Type: Natural fibre | Classification: Vegetable fibres | Sub-classification: From stem

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Fibre structure & physical properties

Fibre composition:


Diameter: 16 - 50 μm
Very fine: < 10 μm, Fine: < 20 μm, Medium: 20-50 μm, Course: > 50 μm

Length: Staple

Staple length: 40 mm - 2 m
short < 26 mm, medium 26-29 mm, long: 30-38 mm, extra long: 39 mm and over

Natural fibre colour: Yellowish grey to deep brown

Microscopic Images (Cross sectional and SEM):

Image source:

Mwaikambo, L Y, and Ansell, M P. “Mechanical Properties of Alkali Treated Plant Fibres and Their Potential as Reinforcement Materials. I. Hemp Fibres.” Journal of Materials Science 41.8 (2006): 2483-496. Web.


Irregular polygonal multicellular with small lumem and middle lamella

(CC) Sebastian Nordstrom
(CC) Sebastian Nordstrom
(CC) Sebastian Nordstrom
(CC) Sebastian Nordstrom


Smooth and cylindrical with a cross marking nodes, no lengthwise striations, broad lumen

Fibre properties (Mechanical, Chemical and Thermal)

Mechanical Properties

Tensile strength (cN/dtex) :

Chemical Properties

Hydrophobicity: Hydrophilic

Moisture regain (%): 12.4%

Thermal Properties

Flammability: Cellulosic fibres such as cotton, hemp jute etc. burns with a steady flame and smells like burning paper or leaves. The ash is greyish and easily crushed.

Sustainability considerations

End uses

Apparel: The primary use of hemp fabric is apparel, including dresses, skirts, pants, jackets, T-shirts, hoodies, and clothing for children.


Processing Hemp from the field to textile fibre [5m 59s]
Hemp | How To Make Everything: Suit [5m 52s]

Materials using this fibre

Additional resources

Taylor MA, 2004. Technology of Textile Properties. Third edition. Forbes Publications, London, UK.

Zhong Z and Xiao C, 2008. Fabric composition and testing. In: Fabric Testing. Ed: Hu, J. Woodhead Publishing Limited, Cambridge, UK.

ISO/TR 11827:2012 Textiles — Composition testing — Identification of fibres.

Houck, Max M. Identification of Textile Fibers. Cambridge : Boca Raton: Woodhead Pub. in Association with The Textile Institute ; CRC, 2009. Print.