Check out this guy! He is doing some small-scale hemp processing. He is using a process called water retting to get the fiber ready. This is very different from dew (field) retting. You can learn more about retting here.
Dry the hemp stocks
Retting the hemp stocks:
There are two main ways of retting hemp stocks (there is also steam explosion retting). 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.
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. He went with simply peeling the outer skin off using my hands. If the stocks have been retted correctly this process is very easy. See a hemp brake video here.
Place fiber into a bucket/barrel filled with water add a cap full of bleach (this prevents white mold) 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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About Mainely Acres Farm:
Mainely Acres Farm is a small family ran farm operating out of the foothill country of Maine. Their farm is a small 5-acre piece of heaven!! On the farm they grow their own food, tan animal hides for crafts and clothing, indoor gardening, raise chickens for both meat and eggs and hunt, and gather from our land. On our farm, they try to instill the importance of being knowledgeable in a variety of country/farm living & natural ways of life.