October 18, 2022
Bamboo is a grass of the Poacea plant family. It grows easily and vigorously in many varieties. Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing wood plants (or grasses) on the planet. It is not like trees and, much like your lawn grass, it grows back after being cut. The strong, resilient underground root system called rhizomes allows it to reproduce the visible bamboo poles quickly after being cut. Bamboo poles can grow up to 24 inches per day on average. Although bamboo is often associated with the tropics, it can be grown in all climates.
There are two ways to process bamboo into a textile: mechanically or chemically.
The mechanical manufacturing process involves crushing the woody portion of the plant, then using natural enzymes to destroy the bamboo cell walls. This creates a mushy mass. The natural fiber can be mechanically combed and spun into yarn. This fabric has a similar feel as linen. This method of producing bamboo material is very rare as it is labor-intensive and costly.
Most Bamboo fabrics are made using a chemical process that is very similar to rayon produced from cotton or wood. There are many ways to chemically create bamboo rayon fabric. The most popular is the viscose method which involves hydrolysis alkalization and multi-phase bleaching.
This is how bamboo shoots and leaves are cooked in strong chemical solvents like sodium hydroxide or carbon disulfide.
The resulting liquid is then pushed through small holes into a sulfuric acid bath where it hardens to fine strands.
These strands can then be washed, bleached, and made into rayon yarn. This rayon yarn is known as "rayon from bamboo" and can be dyed or woven into soft silky fabrics.
Give bamboo products from ettitude a try and see what all the fuss is about!