My Journey on Processing Hemp on a Small Scale

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Today I am going over the beginning stages in processing hemp stocks into a fiber.
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Step one:
Dry the hemp stocks

Step two:
Retting the hemp stocks:
I have found two ways of retting hemp stocks. One way is water retting, that’s where you place the stocks under water and allow them to ret for a couple weeks.
The second way is called dew retting, that where the stocks are laid out flat on a field and allowed to ret for a couple weeks. If you use this method the stocks need to be flipped over every other day. A good way to know if your stocks have been retted long enough is by doing a test pull of the outer fibrous skin. If it comes off clean your good to go, if not just allow more time for retting.

Step three:
After drying the retted stocks it’s time to remove the outer fibrous skin. Traditionally the fiber was removed by large hemp brakes, these hemp brakes were made out of heavy hardwood and were made to pulverize the hard woody stock of the hemp plant. I went with simply peeling the outer skin off using my hands. If the stocks have been retted correctly this process is very easy. This way I saved my arms and back a lot of pain!!

Step four:
Place fiber into a bucket/barrel filled with water add a cap full of bleach and allow the fiber to soak overnight. After the fiber soaked overnight its time to dry the fibers out on a large window screen.

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