Is Bamboo the New Eco-Sustainable Cotton?

January 29, 2011

Have you ever read about fabric made out of bamboo plants? I did, and I’m quite curious about it. It’s really hard to find it in my country, so I’m about to order some online as soon as possible. This bamboo fabric seems to have all the characteristic I look for in clothes:

  • It’s cruelty free. It can look and feel like wool, but it doesn’s involve animals exploitation, of any kind. In fact, bamboo is a very common plant.
  • It’s eco friendly. Bamboo plants don’t need any chemicals to grow. In fact they’re not affected by diseases that affect most cultivations.
  • It’s safe for people suffering from allergies. It’s a natural material, so it won’t cause any reaction on your skin. Of course, it must be dyed with natural colours!
  • It’s a very versatile material. They really make everything out of it. From silky fabric to knitted clothes, or jersey that looks like lycra!
It is also often mixed with organic cotton, to mantain its eco friendly edge; I’m sure this blend would feel even softer!
I can see other benefits from this material: when it comes to diy, it’s easier because you can leave raw edges and your bamboo fabric won’t fray.
I found some bamboo jersey description directly from a producer:

*What is Bamboo Jersey?*

It’s Natural and Soft:
Bamboo plant can even grow up fast in one night. As it is a fast-growing and quickly renewable natural resource, bamboo can replace cotton, wood, etc. Soft and drapes like silks and dries easily.

Anti-Bacterial:
Scientist found that bamboo contains a special anti-bacterial agent named “Bamboo Kun”. This substance has particular and natural anti-bacterial and deodorizing functions. Even after fifty washings, bamboo fabric still keeps its excellent properties.

Anti-UV radiation:
Exposure of human skin to UV radiation causes some serious skin problems such as aging of skin, roughening, wrinkles, blotches, sagging and sometimes leads to skin cancer. Bamboo fabric can protect human skin strongly from damages of UV radiation, because it naturally possesses anti-UV radiation characteristics

Breathable & Cool:
The bamboo fibre cross-section is fully filled with micro-gaps and micro-holes, so it has excellent properties of breathability and moisture absorption. Thanks to this unique microstructure bamboo fibre clothes can absorb and evaporate sweat very quickly.

Authoritative sources have tested these bamboo properties and state that in midsummer clothes produced with bamboo fibre maintain body temperature 1 or 2 degrees lower than normal garments.

Now, on to the results. Is it nice to look at? Does it have a soft touch? See for yourself. Check these various Etsy sellers who deal with bamboo fabrics:
Not many use this fabric yet, maybe because it’s still a bit expensive.
I’m waiting to receive my orders, and then I’ll write a proper review of how does it feel on your skin! I can’t wait, I might have found the right solution for my wardrobe! Especially because it’s perfect for the oversize/loose trend (that I absolutely love!)
Do you have bamboo clothes? How do they feel? Leave a comment below and share your experience!
Elisa

About the Author

Elisa

Hey, it's Elisa, the woman who founded styleonvega.com in 2010, when it was called styleBizarre. I gave this blog to another awesome woman and she's now running the whole thing: Cynthia. If you want to follow me on my website or social media please click on the icons that are probably showing somewhere around this text box :D

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Amber S. Brown

I love the idea of bamboo cotton! It's a great to be fashion-forward and stylish without sacrificing sustainability
ASB,
xoxxo
http://imfreestyling.blogpot.com

Laura Connell

Yes, bamboo is a very nice soft and versatile fabric. It does pill, however, unlike silk for which it is often said to be a good eco-friendly replacement. I remember working with a designer who made a dress in both silk and bamboo (bamboo is also less expensive) and the bamboo began to pill pretty quickly. I would only use bamboo for very casual wear for that reason. I still adore silk, I can't help it. I truly adore it.

Vivian

oooh does it really pill so much? Maybe it has to be hand washed! Or in cold water!

The Fashionable Traveler

It's very similar to rayon. Depending on the quality of the fibers used in the fabrics, some will pill more than others. It is extremely soft, but 100% bamboo jersey is very drapey and difficult to control when sewing, and personally I feel it's a little clingy. I personally prefer fabrics with more structure, so I love the bamboo blend french terry for loungewear, it's very luxurious.

Vivian

I'm still "studying" this fabric, I see you know something more than me: how comes that some sites tell that bamboo is a chemical free fabric and here it does tell the exact opposite? What is the truth?

Nicoletta

(grazie per avermi fatto notare che non avevo specificato chi aveva nominato per me l'award XD sono veramente rincoglionita e mi ero riproposta di inserire il link alla fine del post e ovviamente poi l'ho dimenticato ahah che poi, per inciso, non conosco assolutamente l'utilità di questi awards né chi li ha messi in circolo, però mi dispiaceva troppo ignorare il fatto che una mia lettrice mi aveva nominata e quindi ho continuato questa catena O.o poi trovo che "versatile blogger" sia una qualità molto adatta a te e al tuo blog, quindi mi fa molto piacere poterti nominare!)
Comunque questa verità incerta sul bamboo è un po' inquietante…non resta che attendere e vedere come si evolve la distribuzione e l'utilizzo di questo materiale per sapere la verità…

Burcin

You have to see also the treatments which it is exposed to, and the methods of realization of that yarn, they could make it very expensive and not eco-friendly at all, that's for that reasons that not every brand is open to this choices, like organic cotton in denim…is useless buying it if you have to wash it with aggressive chemical agents!

p.s. ed è stato un fornitore di tessuti a dirmelo, che in teoria ci va anche a perdere! (levando il fatto che era ovvio e non avrebbe imbrogliato nessuno dicendo il contrario : D)

Vivian

E quindi? Faccio meno danno a spella' na pecora? XDDDD

Burcin

Aòòò ma in che lingua devo scrive non ce sto a capì più'n'cazzo! XD

Emilie

woooh the blue ones are awesome, where can I get a pair? 🙂 I think we'll see a lot more about that in the future!!
oh and yes: she did pair that, horrific, but hey it's always good to have a nice bag with you isn't it? 🙂

xxxx

lifeisroyalty.blogspot.com

BARESTUDY (Janelle)

love the white one!!! if only it wasn't a low-crotch style.. dang, haha! anyway, thanks for sharing. this is awesome

Janelle
Fashion blog–
http://barestudy.blogspot.com

Vivian

Yes I know, they're a bit too "low" haha! But they're awesome! I think I'm gonna end up buying them! >

Merry Makes..

I've noticed bamboo yarn being used by crocheters and knitters. I didn't know that bamboo pills. That's one thing I can't stand in clothing.

Vivian

Yes but it looks kinda "plastic-like" to me when it's used for knitting! Don't you think?

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