Friday, September 15, 2006
COTTONISATION OF HEMP
Over the years, BioRegional of the UK has been working with hemp varieties to create a green decorticated, cottonised fibre that will work with the existing machinery in Western Europe. For this they envision cutting fibres to 2mm.
This quest has been going on for centuries, there is a record of such attempts made on hemp and/or flax, published in the Swedish Transactions of 1747, although they were not successful. Further unsuccessful researches were made by: Lady Moira, 1775; Baron Meidingen, 1777; Haag, 1778; Kreutzer, 1801; Globelli, 1803; Stadlter, Haupfer and Segalla,1811; Sokou, 1816; Claussen in 1851. A Col. Jonathan Knowles of the US patented his work on cottonisation after Claussen, and further American attempts were published in 1861, under the auspices of the Fibrila Co. In their book they ominously wrote: "...whether these are of value or not, the public can judge, and time will disclose."
Their work was partly written to give the North a chance to use hemp and flax, and appeared shortly before the Civil War. Perhaps political circumstances were not kind to their enterprise, or maybe it just did not work out, meeting the same fate as their predecessors. 145 years on we are now watching yet another attempt, and this time we hope it will bear fruit.