Hemp is an almost magical fibre (the Latin cannabis sativa means useful) cultivated by the Hmong peoples of Laos. The bark of the plant is used to create cloth and the seeds to make oil. In 2005 we decided to tell the story of hemp in an exhibition at our Fibre2Fabric Gallery. Research trips took us to some of the most isolated mountains in Houaphan Province where we found Hmong communities farming hemp. They created stunning batiks using melted beeswax darkened with indigo paste, the women drew intricate designs that are then dip-dyed in indigo to create striking blue and white cloths. These communities had very little access to the outside world. We established trade links with these groups bringing much needed cash flow to these families. In our shops you will find bags, home decor, jackets and skirts made by these remote Hmong communities.