Bamboo as a fiber, and why I love it.
Touted as one of the most sustainable fabrics available…it's kinder and gentler when it comes to Mother Earth. When we think of bamboo, we probably think of paper or items for the kitchen, but that’s no longer the case. With modern technology today, we can find bamboo used in some rather unconventional ways, and fabric is one of them.
Bamboo is a plant-based fabric that is made when pressure is applied to fine bamboo chips. This pressure reduces the chips to a pulp-like consistency and causes them to separate into thin threads. These threads are then taken and spun, dyed, and woven into cloth.
A common bamboo fabric, which I use at Biita when I design my Spring/Summer tanks and tunics, is a bamboo rayon knit. I don’t remember when I was introduced to this amazing fabric…I believe someone suggested that I check it out. I wanted something that was soft, draped well and was more sustainable. This fabric appealed to me because of its earth-friendly qualities. I searched and searched until I found a vendor that had what I was looking for. I remember curiously placing my first sample yardage order not sure if it’d be a yay or nay, but when the fabric arrived and I felt the luxe softness and saw how vibrant the color was, the love affair began.
Bamboo has some incredible characteristics. It’s antibacterial which reduces odor, it’s naturally wicking pulling moisture away from your skin and keeping you drier, and it’s a natural UV protector making it ideal for those “seven-inches-from-the-sun” hot summer days. My personal favorite is that it’s softer than cotton with a silky texture that feels amazing against your skin.
Today we find bamboo used in all of the traditional ways that we know, but we also find its expanded use in items such as pillows and bed linens…a friend told me the other day that she couldn’t live without her bamboo sheets. And guess what, there’s even bamboo leather.
I can’t wait to see how this renewable plant will be used in other “out-of-the-box” ways. If you know of any respond to this post to let me know. I’d love to hear what you have to say.
Images by Rautela Deepak + David Jackson