Hemp is a fiber, like linen, with a very long history. Traces of hemp fibers and fabric have been found all across the world including in China, Egypt, Russia, Europe, and India. The Vikings carried it to Iceland. It was used for clothing, rope and paper through the ages. Hemp was grown in the US by the original settlers in Jamestown, VA and parts of the original colonies fined farmers if they didn't grow it. Because hemp is related to the cannabis favored by people wanting to get high, it was outlawed in the US during the 20th century. It is now legal again to grow it in this country and new weavers and knitters have rediscovered it usefulness.
My first attempt at weaving with hemp was to do a run of face cloths. Hemp is very similar to flax/linen in how it is grown, processed and used. I'm very pleased with the result. These face cloths have the same great hand as the linen ones we weave. They feel wonderful on your face because they are just a bit more exfoliating than a normal wash cloth, they wash well and will last for a very long time.
The only issue with using hemp to weave with is the lack of various colors and weights of yarn. Linen is available in a multitude of colors and weights, hemp, not so much. I'm sure the available colors and textures of hemp yarn will only increase as more people weave with it. I ordered natural and bleached hemp for my warp and what few colors I could find for the weft. In the end I dyed several batches of the warp yarn in indigo and with mud dyes to broaden my range of available colors.
I'm pleased with the result. These should last as well as the linen face cloths and look great. Like our linen face cloths, these come with a bar of goats milk soap.