While many people commonly associate bamboo with home décor items, mats, furniture and different types of art, there is a growing trend in the fashion industry as more and more clothing designers are using bamboo fabric rather than cotton. Our bamboo scarves and cowls are a great example!
While bamboo clothing items such as scarves, shirts and sweaters have been overlooked for years, it is starting to gain in popularity with designers and consumers who are looking for something unique. It is even used for rugs and towels because the fabric is known to dry very quickly.
The Process of Turning Bamboo into TextilesHere are the steps to organically turn bamboo into a textile:
- Bamboo is harvested. Only the leaves and soft pith inside the bamboo stalks are used.
- Bamboo is crushed using heavy rocks or plywood boards.
- The crushed bamboo is placed into a container with water and natural enzymes.
- Let the bamboo sit until it takes on a pulp like state.
- Drain the bamboo and allow it to dry.
- Cut the bamboo fibres into smaller pieces.
- Place pieces into a pressurized vat with water and amine oxide (a nontoxic solvent).
- Heat mixture until bamboo fibres dissolve.
- Pour the liquid through a filter. This will create long textile fibres.
- Place the fibres in a mixture of water and amine oxide. Wait for the fibres to become soft and flexible.
- Rinse fibres.
- Hand dry and comb out the fibres, separating them in the process.
- Spin fibres into thread by hand. You can also use a spinning wheel.
- Knit (or weave) the thread to create the fabric.
There you have it! The organic and environmentally-friendly process to turn bamboo into a fabric that can be used to create almost any type of clothing. For designers, bamboo fabric is easy to use, and very versatile, allowing them to create almost any type of garment. It is naturally soft, and it takes dye colors well. In fact, it is actually softer than cotton and is commonly compared to cashmere from a softness perspective.
Benefits of Bamboo FabricsThere are four main benefits of using bamboo as a textile:
- It's antibacterial: Bamboo fabric is naturally antibacterial, and these properties do not diminish when washed.
- It's eco-friendly: Bamboo fabric is environmentally friendly. From the manufacturing process being easier on the environment, to bamboo requiring less water and energy to harvest, its quick regrowth, and because it does not require pesticides, it has much less of an impact than other materials used for textiles.
- It absorbs water well: Bamboo fabric naturally absorbs water. It can help to repel water, also, making it ideal for outdoor clothing, and it will help you stay cool and dry during the summer when it’s hot.
- It’s hypoallergenic: The fabric can be worn against the skin without the negative reactions that people experience when they wear other fabrics. Bamboo fibre is naturally smooth, making it less likely to irritate people who have reactions to other textiles..