Bamboo Fabric

Benefits of Bamboo Fabric:

  • Antibacterial – keeps you odour free and feeling and smelling fresh
  • Highly sweat absorbent (Pulls moisture from skin for evaporation – moisture wicking) – keeps you dry
  • Powerfully insulating – keeps you cooler in summer and warmer in winter
  • One of the softest fabrics on the planet – you’ll love the way it feels
  • Naturally UV protectant – protect yourself from skin cancer
  • Hypoallergenic – natural bamboo does not cause allergic reactions
  • Most eco-friendly fabric on the planet – help save your planet

During the 1990’s, before saving our world became a mainstream concern, what we consumed and used to create products, foods, and apparel with were unimportant. But among all other crazes that have emerged in the 21st century, ‘going green‘ has taken the front seat in almost every industry.

Even the fashion industry which is obviously known for its concern in creating style and setting new trends has incorporated ways to be more environmentally friendly. With the growing popularity of a new fabric made of bamboo, designers have slowly begun to use bamboo fabric in many of their up coming collections.

Historically in Asia, bamboo was used for the hand-made production of paper. But thanks to modern manufacturing, bamboo pulp is now capable of creating bamboo fibre which can be used to make yarn and fabric. Bamboo fabric is a natural textile made from the pulp of the bamboo grass, the bamboo fibre is then made by pulping the bamboo grass until it separates into thin threads of fibre, which is then spun and dyed for weaving into cloth.

Bamboo fabric is similar to the softness of silk. Since the fibres are without chemical treatment, they are naturally smoother and rounder with no sharp spurs to irritate the skin, making bamboo fabric hypoallergenic and perfect for those who experience allergic reactions to other natural fibres such as wool or hemp. On that same note, bamboo is also antibacterial and antifungal. This is because bamboo possesses an anti-bacteria and bacteriostatic bio-agent called “Bamboo Kun”, allowing it to naturally flourish and grow in the wild without the use of pesticides or fertilisers. This beneficial quality of the plant remains in its textile form, killing all bacteria keeping the wearer feeling fresher and odour free for longer, making the garment healthier and more hygienic.

Unlike many of the other fabrics, bamboo is extremely breathable. The natural bamboo plant keeps itself cool in the heat and like its other properties, is also maintained in its fabric form. The cross-section of the bamboo fibre is covered with micro-gaps giving the fabric better moisture absorption and ventilation. As a result, it is able to keep the wearer almost two degrees cooler in the heat and noticeably warmer in the cold. Bamboo fabric is also “anti static and UV protective as it cuts out 98% of harmful UV rays” providing the wearer with another beneficial quality from bamboo made clothing.
Like your average garment, bamboo fabric can be washed. For the best maintenance of bamboo clothing, it should be washed using the gentle cycle, cold or luke warm water, where line dried is preferred. It is best to refrain from machine drying even on low heat as it may cause the garment to lose its shape sooner then if you line dried only. If necessary, it should be ironed on low heat and never with a steamer.

The most enticing aspect of bamboo fabric is that it is the most eco-friendly fabric on the planet. Bamboo, a type of tropical grass, has an extensive rooting system that grows on average four to six new shoots a year, naturally replenishing itself. It is also 100% biodegradable, the most renewable resource on our planet, and provides an abundance of usable oxygen making it a crucial element in the balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

As bamboo fabric is gaining popularity in the fashion industry, there will naturally be an increase in growth and demand for more bamboo plants. This could ultimately lead to an increased amount of photosynthesis and result in another alternative to combating greenhouse gases.

Comparison between Bamboo and Cotton:

Quality Cotton Bamboo Comments
Strong Abrasion Resistance Both are very abrasion resistant.
Strength Both are strong
Absorbency 100% 300% Bamboo is 300% more absorbent than cotton
Hypoallergenic Both fabrics are hypoallergenic.
Machine-washable Bamboo will retain it’s structural integrity after multiple washings.
Machine-dryable - Not recommended for Bamboo.
Resiliency - Bamboo is very resilient.
Lustre - Bamboo is naturally lustrous.
Elasticity - Bamboo has much more elasticity than cotton.
Pesticide-free crop - + Bamboo grows without need for pesticides or fertiliser.
UV Protected - Bamboo is naturally blocks UV rays.
Antibacterial - Cotton is not anti-bacterial
Insulation - Cotton fabrics when wet lose their insulating qualities.
Moisture Wicking - Cotton fabrics cannot wick.
Soft - Bamboo feels like cashmere. Cotton is abrasive against the skin.
Enriches the soil - Growing bamboo enriches the soil while cotton damages it.
Biodegradable -

 

Sources:

  1. blog.shirtsofbamboo.com/why-bamboo/
  2. www.wisegeek.com/what-is-bamboo-fabric.htm
  3. www.efforts.ca/index.php?module=htmlpages&func=display&pid=103
  4. www.hiptobamboo.com/bamboofacts.html
  5. www.skeinlane.com/knittingresources/knowyourfibers/aboutbamboo.htm
  6. site.bamboostylesonline.com/blog/
  7. Organic Lifestyles (Sept/Oct 2007), The Beauty of Bamboo Pg. 36.
  8. www.metowestyle.com
  9. www.fusionclothing.com/bamboo-clothing.pdf
  10. site.bamboostylesonline.com/blog/
  11. www.lazye.co.uk/pages/ecotextiles
  12. www.cottoninc.com/FinishingResearch/UltravioletProtectionFactorCottonKnit/
  13. www.ecofabrik.com/bamboo.html
  14. organicclothingblogs.com
  15. Pizzuto, J.J. Fabric Science: Seventh Edition.