Nau’s mission is to “make the world’s most sustainable performance wear”. When I saw their Kanab Short Sleeve T-Shirt on clearance last year and saw that it was made from a majority hemp blend, I had to give it a try.
The shirt has become a favorite over the last year, so I thought it was time for a review.
The material (along with the whole Kanab line) is a jersey knit 55% hemp, 45% organic cotton. Some contrasting yarn gives the shirt a great heathered texture, and close-up it almost has micro stripes. To the eye, it has a slub cotton texture and to the hand it is substantial and slightly rough. With wear and washing, the fabric has broken in and softened nicely.
One thing I love about hemp fabrics is the weight while still being breathable. This fabric is no exception. The weight gives it a great drape and keeps it from clinging to your body like merino and synthetics can do.
This is definitely a performance t-shirt.
The breathability is excellent. The knit is slightly more open than what you typically find in a cotton or merino tee. I always see this in blends like this, I’m guessing it is because the hemp fibers are larger in diameter and rougher than a usual cotton or wool fiber. Even on the hottest days, I’ve remained comfortable.
While it doesn’t manage moisture like a synthetic, I find it more comfortable than merino when sweating a lot. While it does tend to hold a similar amount of moisture, it feels less heavy because the fabric is more substantial. I also find that it does a better job at holding that moisture away from your skin.
When it comes to odor-resistance, I can get 3-4 days between wears. This is quite impressive considering there is no odor treatment, and is a testament to hemp as another fiber to look out for.
Fit & Style
The fit here is a standard straight cut. To be noted is the size chart, as I am happy with the size L when I typically take an XL (with the exception of brands like Patagonia).
Style is perfect for an all-around casual t-shirt. The length sits right at that perfect middle ground for an everyday t-shirt that could be dressed up a bit (thanks to the drape and texture).
The Nau Kanab Short Sleeve T-Shirt is a great example of how performant a hemp-dominant blend can be without getting too rough from the hemp, and shows that it can be a merino alternative.
Hemp is also a great, sustainable option for clothing. It adds nutrients to the soil, so it needs no synthetic fertilizer. It also needs little to no irrigation. Hemp is also very durable so clothing lasts longer, and when it finally does wear out, it can be composted. While cotton does counteract some of the environmental impact, choosing to blend with organic cotton does help swing the pendulum back in the right direction.
I keep reaching for this shirt. Highly recommended.