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A Quick Guide to Bamboo Fabric

Posted on February 27 2018

 

If you’re buying sheets, pillow protectors, or pillowcases, you’ve probably heard about the benefits of bamboo fabric vs those of cotton. How do you know which one to choose? And what is the enthusiasm around bamboo all about anyway?

Luxurious, smooth, soft, and eco-friendly, bamboo textiles are noted for their anti-microbial and moisture wicking properties.

 

What is bamboo fabric?

 

Woven from the pulp of the bamboo plant, bamboo fabric is among the world’s softest and most environmentally-friendly textiles. Bamboo can grow up to four feet per day and reaches maturity after four years. Unlike cotton, it does not have to be pulled from the soil by its roots, and it needs no cultivation by pollution-inducing machinery.

 

Once harvested, the bamboo is ground into pulp and processed - either chemically or mechanically - in much the same way that rayon or linen is. Factory workers run the pulp through spinnerets that create thread to weave into fabric. Bamboo can feature either a sateen or a twill weave.

 

What makes bamboo bed sheets different from cotton ones?

 

Many people believe bamboo is softer, smoother, and silkier than cotton. Certainly, it’s better for the environment. But bamboo sheets aren’t just more comfortable than cotton ones. They are also more durable. If washed on the gentle cycle and either air dried or tumbled on low heat, bamboo sheets outlast cotton ones. They are also cooler than cotton thanks to bamboo fabric’s breathable nature. Finally, bamboo is naturally hypoallergenic, and synthetic cotton is not.

 

What kind of products are crafted from bamboo fabric?

 

Bamboo isn’t just for sheets and towels. It’s become the go-to choice for eco-friendly fashion, as well. Thanks to its softness, bamboo has become an especially popular choice for intimate apparel, such as underwear, bathing suits, and sleepwear. The fabric can also fashion medical masks, doctors’ supplies, and bandages.

 

In the home, bamboo makes a great mattress protector since it’s waterproof and hypoallergenic. It has also gained popularity as a high-end but affordable blanket and as a sheet set.

 

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What are the benefits of bamboo bed sheets?

 

Besides being eco-friendly and soft, bamboo offers plenty of other benefits as a bed covering.

  • Durability - Bamboo’s long fibers stretch the full length of the sheet unlike cotton fibers that have to be woven together creating more weak spots.
  • Thermo-regulating - Micro gaps in bamboo fabric help keep sleepers cool at night.
  • Economical - Although bamboo products come with a larger price tag than some cotton blend ones, they are more affordable than the Egyptian or Turkish cottton options they compare to.
  • Beautiful - Bamboo sheets don’t pill or wrinkle like other kind of sheets. So even if you forget them in the dryer, they’ll come out looking smooth.

 

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Are there any drawbacks to bamboo fabric?

 

While bamboo is much better for the environment than cotton, it is not entirely organic. The chemicals traditionally used to process bamboo pulp into fabric can harm biodiversity in the areas where they are released. Recent improvements in fabric creation, however, are limiting the damage these chemicals used to cause.

 

Sometimes, bamboo is more expensive than cotton - especially cheap synthetic cotton. Of course, bamboo also lasts longer. Still, if you’re planning to use the product for a few days and comfort is not essential, cotton may be your cheaper choice.

 

Oh, and don’t worry about the pandas. They eat a different kind of bamboo than the ones used to make fabric.

 

Final thoughts.

 

Bamboo is a fast-growing plant that’s much more socially responsible and environmentally sustainable than cotton. Plus, it makes super-soft, antibacterial sheets with moisture wicking properties that helps dreams be deep and sweet.

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