Canada-based Naturally Advanced Technologies Inc. (NAT) — a developer of proprietary technology to
process bast fibers including industrial hemp for use in casual apparel, performance yarns,
advanced composites, biopolymers, industrial filters and absorbent pulp and paper products — has
completed trials of its Crailar® organic fibers technology.
The trials were sponsored by Winston-Salem, N.C.-based innerwear, outerwear and hosiery
manufacturer and marketer Hanesbrands Inc. and were conducted at Raleigh, N.C.-based North Carolina
State University’s (NCSU’s) College of Textiles. Industrial hemp blended yarn was carded and
ring-spun using conventional cotton equipment without modifications and knitted into fabric,
demonstrating that NAT’s 100-percent organic system will enable industrial hemp to enter mainstream
apparel production using a traditional cotton knitting system.
“Crailar’s success on the cotton system elevates hemp fiber from a niche market to the
mainstream cotton market through the traditional supply chain, which enables mass production,” said
Ken Barker, CEO, NAT. “Crailar employs a simple, efficient, 100-percent organic, enzyme bath and
scales easily to leverage the global industrial hemp industry. In addition, Crailar Organic Fiber
will be cost-comparable to organic cotton. Therefore, Crailar enables the transformation of hemp
into a better sustainable alternative to organic cotton.”
Crailar technology makes use of industrial hemp’s natural properties, including tensile
strength, thermoregulation, antimicrobial and abrasion resistance. Industrial hemp cultivation does
not require the use of pesticides or herbicides; it flourishes in cool climates; is
drought-tolerant; benefits the soil; and supports the elimination of greenhouse gases.
November 18, 2008