Hemp fabric was smashed down into thin sheets to make the world’s first paper. 75-90% of all paper in the world was made with hemp fiber until 1883. The Gutenberg Bible, Thomas Paine’s pamphlets, and the novels of Mark Twain were all printed on hemp paper. Both the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were drafted on hemp, and then copied onto parchment.
Both the long bast fiber and the short bast fiber (hurd or pulp) can be used to make paper. Fiber paper is thin, tough, brittle, and rough. Pulp paper is not as strong, but is easier to make, softer, thicker, and preferable for most everyday purposes.
In the next 20-30 years the paper demand is supposed to at least double due to the economic emergence of third world countries, and the ever-expanding worldwide population. There is no way to meet this demand without clear-cutting every tree in the entire world. Paper is big business, and 93% of the world’s paper is made of wood. Think about how much of a difference it would make if commercial industries like San Francisco hotels and Miami hotels were to adopt hemp toilet paper. That alone could make an enormous difference in the way the war on global warming is fought.
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