Hemp

Hi, I thought I'd do another quick post on hemp today. Yesterday I listed 8oz of hemp in the shop and it got snatched up. Most of it is winging its way to Sweden right now. I have to order and dye some more because it really is a cool fiber.

A couple years ago, I made two YouTube videos All About Hemp Roving and Spinning Hemp. Back in those days, I was using a little flip camera, so I apologize for the low resolution. You kind of have to crank the volume too. In spite of the amateur video production, you can still get a closer look at hemp roving and see how it handles.

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of hemp is hemp jewelry. That may be true for you as well, but hemp is getting more and more popular among fiber artists. A lot of spinners like to add hemp to their wool batts for the texture it provides. It also makes a cool core fiber. When you spin a singles of hemp, it turns into that hemp cord you see at the craft stores. In my video I say that you almost don't need to set the twist. The truth is, you really don't. I like to give all of my handspun a final soak, but it really isn't necessary with hemp. When you used it as a core fiber it creates a strong yarn that's great for rug weaving or more structural pieces.

Hemp roving can also be used for other crafts. You can tease the fibers apart and use them in paper making, small amounts can be worked into nuno felt and in general, it can be a handy embellishment for scrapbooks and other handicrafts. Here I am talking about hemp when I'm down to just a couple ounces in the shop. I still have 1oz of Fire Red, 1oz of Azalea and 1oz of dye free. When I get more in stock, I'll be sure to let you know!

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