BabyKicks month is quickly coming to its end. Before it does, I thought we should discuss the hemp fabric that BK uses in their diapers’ inserts. BK uses 4-6 layers of a hemp/cotton blend in their Joey Bunz insert, which are compatible with many other brands of diapers as well as their own (6). But where does it come from? Why is it so often blended with cotton?
Hemp fabric comes from the plant, Cannabis. It is an environmentally friendly crop since it doesn’t require any pesticides, takes less water, and even deposits nitrogen back in the soil in which it was grown. This means that other crops grown in the same soil after the hemp is harvested will need less fertilizer to grow (3).
It’s popular because it’s strong, grows quickly (harvestable in 120 days (4)), has antibacterial properties, and absorbs a good deal of liquid (1 and 5). In a stress test against cotton, hemp held up better than its cotton counterpart. In fact, it was found to be four times more durable than cotton (3). This means that if you’re looking for a long-lasting diaper that can be passed from child to child, hemp is probably your best choice. And even better, hemp is one of those fabrics that will breath well in the summer keeping baby cool and help baby to stay warm in the winter, making it great to use year-round (4).
However, it’s also costly to use 100% hemp fabric. This is one reason you’ll find it mixed with cotton or other fabrics. Additionally, creating a 55%/45% blend of hemp and cotton helps the hemp to be softer against the skin (2)- an important attribute in a diaper, right?
Because the growth of the Cannabis plant is prohibited in the United States, since it also gives us the drug marijuana, hemp fabric is exported from other countries to the United States for diaper companies (and others) to use to make various items including baby wipes, diapers, and inserts (3). Some of the countries we get it from include Canada, France, and China (5).
So if you haven’t tried any hemp products yet, what’s stopping you?