Hemp Fabric for Upholstery

If you are looking to reupholster your furniture, you may be overwhelmed by the wealth of textile options there are out there for you. It may be difficult to know what will be a good choice, based on the unique set of requirements you have for your furniture. You will want to be sure you look at the particular characteristics and pros and cons for each fabric that you are considering. Hemp, for instance, can be a fabulous choice for furniture upholstery.

Read on to learn more about this fabric and why it can be a great addition to your living space. 

What Is Hemp Fabric?

First things first, what is hemp fabric, anyway? It is a natural fiber and is not man made. Instead, it is created using the fibers that are harvested from the stalks of Due to this the Cannabis sativa plant. After the plant is processed into a textile, it has some properties that are similar to cotton– for instance, it and cotton both have a similar texture. However, the hemp fabric is more durable and is typically much more resistant to issues such as shrinkage and pilling. It is also lightweight and breathable, which is causing a rise in popularity of hemp fabric for use in apparel as well. 

Advantages of Hemp Fabric

Hemp fabric has some fantastic properties that make it a great choice for upholstery. If you are interested in hemp upholstery, keep reading to learn about its advantages for upholstery projects! 


Hemp fabric is incredibly durable. In fact, it is said to be around eight times stronger than linen, which is another comparable natural textile. It will last longer than options like linen and cotton, and will look better during this time as well.

If you have pets or children in your home– or both!– this can be a very big advantage. After all, you do not want to have to reupholster your furniture soon after you have just done so. 

Hemp Fabric Upholstery - Calgary Interiors

Anti Wrinkle

Another great benefit of hemp textiles is that they are not as prone to wrinkles as many other natural fabrics are, such as linen. If you are upholstering a piece of furniture that will see lots of use, anti wrinkling fabric is important. Otherwise your fabric and furniture will wear faster and look older sooner.

Eco Friendly

Since hemp is a natural fabric and is made from the stalks of the cannabis plant, it is an environmentally friendly fabric option. Many synthetic, man made fabrics are not.

Due to this distinction, hemp can be a great choice for those who want to make natural and intentionally eco friendly choices when decorating their home.

Hemp Fabric Upholstery - Calgary Interiors (1)

Disadvantages of Hemp Fabric

Of course, just as hemp has a set of advantages, it has some unique disadvantages as well. It is key to the success of your project that you take these disadvantages into consideration, too, to ensure you are satisfied with the end result.

Take a look at some of the cons of hemp below. 


Yes, anti wrinkling properties are one of the advantages of hemp fabric, but they are also on the list of cons. This is because hemp fabric does still wrinkle more than most synthetic fabrics will, and it is important to note this when you are considering hemp fabric! 


As hemp is a natural fabric, it is typically going to be more costly than many of the other fabric options out there. Many natural fabrics are more expensive than their man made and synthetic counterparts. If you are on a budget, hemp fabric may not be the best choice for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is hemp more durable than canvas?

Hemp fabric is a great option as an upholstery fabric when you need durability, as it is stronger than cotton canvas and softer to the touch than most canvas fabrics. There are also hemp canvas blends, so you have a more durable canvas option than the other canvas fabric selections out there. Hemp canvas is the better choice when you are doing home decorating or upholstery projects, because they will look better and resist damage longer. 

Which is better linen or hemp?

Many people think of linen and hemp as interchangeable fabrics. However, they are two different textiles! Depending on the purpose you plan to use the fabric for, one may be better than the other. If you are concerned about durability– for instance, in the case of an upholstery fabric project–, then hemp is the better fabric. Hemp has the longest shelf life of any fabric option, and is specifically eight times stronger than linen, when you are comparing the two. Hemp also does not wrinkle or crease like linen does, which can be good for upholstery fabric as people will often be sitting on the furniture and could crease the fabric.

Is hemp more durable than polyester?

When comparing hemp to other fabrics, it is important to note that it is one of the most durable textiles in the world! Unlike some other fabrics, it holds its shape well and does not become distorted, even after being washed many times, for example. Polyester does also have strong fibers and does not wear down easily, but generally, hemp is the more durable choice out of the two. It is also important to look at the fiber content of the fabrics you are considering– some blends may decrease the durability of a textile, so this should be taken into account.

Does hemp fabric wrinkle easily?

Hemp fabric is a natural textile, and many natural textiles do wrinkle or crease easily. However, hemp does not wrinkle as easily as most natural fabric. This means that it will not wrinkle as easily when you and your family are constantly sitting on hemp upholstered furniture. It will not look as worn over time as some other fabric choices. Of course, synthetic fabric still wrinkles even less than hemp does, so if this is a big concern for you, a synthetic fabric may be your best choice.

If you would like to compare some other types of fabrics that are suitable for upholstery, visit our blog on How To Choose Upholstery Fabric. If durability is a very important to you when choosing an upholstery fabric, visit Upholstery Fabric Durability Ratings.