What can you make with the stuff? One such creation that has been popular for quite a few years is hemp jewelry. A few features set hemp jewelry apart from other types of handcrafted pieces.
While hemp jewelry is typically seen in stores catering more towards teenagers and young adults, don't let that fool you. The subtle textures and neutral color of natural hemp lends itself very well toward completing a casual ensemble. With dyed hemp, available in a wide variety of colors, you can mix and match your jewelry to your outfit.
Hemp is often featured with spring and summer colors, with colorful beads, often lampworked (a form of handmade beads), added along the length of the jewelry.
Hemp jewelry is available at a variety of retailers across the country, but the best comes from those that handcraft their jewelry from their own homes. Craft shows and flea markets are great places to find them since you can try on the pieces and avoid shipping costs.
While hemp, both handcrafted and in bulk, is available on the Internet, it's hard to determine if the piece is right for you just by looking at a picture. Factors like color, weight and feel all effect hemp jewelry purchases, and it something you can neither describe or emulate through text. However, many jewelry designers do make a great deal of sales through online venues such as eBay.
The absolute best thing about hemp jewelry is how fun and easy it is to make yourself. While there are certain weaves that take a great deal of time and practice to master, even the basic knots look great and are simple to create.
The following is a simple step-by-step project suitable for ages five and up. Try it yourself, or turn it into a fun afternoon projects!
As you wear your jewelry, the fibers slowly merge more and more into each other, getting rid of the scratchy feeling that many people complain about, and making it a strong whole. Careful soaking of your jewelry can produce this effect faster, but too much water can make the fiber deteriorate and break apart. Many people will wear their hemp jewelry in the shower, which produces the same effect as targeted soaking.
Closely examine any pieces of hemp jewelry that you plan to buy. Pay special attention to the consistency of the hemp, and stay away from pieces that have multiple large chunks of fiber (called bunk) throughout the strand. This is a sign of poor quality hemp, although sometimes there is no choice but to leave bunk in, as unfraying it can threaten the integrity of the weave.
Paperclips are often used to bridge short gaps, and if you want a more elegant looking solution, you can knot additional links into the ends of your jewelry. Put tape at the top of the loop made by this knot, and also at the end of the two carrier strands, making sure that it holds the carriers tight. This will help keep your knots tight and make completed project looking great.
If you are interested in learning more about how to make hemp jewelry, and additional projects, take a look at these websites and books.
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