Hemp for Children
Hemp Cloth Diapers
Buzfuz Diapers: hemp/cotton
Hemp is so much more than just the fabric of flags, the original Levi’s jeans, and the paper on which the Declaration of Independence was drafted. Hemp grows well in a variety of climates without the massive amount of pesticides used on conventional cotton and with a higher yield than the average forest. Hemp seeds are a nutritious food additive. The oil from hemp seeds is used widely in food as well as in cosmetics. Hemp oil can even be used to grease machines. The crushed hulls can even be used to brew beer. The fibers can be used to make fine linens, soft diapers, renewable paper, and tough shoes, as well as heavy rope, sails, awnings, fiberboard, and garden mulch. Its antimicrobial properties make hemp a great choice for outdoor applications—and wet situations like diapering.
In Summer 2005, current legislation made hemp a hot topic in the U.S. Contact your local representatives to let them know that you want them to support changing the definition of industrial hemp, which will remove the federal prohibition against hemp agriculture. Vote Hemp makes it easy for you to get involved with this issue now. The North American Industrial Hemp Council provides a long list of hemp facts.
[SEM image of 100% hemp at 250x magnification copyright 2000 Marc Pehkonen.]
Hemp for Children
There are fewer hemp resources specifically created for children. A good approach would be to look at the historical uses of hemp in North America, from the hemp farming of the Founding Fathers (including Thomas Jefferson’s hemp paper used to draft the Declaration of Independence), to the heavy hemp denim pants worn by the 49ers during the Gold Rush, to the Hemp for Victory campaign of World War II. Children could also test some of the claims of hemp’s strength and resistance to mildew by subjecting the fibers to scientific experiments.
Why Choose Hemp for Diapers?
Hemp does not need so much water and attention as cotton does in cultivation. Hemp is particularly absorbent, and has antimildew properties. That is a great plus for an item of clothing that will likely sit wet for several days before it is washed. Despite the ease of growth and breadth of uses for industrial hemp (or perhaps because of it), industrial hemp is not grown commercially in the U.S. at this time.
But 100% hemp can be a bit too rough for a baby's bottom. Most hemp fabric suitable for diapers is hemp blended with cotton, taking on many of the properties of cotton, including its softness. One of the big drawbacks of the hemp/cotton blends most readily available in the U.S. is the cultivation and processing of the fibers is not so easy to see. Many of these blended fabrics come from China. How well are the farm laborers paid? How about those who process the fibers and operate the knitting machines and the looms? Hemp itself is a fine fiber to use in diapers, but if you are looking to make the chain between the production and use shorter, this is not the best fiber to use until there is more hemp cultivated and processed closer to you. This could happen soon. See Firefly Diapers organic cloth diaper blog for more info. Sustainability does not stop at the environment. It is important to choose socially sustainable fibers, too.
Buzfuz cloth diapers: Hemp / Cotton blend
Fuzbaby made hemp/cotton Buzfuz diapers for several years before limiting our production to domestically produced organic cotton. Buzfuz hemp/cotton diapers were a customer favorite. See our Diaper Art Gallery for hemp/cotton diapers from the Fuzbaby past.