When thinking of bamboo, it’s natural to picture pandas gnawing on it while lounging in tall, verdant bamboo forests. But bamboo, an extremely resilient and sustainable plant, serves many purposes. It can be used to make kitchenware, paper, musical instruments, and fabric.
Bamboo fabric has become extremely popular in recent years, and for good reason. Essentially, it is a softer, more eco-friendly and all-around better version of cotton. Bamboo fabric is lightweight and breathable, and has unique properties, such as UV protection and antibacterial quality. To cap it off, bamboo is also affordable. All of these benefits make bamboo fabric a superior fabric for all clothing and home textiles.
What Is Bamboo Fabric?
As you consider purchasing new bed sheets or clothing made of bamboo, the question is raised: “What is bamboo fabric?”
Bamboo fabric is a natural material made from bamboo fibers. The fibers, spun into yarn and woven into a textile, are smooth and round, which means unlike other natural fabrics, they don’t irritate the skin. Bamboo is a versatile and soft fabric that feels like a blend between cashmere and silk. Its other benefits include:
● Moisture-wicking properties
● Antibacterial quality
● Ultraviolet protection
● Hypoallergenic property
Bamboo is a type of grass plant with a hard outer shell and a hollow stem. It grows around the globe, and has been used for food, decorations, instruments, and construction materials in Asian countries for hundreds of years. Only in the past two decades have people found a way to mass produce bamboo textiles. The type of bamboo used for textiles is grown almost exclusively in China.
Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants in the world, which makes it a sustainable material for fabrics and other products. It needs little to no pesticides to grow and, once it is turned into fabric, that fabric is biodegradable. This makes it one of the most eco-friendly plants used to make textiles.
How Is Bamboo Fabric Made?
The process to make bamboo fabric is simpler than many other common fabrics, including cotton. The steps to making bamboo fabric are:
1 -Harvest Bamboo Stalks And Cut Them Into Smaller Pieces.
2 - Soak the bamboo in a solution to soften and break down its fibers. Then, extract the pulp.
3 -Dry The Extracted Bamboo Pulp Into Parchment-Like Sheets.
4 -Mill The Dried Sheets Into A Soft Material Called Viscose.
5 -Separate The Viscose And Spin It Into A Thread. Those Threads Are Later Spun Into Yarn.
6 -Weave The Yarn Into Soft, Durable Fabric That Can Be Used For Various Purposes.
Bamboo fabric can be used for clothing and housing textiles, such as bath towels and bed sheets. The process uses minimal chemicals and doesn’t produce as much waste as other fabrics. To grow bamboo also requires very few resources, such as water and fertilizer.
Features And Benefits Of Bamboo Fabric
Bamboo fabric has some enviable properties that many people don’t yet know about. Not only is it softer than cotton, but it is also hypoallergenic and can therefore be enjoyed by anyone. These are some of the bamboo fabric benefits that will draw you in over all other fabrics.
Protection From The Elements
Sunshine or rain, bamboo fabric can protect you from the elements. Its moisture-wicking and ventilation capabilities pull moisture, letting the skin breathe. This helps keep wearers noticeably cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Your skin breathes and stays dry no matter what.
Bamboo fabric is 40% more absorbent than the finest organic cotton. Bamboo can absorb up to three times more water than its weight, which makes it an excellent material for rainy days. Bamboo fabric is also UV-resistant, meaning that it can protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Soft, But Strong
The viscose made from bamboo is a tough material that keeps its shape indefinitely. In a side-by-side comparison of bamboo vs. cotton, bamboo fabric is far more durable. As long as you follow the care instructions, such as washing items in warm water and drying them properly, bamboo fabric will look exactly like it did when you bought it. Bamboo fabric is also wrinkle-resistant, so you don’t have to labor to iron out every single wrinkle.
Even though bamboo fabric is tough, it is also soft. It has been compared to Egyptian cotton and silk, but costs far less than those luxurious fabrics. At their core, bamboo’s fibers are soft, which means there are no sharp, irritating fibers that poke the skin and cause skin problems. People with skin allergies will have no problems with this hypoallergenic fabric.
From planting and harvesting this tall, resilient plant, through to the production process, bamboo fabric is extremely eco-friendly. It doesn’t require fertilizer or pesticides to grow, yet it shoots skyward very quickly. Bamboo roots keep water in the watershed and reduce water pollution, and they rarely need replanting.
Similarly, the process of turning the fibers into fabric is not intensive. The solution used to break down the fibers into pulp can be reused, and there are limited chemicals involved in the creation of the fabric. It takes very little dye to alter the color of the fabric, especially when compared to cotton. Once bamboo clothing or other bamboo fabrics have been well worn and used, the material bio-degrades quickly. Bamboo is not only good for you, but it’s also good for the planet.
Bamboo Is Antibacterial
If its other qualities weren’t convincing enough, bamboo fabric has another unique property that few other fabrics possess — antibacterial quality. That means that it can kill bacteria, leaving the fabric healthy and hygienic. Bamboo fabric doesn’t hold onto bacteria that causes bad odors.
Your shirt, sheets or even cleaning towels will feel and smell fresh and odor-free. The reason for bamboo’s antibacterial ability is due to a naturally occurring antimicrobial bio-agent referred to as “Bamboo Kun.” The Bamboo Kun exists in bamboo even after it has gone through the textile production process.
Types Of Fabric Products Made From Bamboo
Like most fabrics, bamboo has many different uses. Its softness and strength make it a versatile material, and the benefits of bamboo are encouraging more companies to weave bamboo into their product line. There are several things made from bamboo, and they include:
Bamboo Mattress And Its Benefits
Although the bamboo plant is hard and tough, its fibers are silky soft. These fibers are blended with memory foam materials to make a bamboo mattress, one of the most comfortable mattresses available. Bamboo mattresses are soft and plush, but they have a number of other benefits, too.
As previously mentioned, bamboo fabric provides ventilation. The same is true for bamboo mattresses. The bamboo fibers in the mattress are porous, so air can easily move in and out of the mattress. Bamboo can also help wick moisture away. If you sweat or feel stuffy in your room when you sleep, a bamboo mattress will help regulate your body temperature so you feel comfortable all night long.
Bamboo is also a hypoallergenic material, so it won’t cause itchy skin or allergies. Its antibacterial properties keep your mattress clean and fresh. LOTUS mattresses provide correct spinal support so you don’t wake up with a sore neck or back. The memory foam mixed with cushioned bamboo fibers combine to make the perfect sleep system. You feel well rested every morning when you sleep on a bamboo mattress.
Breathability and softness? What else could you ask for in bedding? Bamboo is a fantastic material that can be used in sheet sets, including pillowcases. One of the top reasons people choose bamboo bedding is because it is hypoallergenic. When you get bamboo bedding, you can say goodbye to waking up sneezing, with red eyes and itchy skin. Bamboo’s moisture-wicking and antibacterial abilities drastically reduce the chance of dust mites settling into your bed sheets and causing allergies.
Because bamboo fibers run the length of the bed, bamboo bedding is also very durable. It holds up to daily use and regular washing, and even holds its color better than other fabrics do. As a bonus, bamboo bedding is extra soft and comfortable.
Enjoy all-day comfort with buttery-soft bamboo clothing. Bamboo fabric are now used to make men’s and women’s clothing, including t-shirts, leggings, jogger pants, pajamas and loungewear, underwear, and socks. Because bamboo pulls moisture away from the skin, it is an excellent material for workout clothes. Its thermal-regulating abilities make it a great fabric for thermal layers in the winter and for loose, breathable clothes in the summer. Bamboo fabric is used to make hypoallergenic clothing, so you don’t have to deal with itchy skin in your bamboo pajamas and loungewear.
Bamboo Bath Towels & Bath Sheets
Bamboo fabric is excellent at absorbing water, and that comes in handy when choosing bath towels. The bamboo fibers are woven into soft, plush towels that feel like a blanket while still being extremely breathable. Thanks to bamboo’s antibacterial properties, bamboo towels don’t hold onto bad bacteria or odors. They will feel fresh and clean every time you reach for them after your shower.
Bamboo towels are also hypoallergenic, which means they don’t irritate the skin or cause splotchy, itchy skin. They are great for people with sensitive skin or allergies.
How To Pick Quality Bamboo Fabric Products
Bamboo has some superior benefits, but not all bamboo products are made equally. There are a few different ways that textile companies can make bamboo fabrics, and some are more sustainable than others. It’s important to do some research before picking a bamboo fabric product.
Bamboo viscose is the most popular way to create bamboo fabric. This process includes soaking the bamboo in a solution before drying and milling it to create yarn and, eventually, fabric. Each textile factory might use different chemicals in their enzyme solution or dispose of the chemicals differently.
Luckily, the chemical residue does not remain on the bamboo material. But to ensure you are getting the safest and most eco-friendly product, you should check the company’s process to see what they do to strategically reduce the use of chemicals.
The process to make bamboo linen is often called mechanical, because it involves mechanically crushing the bamboo to create a fabric. It is similar to the process of making fabric from flax or hemp. It is sustainable, but it is not as soft as bamboo viscose, and it wrinkles easily. Bed sheets made from bamboo linen can be hard to maintain.
Check the tag to see which type of bamboo your products are made of. This will tell you whether or not the bamboo will be a soft material or not. You should also look at the company’s process page to see how sustainable their fabric production process is. If they are not transparent about their processes, that might be a red flag.
Tips For Bamboo Fabric Products Care And Maintenance
Caring for your bamboo fabric products is easy. Toss them into the laundry machine when they’re dirty, and they won’t lose any of their amazing qualities. There are a few tips to keep in mind to get the most use out of your bamboo fabric products.
Use cold or warm water. Hot water is not preferred, nor is it necessary to sanitize bamboo fabric. Its antibacterial properties protect it from bad odors or bacteria settling into the fabric. For heavily soiled products, you can presoak the item in warm water.
Mild detergent is best. Harsh chemicals and bamboo don’t blend well. Avoid bleach, hydrogen peroxide, and fabric softeners. Chlorine bleaches are especially harmful, because they can weaken the material. Fabric softeners can also break down the fabric, and they are not needed to keep the fabric feeling soft.
Iron on a low heat. Typically, bamboo’s qualities mean you won’t need to iron it. If you do need to iron the material, make sure to use a low temperature. High temperatures can burn the fibers and damage the fabric’s integrity.
Line dry or tumble dry on a mild setting. The fabric might feel a little stiff when it comes out of the washer, but that will go away once the fabric dries. Line drying is the best option, but a mild tumble dry also works well.
Ditch dryer sheets. They can diminish the properties of bamboo fabric.
Why You Should Buy Bamboo Fabric Products From LOTUS
LOTUS is dedicated to providing eco-friendly, sustainable fabrics that also feel good. We want to make it easy to choose fabric that is good for you, and for the environment. We do everything we can during the bamboo fabric production process to reduce waste, reuse water and other resources, and limit the use of toxic chemicals. When you purchase one of our products, you can trust that you are choosing quality.
We believe that eco-friendly materials don’t have to be scratchy or wrinkly. The bamboo fibers are soft on the skin, keeping you cozy all day long. In the winter and summer, our bamboo fabric products will wick away moisture and help keep your body at the perfect temperature. We’ve perfected our product to be everything you could want in a fabric. Visit www.mylotus.ca to find the perfect products for you.