Hemp Paper Could Be the Future of Printing

Hemp Paper Could Be the Future of Printing
High Times

A joint project to produce tree-free letterpress paper suitable for commercial printing has delivered one of the first commercially viable hemp papers on the planet. The project was conceived by Maren Krings, a photographer and environmental activist who was writing a book on industrial hemp. Her research led her to a German paper manufacturer called Hahnemühle.  The development of the hemp paper now on offer to others as well as the success of the project are mentioned in her new book, H is for Hemp, along with other adventures Maren undertook as she wrote the book in a five-year journey around the world. The book is intended as a reference guide for those interested in the history of industrial hemp as well as its modern uses. Hahnemühle is now offering its new hemp paper for both offset and high-speed inkject printing and as a viable alternative to the more expensive tree-based products still used widely in the book publishing industry. They are not the only manufacturer, even in Germany, offering industrial grade hemp paper. At least one other company, Gmund, makes a similar paper product, although they have so far not promoted their wares with quite the same finesse. The Benefits of Hemp Paper While the world continues on a steady path to digitalization, paper is still a widely used commodity—and far from “just” book publishing. Compared to wood, hemp has fiber which is four to five times longer. This results in paper which is much stronger than that made from trees. However, the paper industry has traditionally used machines and tools to turn wood pulp into paper which do not work as well with hemp fiber. For this reason, and because industrial hemp is still a crop in its infancy, hemp paper is still more expensive than wood-based products.…

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