Last week, NZ Yarn Ltd announced its new strategic shareholder and business partner – Hemp New Zealand Ltd.
NZ Yarn Ltd manufactures wool spun yarns for the carpet industry worldwide. As for Hemp New Zealand Ltd, well, we’re not sure about its activities up to this point. However, the firm has been around for a while, with the New Zealand Companies Office showing it was incorporated back in 2008.
Under the partnership agreement, Hemp New Zealand has acquired a 15% interest in NZ Yarn. Furthermore, the company will construct a hemp fibre processing facility within the NZ Yarn factory, which is located in Burnside, Christchurch.
The facility will separate hemp stalks into fibre and hurd. Hemp fibre can be woven and used in yarn systems. The hurd, which is the woody core material of the industrial hemp plant, can be used in multiple applications, particularly in the construction industry.
“There are many, many consumer and industrial uses for both hemp fibre and hurd,” said Dave Jordan, chief executive of Hemp New Zealand. “We’re extremely excited about partnering with NZ Yarn and initially developing hemp and wool yarn blends which will provide consumers with a wider variety of products made from natural fibres.”
NZ Yarn chairman Craig Carr says hemp and wool’s attributes are of huge importance given the negative environmental impact associated with synthetic fibres. Hemp also has advantages over other natural fibres such as cotton, with less inputs including pesticides and water required.
Hemp provides one of the strongest natural fibres (pictured above). Among its many positive attributes is it retains colour better than cotton when dyed, has anti-bacterial properties and offers excellent breathability. It’s already being used for everything stuffing furnishings to the production of high quality textiles.
Just about every part of the industrial hemp plant has value and purpose – either as fuel, fibre or medicine or food. However, different strains are grown for different purposes. It was only relatively recently that a ban on hemp seed foods in New Zealand was lifted.
“Overall, hemp can provide a very good return for both farmers and processors, as well as a high quality end product for the consumer,” says Mr. Jordan.
Learn more about hemp fibre production.