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Bamboo Clothing: The Trending Eco-Friendly Fabric!

What is bamboo textile?
Any cloth or clothing made from bamboo fibers is known as bamboo textile. In recent years, technology advancement has allowed bamboo fiber to be used for a wide range of textile and fashion applications. Bamboo can be treated as an alternative to plastic that is renewable and can be replenished at a really fast rate. A few types of bamboo fabric are environmentally sustainable.

How is bamboo fabric made?
A number of different textiles that are made from the bamboo plant are known as bamboo fabric. Textiles of bamboo can be produced using various methods. Bamboo viscose is the majority of bamboo fabric produced worldwide, it is cheap to produce it has environmental disadvantages and can cause workplace hazard. Any fabric made using the viscose method developed in the early 20th century is termed as viscose.

Any fabric made with cellulose of tree is wasteful in nature, but this waste be dealt with sustainably when the right manufacturing processes are used. Wood of bamboo is broken into tiny chunks and soaked in harmful chemicals like caustic soda to remove the cellulose.

Closed-loop production process can also create bamboo cellulose. Closed-loop production process does not chemically change the structure of bamboo cellulose and thus the cellulose obtained can be considered organic. The harmful chemical that is used to make viscose rayon once used is wasted and ends up in the biosphere, but the solvents used to make closed-loop production can be reused many times and thus, limits the environmental impact of this industry.

Highest quality bamboo fabric is made with production that do not extract bamboo cellulose at all. Bamboo wood fibers are crushed and then a natural enzyme is used on it, and these fibers are then washed and spun into a yarn. The yarn obtained has a silky texture and the fabric produced is called bamboo linen.

The bamboo fabric made with this method is not harmful and the resulting textile is strong and long-lasting. Most bamboo fabrics are not made using a mechanical process, to ensure you are getting strong and long-lasting fabric that is not harmful to the society, make sure it is produced using a mechanical process and not a chemical one.

Is bamboo fabric expensive?
Bamboo fabric if made with the right process, is environmentally sustainable. Bamboo fabric is not a lot expensive than other fabrics. In fact, a lot of brands provide bamboo clothing range at a reasonable price. Bamboo fabric is not only luxuriously soft but it also absorbs moisture and is body odor-resistant. Bamboo fabric is great for people with allergies as it consists of antifungal and antibacterial properties. Bamboo fabric is perfect for both summer and winter.

Is bamboo fabric eco-friendly?
The sale of clothes made with bamboo fabric has increased considerably in the last few years given the environment awareness among people. Due to the softness and other features of bamboo fabric, it has gained the status of eco-friendly and fashionable.

Even the price of bamboo fabric is considerably cheaper to silk with its texture similar to silk. There is a lot of reasons for bamboo fabrics to become so popular. Bamboo fabrics are softer than cotton and its texture is similar to silk.

Bamboo clothes absorb moisture so they are appropriate for wearing in summer. Bamboo fabric takes much lesser time to dry as compared to cotton. Hence, bamboo bedding, rugs, towels, etc. sales also increased considerably.

Pros and Cons of Bamboo Fabric
Bamboo fabric is used for a huge range of clothing. Bamboo fabric is appropriate as active wear because of its antibacterial properties. Bamboo fabric when blended with cotton adds structure to a garment. Other features and pros or benefits of bamboo fabric are as follows :-
• Reduced Allergy – Bamboo fabric being organic and naturally smooth properties are not irritating to the skin. Hence, it is ideal for people with sensitive skin having allergies or other skin issues.
• Temperature Regulating – Generally, bamboo is wicking in nature. Bamboo fabric helps to regulate body temperature by absorbing the extra moisture and cools off a person in summer and provides warmth in winter.
• Moisture Absorber – Bamboo fabric has various micro-holes thus making it super absorbent in nature. Bamboo fabric typically is more absorbent than cotton.
• Breathable – When wet bamboo fabric does not cling to skin like other fabrics making it easy for the skin to breathe.
• Antibacterial and Anti-fungal – Bamboo fabric naturally consists of an antimicrobial agent, kun that prevents bacteria cultivating on either the fabric or the skin thus preventing odor in return.
• Protection from UV Rays – Bamboo provides protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

Bamboo fabric’s antifungal, antibacterial and protection from UV rays qualities make it a great fabric to design active wear.

Cons or disadvantages of Bamboo fabric
The cons or disadvantages of bamboo fabric are as follows :-
 Bamboo fabric generally shrink a lot and apparently it does shrink a lot more than cotton, therefore special care must be taken of bamboo fabric while laundering.
 Bamboo fabric wrinkles a lot more as compared to other fabrics. Hence, bamboo fabric may not be the ideal choice of fabric given the situation or occasion.
For many, the benefits of bamboo fabric outweigh the disadvantages.

How are people fooled in the name of bamboo fabric?
According to U.S Federal Trade Commission, many a times people are fooled and they are sold rayon in the name of soft bamboo fabric. There is also no evidence that rayon made from bamboo fiber retains the antimicrobial properties of the bamboo plant. Most bamboo fiber production takes place in China so it is difficult to monitor the production processes. The more interested consumers are, the more they will want transparency from their fabric’s producers or manufacturers.

In conclusion, the type of bamboo used to produce bamboo fabric is Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys pubescens). Consumer should read about bamboo fabrics before investing in them or ask the supplier about the source of the fabric or fiber used in their clothing. Awareness among consumers is the best method for applying pressure on bamboo fabric manufacturers or producers to ensure that it is eco-friendly and safe for humans who are going to use it.

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