There are clothes made of bamboo fabric in your home, but do you know how is the bamboo fabric made? This blog will tell you the answer.
Bamboo has rapidly risen to the top of the list of the world’s eco-friendly textiles. It has replaced silk and cashmere as a favorite fabric for socks and t-shirts because it feels as soft and opulent but costs a fraction of the price. Bamboo is environmentally friendly, easy to grow, and has a very low environmental impact.
So how is the bamboo fabric made? It wasn’t until relatively recently, though, that two manufacturing techniques were widely adopted to transform the quickly proliferating plant into a fiber that could be used to create soft and cushy apparel, bedding, and towels.
Take a closer look at the processes used to create bamboo fabric.
How is the Bamboo Fabric Made?
Two manufacturing processes are currently used to make fabric from bamboo: mechanical processing and chemical processing.
The first method is a mechanical process where the bamboo’s wood portion is crushed into a pulp and broken down using enzymes that allow the resulting material to be combed and spun into yarn.
The benefits of mechanically processed bamboo fabric include its linen-like feel, its inherent antifungal and antimicrobial properties, its quick moisture absorption and drying abilities, its capacity to maintain a comfortable temperature in both warm and cool conditions, its ultraviolet protection, and its anti-static properties.
But because mechanically extracted bamboo fibers are more expensive, viscose rayon, a chemically processed version of bamboo, is frequently used to make contemporary bamboo clothing. Crushing bamboo and soaking it in sodium hydroxide produces this rayon. The cellulose in the bamboo is broken down during this process to create fibers.
Sadly, it also eliminates a lot of the bamboo fiber’s natural qualities, turning it into rayon just like that made from other cellulose sources. Unless a product is made directly with bamboo fiber (mechanically processed bamboo) it is not allowed to be called “bamboo”.
Properties of Bamboo Fibre
- Naturally soft like silk, however much cheaper
- Bamboo clothing is easier to launder and clean
- Bamboo fibers are rounded, so clothing made of them is less itchy. This is great for people with sensitive skin
- Bamboo fabric is known to be antibacterial and antifungal
- For anyone who is allergic to more common materials, bamboo fabric and clothing are hypoallergenic and perfect.
- Clothing made of bamboo is incredibly absorbent and wicks away moisture up to four times more effectively than cotton. Bamboo clothing keeps you cool and won’t stick to your skin in hot, muggy climates and conditions.
- In comparison to cotton, hemp, wool, and other synthetic fibers, bamboo fibers have a structure and makeup that make their fabric much more breathable and thermally regulating.
- Clothing made of bamboo creases less easily. After washing, the clothing may still need to be ironed, but you can do so at a lower temperature because there was little shrinkage.
- Despite numerous washings, bamboo fabric retains colors and dyes better than cotton and the color is brighter for a longer period of time.
What Are the Disadvantages of Bamboo Fabric?
Bamboo viscose‘s claim to sustainability is disproved by the fabric’s extensive use of harsh chemicals in its production. However, there is an increasing amount of research being done on the closed-loop method of producing bamboo fabric to lessen the negative environmental impact.
A problem with bamboo’s carbon footprint is that it is primarily exported from China. The environmental impact of bamboo fabric is comparable to other natural fabrics like cotton, despite the fact that the majority of materials are produced and exported internationally.
However, unlike synthetic fabrics like nylon and polyester, bamboo fabric has the major advantage of not shedding microplastics.
Is Bamboo Fabric Actually Sustainable?
The merits of the plant, rather than the manufacturing process, account for a large portion of bamboo fabric’s sustainability credentials.
The fastest-growing plant on Earth, bamboo is a member of the grass family and matures much more quickly than trees. Moso bamboo, a tropical grass plant that is distinct from the species consumed by pandas, provides the majority of the bamboo used in bamboo textiles.
It is self-sufficient, regenerates annually, and has a vast root system that reduces soil erosion. Bamboo can sustain itself and thrive without chemical pesticides or fertilizers if it receives enough rainfall. Bamboo can produce up to 35% more oxygen and can absorb four times as much carbon dioxide as a hardwood tree.
However, only bamboo fabric made using a mechanical method can be regarded as completely sustainable.
Is Bamboo Fabric Ethical?
Is bamboo fabric ethical? will likely be the most pressing query many people have after reading this. Yes is the simple but sometimes complicated answer. It can be ethical if it is sourced properly and processed in the best, most environmentally friendly way possible.
Like with most things that become popular, there will always be a portion of the production industry that seeks to produce the product as quickly, cheaply, and quickly as possible while also making a profit.
Because it entirely depends on the growers, the producers, and the clothing designers who then source the material, we said it could be difficult to answer the question of whether bamboo is ethical.
Final Words: How is the Bamboo Fabric Made?
The pulp of the bamboo plant is used to produce bamboo products. The cellulose and fiber are separated after the stalks are crushed. After that, the cellulose is made into thread and woven into fabric. Viscose or rayon bamboo fiber can be used to create bamboo fabric.
Is Bamboo Fabric Really Eco-friendly?
In theory, bamboo textiles should be one of the most sustainable options for an eco-friendly closet. Bamboo absorbs a lot of carbon dioxide—five times more than comparable plants—and 35% more oxygen. It also grows quickly, requires little water, fertilizer, or pesticides, and sequesters a lot of the gas.
Is Bamboo Fabric 100% Bamboo?
The blend of bamboo and cotton: The most popular bamboo blends are 40% cotton, 60% bamboo rayon, 70% bamboo rayon, and 30% cotton. Blending makes the fabric slightly stronger than 100% pure bamboo. However, it also affects how soft the fabric is. Sadly, the bamboo blend becomes less sustainable when cotton is added.
What Chemicals Are Used to Make Bamboo Fabric?
Sodium hydroxide and carbon disulfide are the two toxic chemicals combined with wood pulp to form viscose rayon “bamboo” fabric.