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HEMP History

In their book "Plants of Gods", Richard Evans Schultes and Albert Hofmann's mentioned that hemp was used by the Chinese about 6000 years ago (4000 B.C) and by Turkestan 5000 years ago. But the true history of hemp using may much longer before this. The hemp texture was found both on the 10000 years pottery unearthed from China mainland and Taiwan.

For most of its history, hemp was most valued as a fiber source, considerably less so as an intoxicant, and only to a limited extent as an oilseed crop. Hemp is one of the oldest sources of textile fiber, with extant remains of hempen cloth trailing back 6 millennia. In the garments industry hemp was called "Source of Textile, Mother of Garments."

Hemp is the first tamed and used natural fiber(includes hemp, silk, wool and cotton). In New Stone age ruins such as Chengtoushan Ruins, Daxi Culture Ruin, Zhejiang Hemudu Ruin,Xi An Banpo Ruin, Henan Peiligang Ruin and Wuyang Jia Lake Ruin, many remains like bone needles, fabrics and potteries with woven marks were found. These proved the usage of hemp is 5,000 years earlier than silk, 6,000 years than wool and 9,000 years than cotton.

From 5,000 years ago to the Han Dynasty, hemp textile technology reach its mature stage. Many splendid hemp textiles and beautiful hemp trimmed garments were unearthed from Mawangdui (Han Dynasty Tumb Ruin). Its shows hemp textiles has been tribute to noble and rich people for thousands of years. In many Chinese literatures also describes the Hemp garments and textiles. Hempen fabrics have been found in Turkish sites of the late eighth century B.C., and there is a questionable specimen of Hemp in an Egyptian tomb dated between three and four thousand years ago.

The original home of hemp is thought to be central Asia, but it has spread around the globe with the exception of Artic regions and areas of wet tropical forests. hemp spread at a very early date to Africa (except for the humid tropics) and was quickly accepted into native pharmacopoeias. The Spaniards took it to Mexico and Peru, the French to Canada, the English to North America. It had been introduced into northern Europe in Viking times. It was probably the Scythians who took it first to China.

Inscriptions from the Chou dynasty in China, dated 700-500 B.C., have a "negative" connotation that accompanies the ancient character for hemp, "MA" , implying its stupefying properties. Since this idea obviously predated writing, the Pen Tsao Ching, written in A.C. 100 but going back to a legendary emperor, Shen-Nung, 2000 B.C., may be taken as evidence that the Chinese knew and probably used the hallucinogenic properties at very early dates.

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