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23rd April 2010, Portland, OR

Hemp fibres could be used in fine gauge garments

Naturally Advanced Technologies Inc. (NAT) has concluded further trials which it says prove the quality and volume capabilities of its Crailar hemp fibres and expands applications to include tee-shirts and finer gauge knit garments.

The company recently conducted full scale commercial processing trials in Germany that were then replicated at the G.J. Littlewood & Son processing facility in Pennsylvania. According to NAT, final verification of the effectiveness of the processing protocols established during the past two months was evident during spinning trials that were successfully concluded last week at Patrick Yarns in Kings Mountain, North Carolina. In addition, the trials have confirmed the effectiveness of the Crailar process on other bast fibres such as flax, the company says.

NAT says it can now spin Crailar organic fibres into commercial grade yarns with counts as high as 1/20s and blends of up to 50% Crailar and the results also create the opportunity to manufacture commercial volumes of finer yarn weights blended with 80% cotton and 20% Crailar. The successful spinning expands the commercialization potential for Crailar beyond its current applications to include heavier knits such as socks and fleece to finer knits such as Tee-shirts.

Following the achievement of spinning the 50/50 cotton/ Crailar blend and the newly tested Crailar flax/ cotton blend, Patrick Yarns is said to have found success spinning fibres suitable for everything from carpet to upholstery and denim to outerwear.

"The trials demonstrate a significant breakthrough in environmentally sustainable yarns," said Gilbert Patrick, CEO of Patrick Yarns. "These successful trials continue to open a door of many industry possibilities for apparel and textile yarns."

Crailar Organic Fibers are made from hemp, which is known as a sustainable crop. The ultra-strong hemp fibres are transformed through the all-natural Crailar process, which is said to preserve their tensile strength while enhancing their texture and feel.


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