Hemp Straps-Behind the scenes
The softness, elegance, and natural feel of Panda's hemp straps is unlike any other strap on the market. They carry a certain rustic air which conjures up memories of ancient Phoenician sail boats or Persian camel caravans. Their simplistic, cozy design is a delight under the palm as they naturally conform to a comfortable position. And to know that these straps were grown like bales of hay and turned into a "rope" much like the ones used for sailing boats thousands of years ago is yet just another aspect of the deeper meaning behind our product. To give you a better understanding of the care, love, and time which goes into our Mid and Fatty straps we take you behind the scenes:
The "Mid" Strap
The hemp webbing is sent from Romania to our "offices" in Salt Lake City, and is taken across town to be sewn together by Meggio Omego of Omega Elemental (http://nl-nl.facebook.com/group.php?gid=102364009809586). Each Mid and Fatty strap comes blessed with her glowing personality. Meggio specializes in boutique/alternative clothing design and has created a hugely popular series of hats, belts, and accessories which she sells in local Salt Lake boutiques.
Note: Because of its current legal status, industrial hemp can only be imported to, but not actually grown in the U.S.
Meggio wearing one of her rad, functional belts (main). Meggio's sewing machine with several Fatty Kush straps lined up for final stitching (right).
The straps then come back across town where they are washed and waterproofed with Penguin Brand's environmentally friendly water repellant. The washing helps clean the fibers for waterproofing and also helps test the durability of the straps, while the waterproofing reduces icing on the straps. After this process, loose fibers and threads are trimmed away and the straps are then hole punched by hand. A grommet is also installed by hand and is used to secure the fibers and strengthen the attachment point of the strap.
Strap end with final grommet, ready to be mounted on a bamboo pole...
Our hemp straps are soulful and unique, but they are only one of many functional products developed from industrial hemp. From motor oil to food, bio-resins, medicine, biofuels and textiles, hemp has an almost endless array of uses and there are constantly new ones being discovered. Hemp has held an integral role throughout human history--going back thousands of years--and we are proud to be a part of its continued support as an industry.