A fine light-coloured, lustrous, and strong bast fibre, obtained from the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa L.
Note: The colour and cleanliness vary considerably according to the method of preparation of the fibre, the lower grades being dark cream and containing much non-fibrous matter. The fibre is obtained by retting. Its principal use is in twine and cordage, but some of the finer grades are used in weaving. The fibre ranges in length from 1 to 2.5m (3 to 8ft). The term ‘hemp’ is often incorrectly used in a generic sense for fibres from different plants, e.g., manila ‘hemp’ (abaca) from Musa textilis Nee; sisal ‘hemp’ from Agave sisalana Perrine; sunn ‘hemp’ (sunn fibre) from Crotalaria juncea L.
Textile Resource (http://www.textile.org.uk)