Bamboo fabric – Because of the almost organic way bamboo plant is grown the fabric made from fibers of this plant is gaining much popularity among the eco conscious people among us ( Who isn’t these days? ). Many different products like Bath and hand towels , accessories, bedding, garments are being made in this fabric and we are lapping it all up.
Other than the eco label Bamboo fabric has, there are many other advantages to this beautiful fabric . Let me list some favourable facts related to bamboo fabric here
Bamboo Fabric – Benefits
- Bamboo fabric is very soft, infact the loyalists and the retailers claim it is as fine as silk.The fiber of the bamboo plant is round and smooth and this makes it super soft
- Bamboo plant has a natural ability to repel pests ; So it doesnot require much pesticides to grow and thrive, which can only be good.
- Bamboo fibers doesnot under go much chemical processing to make the fabric ; so you can easily wear it without causing any allergic irritation to the skin that is more prevalent with heavily processes fabrics ( Bamboo processing uses caustic soda; So it is not without any chemicals, though better than other fabric manufacturing processes)
- Bamboo plant grows very fast; infact it is one of the fastest growing plants. So you get more fibers in one year than other plants like flax.It is evergrowing and regrows fast after a harvest
- Bamboo fibers are water absorbent. So if you live in a humid environment this is the fabric for you. Think of the sweat it will absorb and evaporate out of your body.
- Bamboo fabric breathes making you comfortable in garments made in this.This is supposed to be due to its matrix structure with microscopic rifts
- Bamboo fabric is insulating. Infact it can adapt to any weather and make you cool in hot climate and warm in winter. It is said to be thermal regulating in that sense. The bamboo fabric claims to be cooler than cotton so those in warmer weather can be very comfortable in this fabric.
- Bamboo fabric is lightweight yet strong.
- Bamboo fabric is claimed to be antibacterial as well. This makes it a suitable fabric for baby products like wipes sheets and towels
- Bamboo takes dye very well and displays it vividly.
- Bamboo fabric drapes nicely on the body
- Bamboo fabric is biodegradable hence those concerned about the footprint your chemically grown fabric leaves on this earth need not be with this fabric.
How is Bamboo fabric made?
First the bamboo stalks are cut into small pieces. Bamboo undergoes a process in which it is made into wood pulp. This wood pulp is dried into sheets and these sheets are then made into the soft viscose. Viscose is then processed to form bamboo thread which forms the yarn used to weave the bamboo fabric
Is Bamboo Fabric organic ?
Bamboo fabric cannot claim to be an organic fabric because of the processing involved in its production but there are many pluses which make it a favourable fabric choice for me. Bamboo grows very fast and it also spread fast across large areas of cultivation without the use of fertilizers and without the need for pesticides. And that is organic enough for me when I consider the large scale use of pesticides in the production of other plant fibers.
What are the types of Bamboo fabric available
100% bamboo – This is the true blue bamboo fabric which is extremely soft and almost feels like silk.
Bamboo & organic cotton blend – This is suitable for screen printing unlike pure bamboo fabric
Lycra/spandex Bamboo blend – Lycra or spandex is blended with bamboo to give it the elastic stretchy property of these fabrics
How to care for Bamboo fabric
Follow the directions on the garment for specific care of bamboo fabric. Most Bamboo fabric shrink after wash to about 2-3% unless it is preshrunk
Handwashing is recommended for bamboo clothes so that the shape of the garment is not distorted. At least do not tumble dry. Tumble drying bamboo clothes is really not advised. Line drying is the best option to retain the shape of bamboo fabric garments.
Use synthetic setting on your iron to press bamboo fabric. Bamboo fabric do not tolerate high heat. Also do not use steam pressing with bamboo fabric.