Hemp Fabric UK is run by me, Samantha Pickering. I am also a full time Mum to 4 children and a full time bat rescuer and carer.
I got into hemp by accident, thanks to my children and an existing business, Happy Nappy Days, which supplies cloth nappies. I had been looking to add a natural, environmentally friendly, absorbent and soft fabric to my product range – and hemp seemed to be the answer. As luck would have it I then discovered Hemp Fabric UK. I was very impressed with the business and the amazing potential of hemp so, on discovering that the people running the company couldn’t commit the time to developing it properly, I decided to buy it.
That was in February 2006. I am still thrilled to be working with such a versatile material and continue to learn about its properties, uses and applications.
Hemp Fabric UK left it's incubation unit at Caddesdown Business Center in favour of a purpose made research and storage facility which has allowed us to hold in stock more fabric then before. The new space has also allowed us to purchase a spinning wheel and weaving loom to allow is to embark on research into UK hemp fabric production. The new research office is unfortunately not open to the public due to rent agreement terms, insurance and security. It is however situates in a beautiful area close to my own home surrounded once more by nature.
On the family front my children are all growing up and in full time education. This allows me freedom to travel further to attend shows, often with the two eldest children and I have more daylight hours to work the I had when I first started this business. The challenges at each stage of my childrens development are different, however like all parents we work around them. Where as I once did my work while my children played on the beach or played in the park, I now take my work when I wait for them to finish the clubs and activities that may one day see them as budding gymnasts,scientists or what ever else they choose to be?
As my family have grown older I have been able to open up my home to some fasincating small mammals who have desperatly needed help. The busiest time for my bat rescue role is at night but it can also get very busy in the summer months when injured or orphaned baby bats need feeding every 2 to 3 hours day and night. Our summer shut down now coinscides with this busy period and that of my childrens holiday, allowing me to be mum and bat women and occasionally catch up with some sleep so I am fresh and ready to help you when summer shut down is over.
Finally I have unfortunatly had continuing issues with my joints which have made this work and life journey more complicated then I would like it to be, but i'm not one to give up, I always love a challenge, so I will keep on fighting it even if some days I function far slower than I wanted too.
I appreciate that this may not seem the most normal way of working but life is an amazing gift and I aim to balance life and work as much as possible. Thank you all for your understanding and support for the way I work, and please enjoy this special journey with me and my family.
Hemp Fabric UK is run from two locations in North Devon. We have our main office and then our research base which are both described below. If you need to contact us then the best ay is to call the home office number on (01271) 314812 or text our mobile on 07896338346. We always try to return calls within 24hours, though usually much sooner.
Home base is exactly what is says. Looking after four children means that it’s often easier to work from home especially during school holidays. As a company we believe that’s it’s important to balance work and home and this makes it just that little bit easier. At this location we also have plenty of dry, secure storage for our stock, which means we can keep it in perfect condition before dispatch as well as the all important internet allowing us to keep up to date with order, enquries and developments with hemp.
This is were I go to try out new weaving styles, sew new sample products and cut large rolls of fabric. It is also a space to focus on accounts and other paperwork away from the home destractions. The only problem with this location is the mobile reception is limited so it may be the case that you need to leave a message with the office and I will get back to you.
When I am busy with research, customer order dispatching, accouting or have a family task to attend to then I have enlisted the help of some amazing people at Goodcall to help with your enquries. They are all well trained and are more then happy to answer your enquries which they then report back to me so I can keep on top of things. These angels again help ensure work and life stay in balance as much as possible.
Mail Contact Address:-
Hemp Fabric UK
Our business in predominantly internet based. We can take orders online, by telephone, or via order forms. Whilst we don’t have a shop we are always happy to show you a selection of our fabrics by ordering one of our full sample packs. See our "Online Shop" for more details.
If you prefer to see our fabrics in a retail environment then you can see them at Hemp in Avalon in Glastonbury, although we cannot guarantee they have all our fabrics in stock.
We attend shows and conferences through out the year. The dates and places can be found on the News page of our website.
As a mother to 5 children, there are times that work and home life clash. However, we always do our best to make sure that orders are completed on time and will always contact our customers to let them know if there is an unavoidable delay on their order.
Monday to Friday 9am till 5pm
We operate a limited telephone contact service during all school holidays, so we ask our customers to leave a message on our main number or even better email us with your enquiry. We still continue to take orders over the internet, reply to emails and cut and dispatch orders as promptly as possible.
Students qualify for a 5% discount. To qualify we must ask all students to contact us so we can verify their student status and process their discount. Student discount may not be used in conjunction with any other offer (i.e. the swatch pack refund).
Swatch Pack Discount
Swatch pack cost £15. This will be refunded in full when you place an order for a minimum of £60 worth of fabric within 30 days.
We are always trying to do everything we can to reduce the impact our business makes on the environment. None of us are perfect and we’re not claiming to be eco-saints, but we do all we can.
Do you think we could do better? Then please let us know by dropping us a line at email@example.com
Our funding has now finished for the waterproofing work we were doing with Plymouth University. The main out comes from the research showed us that hemp fibres will take most commercially made waterproofing methods well. Examples being Nickwax, Teflon, Barbour Coat wax etc.
We were beginning to look into developing a more natural form of waterproofing using things like Lanolin or using natural bonding agents and a layer of a soya based polyester material called bio-plastics. However a lack of time, money and advice from chemists prevented us from completing this.
We felt that results of the waterproofing test would be even better if we had used different weaves then those originally tested, therefore we have started a self funded spinning and weaving project to work on this.
Man made waterproofing methods/ commercial waterproofing methods work well but did need to be reapplied at regular intervals to ensue good resistance levels. We did note that this was common with many fabrics not just hemp.
As always we would love to adopt a friendly chemist to help us better understand what is happening on a molecular level.
Future Work – Yes you have guessed right we are aiming to produce our own batch of UK made hemp fabrics. These will initially be made in very small batches and we hope to have some ready by the end of 2016. We have also started growing various Dye plants to get a better understanding of the complexities of how natural dyes work and hope to share that information with you as and when time and work allow.
We aim to process all orders within 48 hours of receipt of your order on work days. If there is likely to be a delay we will let you know. If a fabric is out of stock reordering from Romania usually takes 3 to 4 weeks and from China can take 12 to 18 weeks.
Postage charges are based on weight and the total will depend on the overall weight of your order. Various delivery service options are offered in order to get the fabric to you at the price and method that is best for you.
I aim to get all orders dispatched as soon as possible, though please bare in mind that I am a single human, juggling work, life and mobility issues and am not a robot unfortunatly. Once orders are ready the will be sent out on your designated delivery method. Standard delivery times for this are shown below, though please allow an additional 48 hours for order processing:-
2nd Class Delivery – 3 to 5 days from dispatch to delivery. Weekends not counted. UK time frame only.
1st Class Delivery – 1 to 3 days from dispatch to delivery. UK time frame only.
Courier 48hr – Delivered before 5.30pm two days after hand over to the courier. UK time frame only.
International Small Packet Rate – This varies depending on which country you are in.
Our website is designed to take orders from 1 meter in length to 100’s of meters. It is not however designed to handle part meter orders. From time to time we may list fat quarters of fabric in our specials and clearance section but these are limited and are often only available following a craft show. The measurement of these fabrics is one quarter of the original 1 meter measurement of this fabric and is particularly aimed at craft project designers and patchwork makers.
If you are doing a specific piece of work where only a set measurement is required please email us and if we can help we will try though this is not always possible. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and please put in the subject box : Fabric Order Different Measurement and we will get back to you as soon as possible to let you know if we can help.