Bamboo is actually not a wood but a kind of grass. Unlike a tree, which can take decades to grow to maturity, bamboo is ready to harvest within to 5 years because bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants on the earth with reported growth rates up to 100 cm in 24 hours and is a plant that doesn’t require much care.
However, the growth rate is dependent on local soil and climatic conditions as well as species, and a more typical growth rate for many commonly cultivated bamboos in temperate climates is in the range of 3-10 cm per day during the growing period. Primarily growing in regions of warmer climates during the Cretaceous period, vast fields existed in what is now Asia. Some of the largest timber bamboo can grow over 30 meters tall, and be as large as 15-20 cm in diameter. It is a highyield renewable natural resource. As with flax-from which linen is made- -the process of making bamboo fabric, when done without chemicals requires time. It is often the first choice for ecofriendly products. Fabric made from bamboo goes through a complicated chemical process to produce the textile fiber.
Because the fibers of bamboo are very short (less than 3mm), they are impossible to transform into yarn in a natural process. The usual process by which textiles labeled as being made of bamboo are produced uses only the rayon, that is being made out of the fibers with heavy employment of chemicals. To accomplish this, the fibers are broken down with chemicals and extruded through mechanical spinnerets; the chemicals include lye, carbon disulfide and strong acids. Retailers have sold both end products as “bamboo fabric” to cash in on bamboo’s current ecofriendly cachet; however, the Canadian Competition Bureau and the US Federal Trade Commission, as of mid-2009, are cracking down on the practice of labeling bamboo rayon as natural bamboo fabric. Under the guidelines of both agencies, these products must be labeled as rayon with the optional qualifier “from bamboo”. Bamboo fabric is known for its softness, and boasts strong absorbency and antimicrobial properties, though there is controversy as to whether or not the chemical process in bamboo rayon destroys antimicrobial quality. Preparation The first step in the production of bamboo fabric involves removing the husk of the grass and crushing the bamboo grass fibers and leaves in a large compactor until they turn in to a thick, mushy paste. The paste is washed and cleaned to prepare it for the chemical process. Chemical Process crushed bamboo is soaked in a bath of sodium hydroxide to help produce cellulose, which is the basis of the bamboo textile fiber. The sodium hydroxide is removed and the cellulose
crushed and dried. More chemicals are added to the dried cellulose, which encourages it to form a gel-like substance. As these chemicals evaporate, more sodium hydroxide is added. The gel is heated to create a substance which is ready to be turned into fibers. Finishing Process The substance is force-pushed through a series of small nozzles, creating small fibers which feed out into a pool of sulfuric acid. The sulfuric acid hardens the gel like substance into individual fiber threads. The threads are washed and dried in water and woven into bamboo yarns and fabrics. Types of bamboo fabric
Bamboo fabric is made from bamboo, more specifically the bamboo stem, which is ground apart into separate fibers and then washed to remove its natural sugars, bleached to remove its color and wound together again to form yarns. Sometimes other materials like wool are added in, too. The process is very similar to making paper, but the softer bamboo fibers are more ideal for clothing products. Most bamboo in the United States is shipped in from China, where it grows in large quantities and is processed. The processed material becomes into thread and yarn, which help make towels, curtains and clothes. There are
several types of bamboo fabric, based on how the fabric is made and its contents.
Pure bamboo fabric is made only from bamboo materials. This type of material is rare, since manufacturers prefer to add other materials to their clothing to give it a wider range of f atures. Fabric made with pure bamboo may not be as flexible as
other versions, and is not often used in clothing products.
A combination of bamboo and other fabric materials, often cotton or wool, make up blended bamboo fabric. This is a common process when making clothing, allowing clothes to last longer and exhibit features of both materials. Blends can vary extensively. Some bamboo fabrics may have only 10 percent cotton, while others may have 50 percent.
Viscose fabric is the most common in the United States, and few manufacturers use any other process to make bamboo fabrics. Viscose refers to the pulpy, fluid material that manufacturers create when they break the bamboo down with powerful chemicals. These chemicals dissolve the natural bonds bamboo stems have and bleach out the bamboo color, creating a pulp that can be fashioned into thread
Mechanical fabric is made without using the chemical breakdown process of viscose bamboo. The bamboo is broken down by machines or by hand instead of with solvents. This produces a rougher material that does not have the same market as viscose materials, which are easier to make and in higher demand.
Bamboo fabric is used to make bamboo mattresses. Bamboo is an environmentally friendly choice, because it is a sustainable natural resource. It is the world’s fastest growing plant and replenishes itself very quickly unlike many other products from which mattresses are traditionally made. Bamboo mattresses are becoming increasingly more popular because it is one of the most luxurious and comfortable mattresses that you can sleep on. The bamboo memory foam mattress is made with smart fabric of bamboo, naturally anti bacterial, naturally anti microbial, and naturally the odor arises. The bamboo memory foam mattress is unlike other traditional memory foam mattresses and that it provides a regulated temperature so that you’re not hot when you sleep which can be a problem when you sleep on traditional memory foam mattresses. If you suffer from allergies, a bamboo mattress may be a particularly good choice for you. Due to its natural antibacterial properties, bamboo is resistant to fungi, pests, and bacteria, which may help avoid allergic reactions. It is important to remember that some people can be allergic to bamboo fabric, but this normally only occurs when they are allergic to other similar natural products.
Bamboo mattresses also tend to stay cleaner and less smelly than other mattresses, because of their antibacterial nature. Other positive aspects of bamboo mattresses are that they are temperature regulating and manage moisture. A bamboo mattress can help keep your sleeping environment comfortable, because it wicks away moisture and is about three to four times more absorbent than cotton.