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Welcome back to FABRIC INSIGHT, a series delving into the background of Engineered Garments fabrics. This time, the focus is on Olive Cotton Hemp Satin, a primitive yet sophisticated fabric.

Hemp, one of the world's oldest textiles, is derived from the stalks of Cannabis sativa. Known for its exceptional tensile strength and durability, hemp's association with psychoactive properties limited its use in clothing over the past century.

Hemp cultivation likely began in China, spreading to Europe by the 16th century for fiber and food. It was first grown in the New World in Chile in 1545 and brought to New England by the Puritans in 1645.

Like linen, jute, and flax, hemp comes from the plant's stem as bast fiber. The hemp stalk has two layers: an outer layer of rope-like bast fibers and an inner woody pith, with only the outer layer suitable for textiles.

After stripping the bast fibers from the hemp plant, the material is ready for processing into rope or yarn. Due to its strength, hemp rope was historically the premier choice for maritime rigging and sails. There is only one significant variety of hemp fabric, though its quality, feel, and texture may vary by manufacturer.

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Processed hemp fabric has a rough texture, somewhere between cotton and canvas. It resists shrinkage and pilling. While a typical cotton T-shirt warps after the first few washes and only lasts around ten years, a hemp T-shirt may last double or triple that time. Hemp fabric softens with each wash and remains durable even after dozens of washings.

In addition, hemp is lightweight and highly breathable, facilitating moisture passage from the skin. It is easy to dye and highly resistant to mold, mildew, and potentially harmful microbes.

The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 regulated hemp to control marijuana production. During World War II, a government program boosted hemp production as a substitute for abaca and jute. After the war, production declined and ceased in 1958.

In the United States, the 2014 Farm Bill permitted research on hemp farming, and the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 reclassified hemp (with less than 0.3% THC) from a Schedule I controlled substance, legalizing its cultivation and reviving its distribution as an agricultural product.

Engineered Garments' Olive Cotton Hemp Satin combines the comfort of cotton with the endurance and tensile strength of hemp, resulting in a textile that shrinks less, retains dye longer, and softens with each wash.

An Italian mill specializing in military fabrics produced the fabric, explaining its distinctive construction and piece-dyed olive color. The fabric, made from staple fibers (as opposed to filament fibers like silk or nylon), is technically sateen, not satin. The sateen construction, one of the three fundamental weaves: plain weave, twill weave, and sateen weave use at least four weft yarns over each warp yarn, refracting less light and giving the facing of the fabric a sheen. The Olive Cotton Hemp Satin uses the reverse side for a more casual look, showcasing thicker yarns and creating a distinctive texture.

Olive Cotton Hemp Satin represents a harmonious blend of ancient and modern textile practices, juxtaposing chic Italian construction with military roots. It captures Engineered Garments' designer Daiki Suzuki's uniquely para philosophy of tall but short, light but dark, small but large.

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The Engineered Garments Olive Cotton Hemp Satin is featured in the production of the following items for Spring Summer 2024:
Bedford Jacket, Loiter Jacket, Fowl Vest, Bontan Pant, Painter Pant, Officer Pant, Over Pant, Fatigue Pant, Fatigue Short, FA Short, Bucket Hat