It's the fastest growing plant on the planet. Pandas love to eat it. It's used for everything from cooking to making clothing, and many things in between.
We're talking about bamboo, of course!
While bamboo has been used in Asia for many centuries, bamboo wasn't used to make clothing until the early 2000s. After Bejing University developed the process of turning bamboo into fabric, textile-creation was added to the long list of "uses for bamboo."
How Bamboo Fabric is Made
Bamboo fabric, or "bamboo viscose," is actually a type of rayon. It is made by extracting cellulose from wood pulp. Although it is technically a man made fabric, bamboo viscose is created from natural materials.
The process of making bamboo fabric involves the use of solvents to break down the bamboo and bleaching chemicals to dye the fibers white. After that, the fabric can be turned into clothing, sheets, and even towels.
While bamboo still isn't as well known as cotton, it's definitely making a name for itself in the clothing market. In fact, from 2004 to 2010, the market for bamboo fabric grew by 5,000% due to its affordability, availability, and soft, pliable texture—but there are so many other things that bamboo great! Here are seven of the most widely recognized benefits of bamboo clothing.
Bamboo Clothing Benefits
Bamboo is Super soft yet strong:
Fabric made from bamboo is as soft as fine silk, yet it’s also very durable. This opulent fabric provides luxury at an affordable price, and it can be worn all year round. Bamboo’s softness make it the perfect material for hats, especially for people with sensitive scalps.
Bamboo is Hygienic:
Resistant to odor, mold, mildew, and bacteria, Bamboo's natural antimicrobial properties are a definite benefit. The fiber maintains its antibacterial characteristics even after numerous washings. Unlike cashmere, bamboo is hypoallergenic, so it does not itch or cause flare-ups of skin conditions like eczema.
Bamboo is Breathable:
Bamboo fabric is covered with "micro-gaps" that allow air to pass through the fabric. Increased airflow means more moisture absorption and ventilation, which means you'll be more comfortable as you go about your day. Since bamboo also wicks moisture away from the body, it is ideal for yoga, exercise, sports, gardening, and tons of other "sweaty" activities.
Bamboo is Carefree:
Unlike other luxury fabrics, bamboo is machine washable in cool water, and it can even be tumble dried. There's no need for dry cleaning, hand washing, or fabric softeners. Furthermore, wrinkles can be easily and quickly removed with a handheld steamer or by lightly straying with water and laying flat.
Bamboo Offers UV protection:
The bamboo plant is resistant to UV rays, and it retains this trait even after it is turned into fabric. In fact, bamboo protects covered skin from the vast majority of harmful UV rays. It is a perfect option for people of all ages who need to protect their skin or scalp.
Bamboo is Attractive:
Bamboo is colorfast and accepts organic and natural dyes extremely well, leading to rich and beautiful hues. Soft and luxe, bamboo has a gorgeous "draping" quality that gives it an elegant, flattering look. Although bamboo is widely used in casual wear, its luxurious quality lends itself to beautiful dresses and skirts. It is easy to dress up with a patterned bamboo scarf on a solid-colored dress or vice versa. Try mixing and matching colors and textures to get a unique and dimensional look.
Bamboo is a Renewable Resource:
The bamboo plant is actually a giant, woody grass. It's super fast growing, and some species can even grow over 3 feet per day. This makes bamboo a highly renewable resource—according to some, it's actually the world's most renewable resource. Additionally, unlike many other plants, bamboo contains an antibacterial bio-agent called Bamboo Kun and is naturally pest resistant, so pesticides and fungicides aren’t needed in the growing process. The bamboo plant also improves air quality by absorbing carbon dioxide from the air (more than many other heavily farmed plants, such as cotton), and releasing large amounts of oxygen into the atmosphere.
Go ahead—try out this ultra-fabulous fabric. You have a whole lot to gain!