This article focuses on bamboo fibre for textiles, fabric and furnishings. My article on the material bamboo may also be of interest to you.
- Bamboo fabric comes from the bamboo plant, a type of grass that is quick growing, flexible and with the strength of steel.
- Bamboo fibre is used in textiles as 100% pure content or as a fibre blend.
- The bamboo stalk is processed to extract the strands of plant fibre.
- The plant fibre is natural cellulose and without additives.
- Chemicals are used to turn the plant fibres into textiles using a process similar to rayon production.
- When blended with other fibres e.g. cotton – this creates a heavier weighted fabric.
- Textiles such as bed linen, bath robes, flannels, bath mats, towels, aprons, oven gloves, tea towels, nappies, clothing.
- Soft & silky to touch.
- Take colour and dyes easily.
- Holds a natural sheen.
- Lengths of fabric drape well.
- A highly absorbent material.
- Quick drying properties.
- Can be machine washed.
- Excellent anti microbial properties.
- Excellent anti allergic properties.
- Good odour absorption properties.
- As with all products that originate from overseas, high levels of embodied energy are created with transportation and distribution.
- Currently China dominant the industry with the methods to process bamboo into fibre.
- Mexico are in the process of establishing a bamboo fibre industry to compete with China (this will lower transportation kilometres which will lower the levels of embodied energy).
- Manufactured in Asia, USA & Europe.
- 100% sustainable, quick renewing and abundant fibre.
Environment & Health
- Bamboo agriculture doesn’t need any chemicals during farming; pesticides, fertilizers etc.
- Bamboo trees/stalks absorb up to 45% more carbon compared with timber trees.
- The bamboo tree is rapidly renewing.
- The solvent used to process bamboo fibre into fabric is toxic.
- Some manufacturers of bamboo fibre use a ‘closed loop’ production process which looks at using less solvent through recycling, less water, energy and resources whilst creating less waste – lowering the negative effect on the environment.
- Bamboo fibre processing has much less of an environmental impact than cotton.
- Source organic bamboo fabric where possible, as this is odour free and manufactured without any chemicals.
- Stronger than beech, oak, ample.
- Bamboo textiles can be easily recycled.
Disposal / Biodegradable
- 100% biodegradable textile fibre.
- Bamboo fibres will decompose in sewage in as few as 8 days.
- Employee standards must be overseen in areas where harvesting takes place.
- The impact on the surrounding environment must be observed for any negative changes.