Why is bamboo so great?
Why is bamboo so great?
Over the last few years bamboo has been popping up everywhere as a new resource. Ten years ago, I had never heard of bamboo sheets or towels and now they are considered some of the best. And in more recent years, we are seeing bamboo textiles of all kinds.
I tried on a bamboo sock and found it to be extremely comfortable, breathable, and soft, so I thought I would do more research about it.
Here are some fun facts about bamboo.
As a plant it is one of the more sustainable resources.
Fast Growing. Bamboo regrows to its adult size in 3 to 5 years. It is the fastest growing plant on the planet and can grow upwards of 3 feet in height in 24 hours under appropriate climate conditions. Bamboo can reach full maturity in 1 to 5 years, whereas it takes 30-40 years for hardwood trees. It is the only woody plant that can keep up with the rate of human consumption and deforestation.
Sustainable and Versatile. There are over 1600 species of bamboo found in diverse climates from cold mountains to hot tropical regions making it a sustainable and versatile resource. Some of the larger species can grow up to 98 feel tall with a diameter of up to 12 inches. Although, with so many species, the range of height goes all the way down to only a few inches for some.
Look at the size of those things.
Creates Oxygen. Bamboo releases 30% more oxygen into the atmosphere and absorbs more carbon dioxide compared to an equivalent mass of trees. This makes bamboo excellent for absorbing greenhouse gases and producing clean, fresh oxygen. I can breathe better already.
Self Regenerates. Bamboo self-regenerates from its own roots, so it doesn’t need to be replanted. And like grass, it is cut at the stem and cutting it actually benefits the health of the plant and stimulates rapid regrowth.
Needs No Fertilizer. It requires no fertilizer since it grows new shoots from its existing root system. Bamboo’s very own fallen leaves provide the necessary nutrients that get recycled back into the soil.
Prevents Soil Erosion. Because the root of bamboo is not removed, the extensive root system, which continues to grow, helps preserve soil and helps prevent soil erosion. Bamboo’s rapid growth also helps to re-protect the topsoil from exposure to the elements.
Needs Less Water. It requires 1/3 less water to grow bamboo then cotton.
No Pesticides. The bamboo plant is naturally pest resistant, so it doesn’t require any harmful insecticides. It contains a natural component called Bamboo kun which is anti-bacterial and repels pests and pathogens.
Zero Waste. Every part of the plant can be used for something and after the material has reached it’s life span, it can be recycled back. It is 100% biodegradable and will biodegrade in commercial compost conditions in about 6 months.
Less Space. An acre of bamboo will yield 10 times more fiber then an acre of cotton.
Intense Strength. I read that the molecular structure of bamboo measures stronger than steel. I find this intriguing and have decided not to get distracted into that research right this second. But there is definitely more to know about that.
When Bamboo is cloth
Bamboo has other natural properties with additional benefits when manufactured tino cloth.
Stronger. Bamboo is stronger than cotton and the fiber is one of the strongest around.
Softer. Bamboo is softer than cotton. I tried to research why and all I could find was that it just is. And when you test it out yourself it is true. The texture is closer to cashmere then cotton and generally cheaper.
Breathable and Absorbent. Bamboo cloth is more breathable and absorbent then the average material. Bamboo fabric helps keep skin pleasantly dry thanks to the hollow structure of the fibers which makes it super absorbent. The material effectively pulls moisture away from the skin. Bamboo can take on 3 times its weight in water.
Antibacterial. Bamboo has natural antimicrobial properties referred to as “Bamboo kun”. Bamboo kun is so effective that it eliminates and prevents over 70% of bacteria that attempt to grow on it, whether in its natural or fabric form. These help to reduce bacteria that thrive on clothing and human skin. Because of this, bamboo is naturally deodorizing and is being used for shoe insoles, deodorant, bed sheets, socks, clothes, etc. Bamboo charcoal is now being used as a natural deodorizer in closets and gym bags instead of the chemical scents which only mask the odors and can cause allergic reactions.
Temperature Regulating. Bamboo fabric is thermo-regulating. This allows you to stay cool in hotter weather and comfortably warm on colder days. This is due to the fibers being hollow. It is a good insulator, yet breathable.
Hypo-allergenic. Bamboo fabric is hypo-allergenic. The fibers are more gentle then many man made fibers and do not irritate the skin in the same way.
Bug resistant. Bamboo is defiant to dust mites and pathogens and can help keep bugs away.
From bamboo stocks to bamboo socks:
I checked out the process of making something this hard
into something this soft.
The stalks are cut into small chunks of raw bamboo.
The raw bamboo is soaked.
The pulp that forms on the chunks of bamboo is extracted.
The pulp is dried and turns into parchments-like sheets.
The sheets are milled into soft fiber.
The fiber is spun into fine bamboo threads and then further processed into bamboo yarn.
Sounds simple, but not easy enough to do at home. Although I am feeling a science project coming together.
There are some great photos of the process but they are copyrighted so I couldn’t share them here. It is worth a look up if you are interested.
This was an interesting little research project. Bamboo is AWESOME! I even found a podiatrist promoting to use bamboo socks to prevent and reduce sweaty feet and its fungal side effects.
And so from this research CKHC Hidden Comments Socks was born. Bringing soft, durable, sustainable, anti-bacterial, funny, cozy socks to women everywhere.
Follow our journey to make women everywhere a little happier.
Here are some of the cool resources I used: