Jun 15, 2021
Posted on Jun 15, 2021 by Farooq Kunnakkad
We have seen that bamboo has been used for all kinds of species in the past, from looking pretty and feeding pandas to making baskets and bags. Bamboo is an environmentally friendly material, but it still requires a bit of work to make the manufacturing process as environmentally friendly as possible.
Although bamboo does need a little touch-up to make it a little greener, bamboo is one of the best plants for the environment. Bamboo forests are extremely dense and, at the rate at which they consume carbon dioxide, they can produce up to 30% more oxygen that is returned to the environment. They also don't need as much energy and water as other plants that go through the fiber-making process, as a bamboo plant can withstand extreme weather conditions, from droughts to floods.
Bamboo also grows back quickly when cut, making a sustainable harvest much easier as it can be selectively harvested and regrown on its own. Also, it doesn't need pesticides to grow as it has its own antibacterial agent. This sustainability also means that it is biodegradable.
In recent years, bamboo has become fashionable in various clothing items. It is used in everyday clothing, but its unique antimicrobial properties make it perfect for athletics and clothing you want to work out in. However, if you are making clothing that contains bamboo, in most cases this clothing is mixed with 30% cotton, giving the clothing additional structure and comfort. Bamboo is also making its way into interior design, especially bedding, the soft fiber you get from bamboo feels like satin, they also have the ability to feel warmer in the winter months but cooler in summer.
Regardless of whether it is clothing or sheets, bamboo in all forms of processing has been shown to be non-irritating to the skin, making it perfect for people with allergies or sensitive skin, or even dermatitis; However, each brand has a different manufacturing process, so some people's skin may react. As mentioned earlier,
Bamboo is a breathable and antibacterial fiber, but the micro-holes in bamboo allow it to absorb moisture. Bamboo fiber is four times more absorbent than cotton. Bamboo can naturally protect itself against UV rays and is therefore antibacterial and UV resistant, perfect for training wear.
Depending on the manufacturing process, there are different ways to process bamboo, all at different costs. Mechanical methods for cutting bamboo into pulp are the least damaging, but the most expensive. When the corners are shortened to make them much cheaper, they are usually chemically processed and can be dangerous to both the environment and factory workers.
The chemical process involves solvents that cook the bamboo, then the fibers are removed, the most common method being hydrolysis-alkalinization with multiphase bleaching. However, there is a misconception that it is a soft bamboo that is always made with strong solvents when it is likely to be rayon.
According to clothing manufacturers, the bamboo cloth is relatively easy to produce and does not require pesticides, large amounts of water, and does not need to be replanted. The Bamboo pulp can also be produced in a closed production process. There are different methods of making bamboo cloth (mechanical or chemical). The one listed below is "Bamboo Linen", which is manufactured by a mechanical process. Bamboo rayon usually dissolves bamboo in a chemical solution to create a pulpy substance.
This is then pushed through a row and "spun" into fibers, creating threads. The chemicals used are very toxic. About 50% of the hazardous waste from viscose production (including the bamboo variety) cannot be recovered or reused and is released directly into the environment. The next process is the production of "Bamboo Linen" (mechanical).
Bamboo absorbs a lot of water, dries very quickly, even much faster than cotton. In hot and humid climates, bamboo clothing will keep you drier, cooler, and more comfortable. For this reason, fiber is ideal for making sportswear. Bamboo is an extremely strong and durable fiber; be gentle. If you compare it with cotton, it is much stronger and biodegradable.
Minimal Crop Losses - Bamboo has always been grown without pesticides, where some non-organic cotton requires 1/3 pound of fertilizer per pound.
Stronger than Cotton - Viscose made from bamboo is one of the sturdiest and cheapest fabrics to use. Bamboo outlives cotton three times in shape, strength, and durability.
Easier Dyeing: Bamboo fibers require less dye to dye than cotton and keep their colors bright longer.
Bamboo is Absorbent and Breath Excerpt: Bamboo is 40% more absorbent than even the finest organic cotton. Bamboo can hold three times more water than its weight, which was once made into a fabric, which means it can also absorb moisture faster.
Mechanical Production: Bamboo is crushed and mixed with natural enzymes to help it break down and then extracted into fibers. This method is environmentally friendly, but more expensive due to the labor involved.
Chemical production: It is mixed in a cocktail of chemicals and heat. This releases noxious fumes. Therefore, the environmental friendliness of bamboo clothing manufacturers mainly depends on the manufacturing process of bamboo fiber.
In terms of comfort and quality, bamboo clothing is an excellent choice. Its source is sustainable, especially compared to water-intensive fabrics like cotton and wool and the multitude of chemical reactions that synthetics create. But the manufacturing process for bamboo still needs to be greatly improved. Hopefully, with continued and conscientious effort and alternative processes, bamboo clothing is a sustainable product that it is often said to be.