Student - March 22, 2007

German prize for PRI hemp

Plant Research International (PRI) has won a prize in Germany with a project in which hemp is used as a raw material for textiles.

It is one of 365 prize-winning projects which will receive a day of attention as part of the initiative of President Köhler, Deutschland, Land der Ideen. The PRI project presentation will be held on Monday 30 July in Kleef. PRI has been working for two years on the Dutch-German project for hemp cloth production. The variety of hemp used, Chamaeleon, was bred over ten years ago by PRI, and has been on the market for about two years. The hemp fibres are refined under high pressure with steam so that they can be spun into yarn together with cotton fibres. The project is interesting for PRI because new crops are only successful if a market can be found for them. This initiative incorporates the whole chain, from farmer to clothing manufacturer, said researcher Dr Marcel Toonen. Hemp has an advantage over cotton, as it is more environment-friendly. It can be grown easily in western Europe, and requires far less water than cotton. It needs no pesticides at all.

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