4

Ask a Stoner: Armor Made From Hemp?

Ask a Stoner: Armor Made From Hemp?
Westword
^
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Dear Stoner: I was smoking weed with one of those guys who sounds like he knows everything but makes up most of the shit he says. Anyway, he said hemp was once used to make armor, but I called bullshit. Couldn’t find much online. Care to settle?
Farrah

Dear Farrah: Smoking weed socially tends to bring out droning rants that are loose with facts, but your friend is right. Hemp fiber is both durable and a good base for clothing material, rope and paper, so it’s not crazy to think that past cultures used hemp for protection. Although metal was obviously preferred, cheaper armor made of hemp fibers was used hundreds of years ago by Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Russian soldiers.

Hemp wasn't used to make shiny battle suits centuries ago, but fabrics made from the plant did help create cheap armor for numerous civilizations.
Hemp wasn't used to make shiny battle suits centuries ago, but fabrics made from the plant did help create cheap armor for numerous civilizations.
Unsplash/Nik Shuliahin

One of these suits, made in eighteen-century Korea with hemp sewing, has become a popular display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Hemp armor appears to have extended into the present, too, as companies that make bulletproof vests are now experimenting with hemp-based compounds as an alternative to Kevlar.

Maybe the Du Pont family really did hate hemp...

Send questions to marijuana@westword.com.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.