Bamboo Fabric Properties And Benefits - All You Need To Know
Sleeping is one of the most important human activities besides eating and drinking. We cannot overstate the importance of good sleeping for human well-being. But, there are some facts about sleeping that you may not know. For example, the time you spend sleeping is not that important to your rest as the quality of sleep. Let’s make a parallel with diet; Eating huge amounts of unhealthy food is more harmful to health than eating moderate amounts of healthy food. Now, the question is what does make sleep good? Bamboo fabric is one of the things we’re going to talk about today.
Not to much surprise, an important factor in having a good sleep is the quality of beddings. There are many materials which can provide the best and most comfortable sleeping experience. We can start from good old cotton, wool, silk, and flannel to the modern fabrics like polyester, rayon, Tencel®, and other blends. But recently, there’s one fabric that gained popularity pretty quickly because of its comfort and eco-friendliness – bamboo fabric.
Bamboo is generally a very useful plant, especially in the Far East. People still make paper, clothes, hats, shoes, furniture and even houses from bamboo there. You can find bamboo materials in three basic forms:
- First is stiff strips of bamboo fiber that people can use to make hats and shoes. You’ve probably seen one particular design of bamboo hat, the one that looks like a wide cone. In the West, bamboo was more exotic item, on par with whalebone and ivory. It was a structural component in corsets, bustles and other fashionable clothing items.
- The second form of bamboo fiber is bamboo rayon. It is semi-synthetic fiber made chemically from cellulose that we extract from bamboo. Cellulose, which was made from steaming the bamboo leaves and pith and then crushing them, is treated with lye and then dissolved and reformed to make rayon. The process is pretty dangerous and workers are sometimes seriously harmed because of CS2 inhalation (carbon disulfide). Except being dangerous, this process leaves a lot of chemical waste, mostly in air, like aforementioned carbon disulfide.
- The third form of bamboo fiber is mechanically produced fine bamboo fiber. The process is similar to retting flax into linen fiber. The woody part of the bamboo is crushed mechanically and then it’s left to natural retting and washing process to extract the bamboo fiber. This bast (fibrous material from a plant) fiber is then spun into yarn. The yarn is soft and silky, but also a very durable and high quality material. This kind of material is litrax bamboo, after the Swiss company Litrax which uses this kind of processing.
There is another mean of extracting bamboo fiber, but it’s very specific to the area of Kerala in India, and it’s pretty cumbersome. Besides, this fiber is too rough and coarse to be of use in making fine yarn, thread, textiles, or bamboo bedding.
Bamboo has many advantages over cotton as a raw material. Being the largest member of grass family, it grows very fast (some Japanese species grow even a meter per day). There are more than 1600 species of bamboo found in various climates. Combine that with fast growth and low maintenance, and you’ll get one of the cleanest and most sustainable resources in the world.
Moso bamboo is the best when it comes to manufacturing clothes. It’s not the kind of bamboo that pandas eat, so don’t worry about taking the food from those cute bears’ mouth. It’s the most important bamboo species in China and takes around 3 million hectares, which is 2% of total Chinese forest area.
Bamboo is very important in environmental protection, because of its superb absorption of CO2 and generation of oxygen, which is 35% more than trees. Also, bamboo uses significantly smaller amounts of water and that’s why it can endure very harsh weather conditions. Bamboo doesn’t need any pesticide or fertilizer when growing, because it’s basically grass. And last but not least, bamboo is completely biodegradable, like any other cellulose material, so having reached the end of its use, bamboo clothes can be disposed in eco-friendly manner.
The advantages of bamboo fabric
The advantages of the bamboo fiber bedding are numerous and they extend to much more than economical and eco-friendly factors:
Bamboo fabric is really soft, twice than cotton. Actually, bamboo is to cotton what cashmere is to wool- softer, silkier and more luxurious iteration. Bamboo fabric is comfortable for both beddings and clothes. Bamboo made shirts are famous for being the most comfortable in the world, and they are good for any season. The lightness and softness of the bamboo fabric will turn your sleep quality up to eleven. Out of ten.
Bacteria usually don’t live well in the bamboo fabric, because of it’s hypoallergenic traits. There were studies that investigated the antibacterial nature of bamboo fabric against high levels of bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. The studies found that bamboo bedding showed excellent and durable antibacterial activities against both gram-positive and gram -negative bacteria. So, the fabric doesn’t get smelly even after many days and it’s extremely easy to wash. All it’s needed is a cold wash separately, in 30o C at most, and then line drying on a sunny day, and you’ve got fresh sheets for weeks. You don’t have to use any chemicals in washing.
Bamboo fabrics cut out 97,5% of harmful ultraviolet rays. The secret is in the painted fibers with special UV absorbing chemicals. When testing for UV radiation and absorbing capabilities, a value above 50 is considered to be good. This chemically treated bamboo fabric has a UV protection value up to 56. This makes bamboo fiber sheets and clothes ideal for holiday and covering yourself from harmful UV rays during summer.
Hypoallergenic & anti-static
Another great feature of bamboo fabric is its kindness to skin. We already mentioned how supremely soft this fabric is and how it’s antibacterial. The silky smooth and soft material like bamboo fabric is perfect for dry and allergy prone skin. Also, bamboo fiber is highly breathable and prevents sweating and getting skin dry or soggy. This material is also completely anti-static, so you won’t feel any sparks or uncomfortable static discharge during your sleep.
One of the prominent qualities of bamboo fiber is how it deals with moisture. Sweaty sleepers often have issues finding the right beddings that can let their skin breathe freely. Because the cross-section of the fiber in bamboo bedding has various micro-gaps and micro-holes, it has much better moisture absorption and ventilation. Moisture absorbency is twice than that of cotton with extraordinary soil release. Bamboo fiber garments can absorb and evaporate human sweat in a split of a second – just like breathing. Such a garment makes people feel extremely cool, comfortable and never sticking to skin even in hot summer.
Finally, a word or two about bamboo fiber’s thermo control. We mentioned in the previous paragraph that bamboo fiber has cross section structure, which is full of various micro gaps and holes. That kind of structure allows bamboo fiber to keep the warmth, but also gives the sheets chance to breathe. This makes bamboo fiber a great material – not only for beddings but also for clothes and even underwear.
So, where to find a bamboo bedding?
All these qualities made bamboo fiber really popular in the last decade. What do conventional fashion designers Diane von Furstenberg, Oscar de la Renta, Kate O’Connor, Agnes B, eco-fashion designers at United Bamboo, clothing manufacturers from Bamboosa, and fabric manufacturers at Table Bay Spinners of South Africa have in common? That’s right, bamboo.
If I could take any of the companies that make and sell bamboo beddings, that would be My Panda Life. Why them? Well, first of all, they specialize in pillows, but they make all kinds of bamboo beddings. Secondly, they sell their products under a distinctive and cute brand of panda bear. Before you complain, no pandas were harmed in the making if their products, and no panda food either. The bamboo they use for making their products is not the same that pandas eat. Yet, the connection between pandas and bamboo is strong enough to make this brand quite obvious. One of the best bamboo pillows, for example, is Panda Luxury Memory Foam Bamboo pillow and you can read the review of it.
They make all of their products from the finest materials. 100% bamboo fiber, using the best expertise and production practices to ensure excellent quality, reliability and fashion. Their products are designed to last, easy to look after and every item is uniquely designed to offer something special in terms of look and feel. All their products are Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 certified. This global testing and certification system is the strictest in terms of cleanliness and purity of products, ensuring they comply with health standards and are safe even for babies.
Final thoughts about bamboo fabric
So, if you are in need of comfortable, soft, eco-friendly, easy to maintain and affordable bedding, your first choice should be the pillows and bed sheets from bamboo fiber. Bamboo beddings have superior qualities over the competition, especially in the past few years. With sheets and beddings made from bamboo materials, you will have more peaceful sleep, sweat less, be less prone to allergies and skin irritation, and feel more comfortable in your own bed. Isn’t that just what everyone needs for a good night’s sleep?