Difference between linen and hemp

Suddenly, do you know the difference between linen and hemp? Do they both mean the same thing? Isn't hemp linen in English? Strictly speaking, neither is actually the correct answer. Therefore, this time, I will explain the difference under the title of "Difference between linen and hemp". We will also introduce the types of hemp and the characteristics of the fabric.

About the difference between linen and hemp

I think many people think that linen is hemp. If you look at the tags of the items you want to buy, such as clothing and kitchen accessories, you will see "100% linen" or "100% hemp". How is it different? Some people may think that. In fact, there is a big difference between these two materials. First, I will explain the difference between linen and hemp.

What is hemp?

Hemp is a "general term for fibers" collected from the inner fibers of the plant epidermis, which is said to have more than 20 types, or from the stems and trunks. This fiber is divided into "leather fiber" and "leaf vein fiber".

It is generally said that bast fibers are softer than vein fibers.
Types of bast fibers include linen, ramie, jute, western hemp, cannabis, and leaf vein fibers such as Manila hemp and sisal hemp. "Hemp" is a general term for all these types, and "hemp", "ramie", and "linen" are typical examples of hemp. Looking at its history in Japan, it is known that hemp (cannabis) had already grown in Japan in the early Jomon period, and that there are some archaeological sites where hemp has been excavated. In this way, hemp can be said to be a fiber that has been familiar to Japanese people for a long time.

Now, when considering hemp as a product, according to the Consumer Affairs Agency's website "Terms indicating the name of textiles", currently, Japanese textile products that can be labeled as "hemp" are flax (linen) and flax (linen). There are only two types (Rummy). From April 2017, in addition to the conventional labeling of hemp, it has become possible to label linen, flax, ramie, and ramie.

What is the difference between "100% linen" and "100% hemp"? There was a question. 100% hemp is 100% linen or 100% ramie and 100% linen / ramie.

What is linen?

Linen is a fiber made from the flax family "flax", and is a type of "leather fiber" that takes fiber from the stems and trunks of plants. Linen, which is called the "oldest fiber," has a long history, and is said to date back 10,000 years, and is said to be a representative fiber of hemp.

Linen is a plant fiber, but it is branded with place names such as "French linen" from France in the area where high quality processed products are produced. Since flax grows in relatively cold regions, it is also produced in parts of Hokkaido in Japan. It has many excellent features such as fine fibers that do not tingle when applied directly to the skin, high breathability and heat retention that can be used comfortably throughout the year, and increased strength when wet.

What are the types of hemp other than linen?

From the above, it was found that linen is "a kind of bast fiber in hemp". Here, I will explain about hemp other than linen. Let's see what kind of things there are along with each feature.

Linen or ramie is the only linen in Japan

Rummy is a fiber collected from the stem of a perennial plant of the Urticaceae family called Choma. As I mentioned a little above, it is one of the bast fibers like linen. Cultivation requires warm climatic conditions and moist land, with main production areas in China, Malay, the Philippines and Brazil.

The characteristics of Rummy are that it has the most glossiness, breathability, moisture absorption and desorption of natural fibers. It has the strength of yarn, which is said to be the strongest of all natural fibers, and the hard and strong ramie is resistant to washing many times. It also has the advantage that the strength of the fibers increases when it gets wet with water. The disadvantage is that it feels a little stiff when applied directly to the skin because it is a coarse and hard fiber. Also, the durability is weak and it may be torn.

Linen and this ramie are the only hemps written in Japan under the Household Goods Quality Control Law. Like linen, it is used in a wide range of applications such as clothing, bedding, and interiors such as curtains.

Abaca, also known as Manila hemp

There is also a type of hemp called abaca called Manila hemp. Abaca is a leaf vein fiber and is collected from a perennial plant called Basho family, which can reach up to 7 meters in height.

The main production areas are the tropical Philippines and Ecuador. Its main use is for marine ropes and rugs, taking advantage of its tough and elastic characteristics.

Jute, a fellow of hemp

A fiber called jute is also a member of hemp. In Bangladesh, one of the production areas, jute is called "golden thread".

In "International Business Matching" of JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization), there is a page that Bangladesh wants to export jute to Japan. Natural golden fiber jute is used in carpets, twine and jute bags.

Hemp produced in China and Russia

Hemp is an annual plant of the Moraceae family and is written as cannabis, and its main production areas are China and Russia. It is a very strong plant and can grow in 3 months without pesticides. The oldest is the cannabis fiber found in the remains of the Jomon period, which has been cultivated and used since ancient times in Japan.

Hemp has very fine fiber cells, so you can get the best soft touch. Therefore, like linen, it may be used for clothing, but hemp can only be described as linen and ramie, so when hemp is used, it is described as "non-designated fiber".
Now that we know that there are different types of hemp, let's get back to linen and hemp. Finally, I would like to introduce the characteristics of the fabric and what kind of products it is used for.

Introducing the characteristics of linen and linen fabrics

Linen and hemp have been used by many people from ancient times to the present day. There are several reasons why it has been popular for a long time. Let's introduce products using linen and hemp, along with their characteristics.

Introducing products using linen and hemp

There are so many products that use linen and hemp, and they are deeply involved in our lives.

The curation site "Kinarino", which is very popular with women, also introduces many linen products under the concept of "lovely and politely living". Let's take a look at typical products.

Clothing: One of the most familiar linen products is clothing. Linen is popular with people of all ages because it creates a nice atmosphere with any item, such as shirts, dresses, skirts, pants and stoles. Its comfortable to wear good texture, choose any color, including the Unbleached many color development of natural linen unique, reasonably perfect linen fashionable to disconnect the power. This kind of natural and self-assertive outfit will catch the hearts of linen fans.

Bed linen and towels: One of the great features of hemp is its "water absorption and wicking". Due to its function, linen is ideal for bed linen such as sheets, bedspreads and pillowcases. It absorbs and wicks sweat and moisture while you sleep, so you can maintain a smooth feeling. Bed linen is also popular because it provides a good night's sleep. In addition to its water-absorbing and divergent functions, it is also used in bath-related products such as towels and bath mats because it has a comfortable feel.

Kitchen: There are many products that take advantage of the characteristics of linen and linen in tablecloths, table mats, aprons, kitchen cloths and coasters. Linen products are used as formal tablecloths in restaurants of luxury hotels, and as a nice and easy-to-use material in ordinary households.

Introducing the characteristics of hemp fabric

Finally, I would like to introduce the characteristics of hemp fabric. Here are some excerpts, referring to the website of the Japan Hemp Spinning Association.

-Very strong fiber: The toughest natural fiber, which becomes even stronger when wet.

・ Crisp and taut: Combined with a cool contact feeling, you can get a refreshing feeling.

-Excellent heat absorption and wicking: Due to the characteristics of hemp, it absorbs and wicks moisture quickly, and dries quickly even when sweating.

-Excellent biodegradability: Excellent biodegradability due to the characteristics of plant fiber. It is attracting attention as a fiber in the eco-era that is nurtured in the soil and returned to the soil. Considering these characteristics, it is natural that many products using hemp are produced.


In today's world full of things, linen and linen are valuable materials that are perfect for the idea of continuing to use the real thing, not disposable items. You can see from the reason why the texture that changes beautifully the more you use it and the more you wear it, is popular. Among them, linen is strongly rooted in daily life, especially in Europe, and is a material that is often used in Japan. Linen is sometimes referred to as hemp, but how about understanding the difference between hemp and linen, using them properly, and thinking about the story and history behind them?

Reference: Features and characteristics of linen fabric

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