So you’ve definitely heard of bamboo before. This plant when fully matured into a tree can produce strong pieces of wood which can be used for many kinds of building and furniture structures.
It’s popularity is also well known as the main diet that pandas follow. They are well known for being picky eaters, and bamboo is their favorite plant to eat. Humans have even given this a go, mainly in the form of the bamboo shoots, which are young buds. Though they need to be processed to take out harmful ingredients, it had made itself a part of many recipes over generations.
But did you know bamboo is also sourced for fabrics? It’s been done for decades, especially in many parts of East and South East Asia where it holds particular importance for it’s purpose and it’s abundance.
Fortunately, this plant grows so quickly and replenishes itself with ease that there is little to worry about in the way of resources. This doesn’t mean that it should be taken for granted though, and we should try to make the most of this and the materials it can create.
There are two ways that bamboo can be transformed into a fabric.
- Viscose – this is the main method that is used to make bamboo into fabrics. It’s the easiest method since it requires the bamboo fibers to be liquidated into a viscous substance, which become long threads to be weaved into fabric. As a result, you get a material which is just like any other kind of viscose or rayon type fabric.
- Natural Fibers – this is the second way that bamboo fibers can be processed. Little is done to the chemical make up of the fiber, it is simply remolded into thread in the same way that linen is made. As a result, you get a nice crisp fabric with the most limited harmful impact on the environment.
This bit will explain why bamboo textiles are so good. For starters, they are very breathable. This is great news for clothing in warmer climates, as you’re less likely to be hot and sticky under your clothes, and more likely to feel cooler and more aired out.
It’s ability to dry very quickly is also great news especially in the summer time. This drying ability means that when you’re wearing these clothes during those hot days, you’re more likely to stay dry, and not likely to be walking around in wet clothes, which would feel uncomfortable.
Bamboo fibers are also known for it’s anti microbial properties. What this means is that it doesn’t attract or hold bacteria in the fabric, in fact it’s definitely likely to repel it. This is great news for anyone who is susceptible to allergies, as it will pose a lower risk of allergic reaction. This also makes bamboo fabric somewhat self cleaning.
And since it its a natural material, it is of course biodegradable. This means that it can break down quickly without the need to produce harmful chemicals, and can naturally assimilate itself into nature again. This quality makes it a very sustainable fabric.
Thanks to its anti microbial properties, bamboo fabric has been used widely for many purposes. A common use is with high end bedding, particularly for use in the summer. Due to its quick drying abilities, this works perfectly in bedding especially when when we’re all perspiring more. Its antibacterial component works well with this a it prevents your bedding from smelling bad too quickly.
The same goes for towels and tea towels, the kinds of fabrics that need to stay clean and hygienic for cleaning purposes. Its bacteria repelling quality makes it a worthwhile purchase that will be safer for anyone with sensitivities to use with little risk.
And of course, for clothing – this is something that will be brilliant to give it purpose. The fast reproduction rate of clothing is enormous, and currently, not all materials that are used to make these garments are sustainable.
Bamboo is one of the best alternatives out there for the abundant producing counterparts such as polyester. In the long term, polyester poses a lot of threats to the environment that need to be dealt with better by all of us as a whole on this Earth, but with sustainable and eco friendly garments such as those made of bamboo, there will be a lot less to worry about.