Our Hemp

 Hemp & the Hmong Hill Tribes

Purple Ladies

Our hemp is sourced directly from the Hmong Hill Tribe farmers of Northern Thailand who have been cultivating and processing hemp for thousands of years. It is literally the fabric of their society.

Batik Art: After handling hemp fiber, the Hmong meticulous decorated the fabric with wax. the fabric is then dyed and the wax revealing their designs, which are expressions of the cosmos. Many similar patterns are expressed in indigenous cultures in the Americas such as the Shipibo-Conibo. The Hmong are said to be Animists, believing everything is part of spirit.

Ceremony: They also use hemp in their life event ceremonies, such as births, marriages, and death. The Hmong believe the hemp will protect them in when crossing dimensions into the afterlife, and make their death suits our of it.

Traditional Processing

in the fieldAgriculture: The Hmong grow hemp on hillsides without irrigation or pesticides and use only hand tools.

Fiber: After harvest, the hemp is processed by hand with low tech equipment into long strands of fiber. Depending on the intended end product, the fiber may be threshed, beaten, and boiled to soften.

Handlooming: Hempy Scrubby & our shawls are hand-loomed by the women of the the tribes.

Natural Dyes: All of the dyes used in our products are made from plants and resins sustainably wild crafted from their local forests. For example, indigo, mango bark, lac resin, and more.

Modern Dilemma

The Hmong are sovereign tribes, meaning they are independent of any nation, and they own their own land. Recently, as more tribes want to be able to participate in the economy and earn money, they have started growing cash crops for big agricultural corporations. This often means pesticide intensive corn and rice, which makes them little and leaves them less in terms of health and prosperity. In many circumstances, the tribes lose their land when they become indebted to corporations.

Ethical Trading

unnamed-4Hill Tribe Hemp creates a demand for the traditional hemp craft of the Hmong farmers. This enables them to continue their eco-friendly farming practices and preserve their land and their sovereignty. We ensure that everyone involved in the processing of Hill Tribe Hemp products, from seed to scrubby, are compensated with a fair living wage.

The Hmong are spread out throughout all of South East Asia’s mountains, including Lous, Vietnam, Thailand, Burma, Southern China, etc. We currently support over 65 family farmers in Northern Thailand. With your support, we will be able to expand to support more and more families throughout the region.