How to Wash a Hemp Shirt: Keeping your THTC long-lasting

How to Wash a Hemp Shirt: Keeping your THTC long-lasting

Our last blog outlined how industrial hemp is one of our planet's most durable and resilient natural fibres. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't be taking care of it. It's well known that THTC t-shirts have a long lifespan - some of our customers have had theirs for over 15 years! You too, can have long-lasting clothing - if you wash hemp right. 

Taking care of your hemp garments is pretty straightforward. Many principles carry through to how you care for your other fabrics. Unlike clothing made with petroleum-based synthetic materials, which shed plastic microfibres every time they're washed, natural fibre textiles are safer for the environment. THTC's inks are water-based. We're in the process of moving the range away from plastisol inks, ensuring our t-shirts don't shed any nasty crap into the water system even when they're washed. 

Correctly cared for, your hemp shirt will become softer over time - and you'll be able to keep those designs as bright and vibrant as when you first got them. 

Hemp - Hand or Machine Wash?


Handwashing clothes in a bucket like your nanna - or just bung them in the washing machine? We often have little time for ourselves in today's overly consumerist world. While handwashing is always gentler on any fabric, most folks don't have time for that. Machine washing is acceptable. Unlike silk or other more delicate materials, hemp can take a spin on the chin, and you can wash them without damaging the fibres. 

Specifically for THTC hemp t-shirts, we recommend the following: 

Cold Wash: It's eco-friendly, and low-heat, gentle cycle washes are generally kinder to organic fibres. In addition, if you want to maintain the design, avoid high temperatures as they can break down pigments. When you wash cold, it also protects against shrinkage (although THTC hemp is pre-shrunk, so there shouldn't be too many problems)
Heavy Stains: You've been to the cinema and spilt spaghetti sauce and meatballs down your front, like a messy Charlie. When you get home, and before you tuck into the cat food, pop your top in warm water (avoid hot water). Use a mild, natural detergent for spot treatment. We recommend Ecover. Later, pop it in the wash.
Fabric Softener: Feel free to add this - but by and large, hemp doesn't really need it. The washing and wearing process helps hemp garments actually get softer over time. 

Bleaching: NEVER EVER EVER use chlorinated bleach or bleaching products to clean our t-shirts. Bleaches easily stain the hemp. This goes especially for our plain hemp - you don't want to wander around with a patchy hemp top. 

Dry Cleaning: You want to avoid dry cleaning with hemp clothing. The chemicals used can cause unequal shrinkage in the fabric. Keep your wash cycle all-natural, baby!

Getting Hemp Dry

Again, drying hemp is pretty straightforward - you just have to be sensible. 

Avoid Direct Heat: This goes for most natural fabrics. High heat settings on a tumble dryer and being laid on a radiator are bad for hemp fibres. 
Drip/Line Dry: Yes, it takes longer; yes, it takes up valuable space in your lounge, which could be better spent on an elaborate 6-person bong centrepiece - but be honest with yourself. Do you want friends or some sick and immortal hemp clothing? Yeah. Exactly. Dry them in the shade, out of direct sunlight, to avoid bleaching. You can pop them in for an occasional tumble dry, but avoid doing this frequently. High heat can weaken fibre integrity.
Ironing: LOL. If you're the kind of person, who irons their t-shirts, fair play to you. We usually avoid ironing because a) we're lazy, and b) incorrectly ironing a hemp t-shirt can damage the fibres and the print. Follow these three principles if you're an ironing nerd.
  • Use a medium-high heat
  • Iron damp - moisture helps get rid of wrinkles
  • Iron inside out - avoid direct contact between the iron and the print

Storing Hemp Fabrics


Fam - the washing isn't done until it's put away, didn't your Ma teach you owt? Storage is arguably the most essential part of this process because if you're stashing your hemp wrong, you're undoing all the other care you put into it. 

If you've got the space - hang your t's: They'll keep their shape longer and stay wrinkle-free. We recommend stealing wooden hangers from your nearest H&M or Primark. 
Avoid cedar-lined chests/cupboards: Until recently, we didn't know that cedar wood furniture can stain clothing. Learn from our mistakes.
Moth Resistance: Hemp fibre is naturally anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and more resistant to moth larvae. Although that's no excuse for not dusting regularly, you detty pig.  
Keep stored clothes out of direct sunlight: All fabrics usually fade due to UV radiation. While hemp is highly resistant to UV radiation, the prints are not. Keep them in a cupboard or drawers and not on your bedroom floor. 


Final words

Be a grown-up, and take care of the things you spend your money on. At THTC, we make clothes to last, so ensure you do your part to look after the shirt on your back. It'll serve you well and be a long-lasting badge of our little community. Making your clothes survive isn't just a way to save money. The 'reuse-repair-recycle' mindset can help us all live a more sustainable, less disposable society. Find the time to look after your clothes and yourself. 

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Why Hemp Clothing Should be Part of Every Woman's Wardrobe

Why Sustainable Fashion Is Now The Mainstream