More rugged than cotton denim, yet looks and feels like linen
Orvis Hemp fabric is constructed of 100% hemp fibers – which are longer (each a foot long or greater, compared to 2-4" for the best cotton fibers) and stronger than cotton—woven together using a unique cross-weave technology. Hemp fibers are hollow so the fabric has the same cooling properties as linen. Each fiber moves heat and moisture away from the body. As a result, it breathes as well as linen and better than cotton yet is more durable than either—in fact, it’s 26 times stronger than cotton. All this in a fabric that resists wrinkling, is machine washable and dryer safe, and the easiest of the natural fabrics to care for and clean.
Hemp: tough enough for Old Ironsides
The U.S.S. Constitution, launched in 1797, was outfitted with 8 miles of running and 6.6 miles of standing rigging—14.6 miles of hemp tarred cordage that carried Old Ironsides through 30 battles at sea without a defeat.
In those days, hemp was the strongest possible roping material available. Hemp fibers are much longer than other fibers, such as cotton, and longer fibers make stronger rope. Resistant to UV damage, hemp stayed strong in the harsh conditions common at sea. Hemp fibers were first woven into long strands and then woven by hand into long continuous lengths in unique buildings called ropewalks. When the U.S.S. Constitution was virtually rebuilt from 1927 to 1931, a steam-powered rope-making complex at the Charlestown Navy Yard was still able to manufacture the ancient-style four-stranded hemp shroud-laid cordage required for the warship’s standing rigging. America’s only remaining full-length ropewalk, this stone structure stretches one-quarter mile long.
Garments woven from hemp owe their strength to the fiber itself—with fiber lengths of a foot or more, it betters the average cotton fiber, which measures only about 3/4" long. Longer fibers make stronger yarn. Stronger yarn makes stronger garments.