Hemp has long been one of my favourite fabrics to use in cloth nappies, but it can be a bit tricky to get it right, so here are our helpful hemp hints, to help you get the most out of your hemp nappy inserts.
When to use hemp
We’ll start our hemp hints with when to use hemp: Hemp is super absorbent, and so it makes a fantastic insert for night nappies. You can of course use it during the day, but as it is hard to dry, I tend to only use it for night times. We currently use hemp boosters in our night time version of the dinky nappy, because they add a great level of absorbency to the nappy, without being too bulky. Hemp is often compared to bamboo in terms of absorbency, and while some people say that they haven’t noticed any difference, I certainly find hep the more absorbent of the two. You can get whole nappies made out of hemp too, although the length of time that they take to dry, and the fact that they can get a little stiff, has always put me off fitted hemp nappies.
One of the great things about hemp is how absorbent it is, sadly this also makes it hard to dry. One of my biggest hemp hints would be to always make sure that it has dried properly. It is easy to think that hemp is dry, when it isn’t actually quite fully dry, and this is when you tend to get smells with it. With use hemp begins to get quite stiff, so after making sure that it’s fully dry, it’s a good idea to scrunch it up a bit and maybe even hit it against something hard like a chair or table to soften it a little.
Preparing hemp hints
Unlike other inserts, hemp can take quite a while to reach full absorbency, so we have some preparing hemp hints to get it ready to use. As with most fibres you will need to prewash before use, unlike other fibres though, hemp has natural oils that you need to start to remove to get the fabric upto absorbency. Usually I recommend that you prewash your hemp items on warm, with a soap powder to start this process. You can soak over night in cold water, but I don’t think that this removes as much of the oils doing it this way. When you prewash bamboo or cotton fibres, all that you are removing are the starches and conditioners that are added during manufacture, only hemp has these natural oils. Although you can start using your hemp as soon as you have removed the oils, it will take anywhere up to ten washes to get the hemp inserts up to full absorbency, so you will find that it gets better the more that you use them.
Do you have any hemp hints that you’d like to share?