What's the fuss about bamboo?

October 18, 2022

What's the fuss about bamboo?

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.

5 Reasons to love Bamboo

  1. Fabric made out of bamboo is one of the most sustainable bedding fabric options on the market. Considered to be a renewable resource because of how quickly it regenerates, it’s one of the fastest growing plants in the world. 
  2. Because the bamboo plant grows so densely without needing to be replanted, it yields 20x more than timber trees covering the same area. 
  3. It cleans the air! Bamboo produces 40% more oxygen than a wooded forest on the same amount of land. 
  4. The root system and large canopy of bamboo reduces rain run off which helps to prevent soil erosion. 
  5. It’s naturally organic. Bamboo grows at a rapid rate and does not require any spraying with toxic chemicals because it is never eaten by pests or infected with pathogens as a result of the Bamboo Kun (a natural pesticide to bamboo).

How is bamboo fabric made?

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.

The Benefits of Bamboo Fabric Sheets

  1. Made from the pulp of bamboo grass, bamboo sheets are very soft and comfortable. Bamboo yarn is finer than cotton so the standard 300 thread count in bamboo textile is equal to 1000 thread count cotton sheets. 
  2. Bamboo clothing keeps your body temperature cool and helps to regulate it throughout the night. The cross-section of the bamboo fibre is covered with micro-gaps giving the fabric better moisture absorption and ventilation.
  3. It’s hypoallergenic. People with sensitive skin and allergies often choose natural bamboo products for this very reason. 
  4. It’s vegan and cruelty-free. Bamboo fabric is often referred to as vegan silk or fake silk.
  5. Because it's naturally the softest fabric, bamboo bedding is easy on the skin and hair. Unlike traditional bedding materials, bamboo fiber helps to keep your hair soft and tangle-free.

Give bamboo products from ettitude a try and see what all the fuss is about!