Interview with Rachele Invernizzi – CEO of South Hemp Tecno srl and Vice President of Federcanapa, the Italian association for industrial hemp
By Kohan Textile Journal
Well if you think that hemp captures 14 tons of Co2 per hectare, no chemicals are used and little water is needed, it is an annual plant… it already speaks for itself, HEMP is a great plant for fashion and not only, also for the future.
About South Hemp Srl, history and success story:
SHT is a project that we are carrying out in southern Italy, a company that owns a medium capacity line for the decortication of hemp straw, increasingly focusing on the production of fiber for the textile industry.
We have been working with the agriculture of the territory since the end of 2014, in our supply chain, we divulge an ethical way of practicing agriculture encouraging crop rotations that serve to improve the soil with a natural cycle, hemp is grown organically.
The supply chain extends between central and southern Italy, we work with 500 hectares and the goal is to dedicate all agricultural production, to fiber, in our region, Puglia, to make the production more sustainable, avoiding the road trip for many km. Working with hemp straw is not easy, studying it and improving the performance of the machines to obtain excellent raw materials is our focus, work in progress.
What is your range of products in South Hemp?.
The goal is to process 4/5,000 tons of hemp straw per year, over two work cycles, for the moment we are at a work cycle of 8 hours. The fiber is 20/25 % of the outside of the hemp stalk, the rest inside is wood.
Why hemp fibers are important?
Hemp fiber is important in various sectors, not only in textiles. Many materials are made from hemp fiber. And also for textile fiber there are more uses depending on the yarn count… Which industries need this precious plant?
The hemp plant can be used for almost everything, it feeds us, dresses us, lives in it, hemp is cosmetics, paper, pet food, oils and paints, graphene, bio building and bioplastics and who knows how much I am forgetting to list
What is Hemp plant role in the textile industry?
Well, hemp, today, we are in 2020, is essential to replace synthetic fibers and even cotton in part, the production of hemp is sustainable, the one of cotton is polluting. Hemp fiber is antiseptic, heat-regulating, it can be heavy or very light, it is cool in summer and warm in winter … you can make sheets, curtains, wall coverings and supplies, technical sports fashion and elegant fashion.
Please explain more about the usage of hemp plant in the textile and apparel industry.
We are in Europe, where the big names in world fashion create collections, we need to have a European production of controlled origin and quality because the demand is there and the growth will be exponential.
If today hemp fabric is more expensive than cotton, with the spread of cultivation the offer will grow, the price will decrease and it will be accessible to everyone. The market is waiting for fashion made of hemp fiber, it is incredibly durable and super comfortable to wear it.