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The Fabric of Bamboo

My friend, Jennifer Sinclair over at TheLuxurEco has been doing some
research on bamboo used for fabrics. This is her story.

There has been a lot of talk about the eco-friendly nature of bamboo fiber.  I’ve
told everyone who reads my blog about this incredible fabric. It has amazing characteristics,
like softness, absorbency, fast drying, and anti-bacterial.

These are all great things, right?

Well, I have to tell you that not all bamboo towels and robes are created equal.
The manufacturing process used in some plants is not as eco-friendly as it could
(and should be). I have read some horror stories about processing plants that have
taken this eco-friendly plant and used a manufacturing process that not only negated
the environmental advantage of bamboo, but used harsh chemicals that could pollute
the air and put the workers at risk.

So I investigated the process to make sure the supplier I chose was as committed to
a “green” lifestyle as I am. I learned a lot about the manufacturing process during
my research. While no system is flawless, I found a company that used an advanced
“closed loop” spinning process
. This method has minimal impact on the environment
and uses energy and water economically.

So far, so good.

A chemical solvent is required to alkalize the soft, inner pith of the plant and
create a bamboo cellulose. With the closed loop process, the solvent is carefully
reused, not discarded into local wastewater systems, which is what the less stringent manufacturing
plants are doing.

Choosing bamboo is a good idea, but be sure you know how that fabric was produced.
If we actively choose the “greener” process, we can send a message to manufacturers
and encourage the most eco-friendly practices possible.

Even though bamboo has a lot of benefits, they could go away should manufacturers
decide differently. Let’s hope not.

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15 Responses to “The Fabric of Bamboo”

  1. Barbara Says:

    Hi Linda,

    Thanks for the tip. Bamboo made and processed correctly, makes wonderful sheets and towels!

    Barbaras last blog post..The Dome Home Revival

  2. Linda Says:

    Hi Barbara … They certainly do and are just soft.

  3. wilson Says:

    Linda, it’s the most genuine choice, as the Bamboo can be grown in the toughest situation and its also the evergreen plants as well!

    wilsons last blog post..Do Mind About Your Sleeping Hours!

  4. Greener Pastures Says:

    The many ways in which “eco-friendly” products are misrepresented never ceases to amaze me. My latest discovery was Tofutti. The list of ingredients in that product is a mile long.

    Thanks for an informative post.
    Lisa

    Greener Pasturess last blog post..Blog-O-Rama Highlights in the Blogosphere, November 16th, 2008

  5. ToteNTots Says:

    I am glad you wrote up about this process. I am transitioning to organic fabrics and have been horrified to discover that “silky soft” bamboo probably means damaging chemicals.
    Thanks for the information.

  6. Linda Says:

    Hi Wilson … Yes, bamboo is very sustainable and hearty as well.

    Hi Lisa … It is disappointing how products are misrepresented even if they say it is green or not.

    Hi ToteNTots … You are welcome. Not all are misrepresented.

  7. Sock Yee Says:

    Actually I doubt bamboo can be a good material for fabric application. Obviously part of the chemical treatment process should involve softening agent as well, so I don’t think it’s worth the effort after all.

    Sock Yees last blog post..Goldfish Varieties – Fantail

  8. Linda Says:

    Hi Sock Yee … Thank you for coming by!

  9. LoTex Says:

    Hej,

    Angående Bambu i textil, med intresse både inom textil och miljö vill jag kommentera och nyansera denna diskussion lite till.

    Det finns två typer av bambu som idag kallas bambu på marknaden.
    1. Låt oss kalla den Äkta bambu: Den utvinns mekaniskt ur bambun. Liknar lin och rami i både egenskaper och utseende. Denna fiber är dyr, många gånger dyrare än bomull, och finns i mycket liten volym.

    2. Låt oss kalla den Viskos bambu: Det är en viskos fiber som görs av bambu cellulosa. Korrekt namn är Viskos!! inte bambu. Här finns flera faktorer att fundera över i miljö perspektiv. Råmaterialet, hur miljövänlig är odlingar av bambu? Tillverknings processen kräver kemikalier, frågan är hur många som har slutna system. Viskos har en kortlivslängd, då den blir svagare i vått tillstånd, det är inte en bra egenskap i miljöperspektiv med kortlivslängd.

    Läs mer på: http://organicclothing.blogs.com/my_weblog/2007/09/bamboo-facts-be.html

    Läs mer på: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/emeraldcity/2008/02/green-clothes-h.html#comment-102675906

    Finns det bättre alternativ?
    Lika mjukt, med bättre dokumenterad miljöfakta är Lyocel även kallad Tencel.
    Råmaterialet beskrivs tydligt här: http://www.lenzing.com/woodpurchase/en/index.jsp
    Läs om miljön här: http://www.lenzing.com/group/en/768.jsp
    Läs om fibern här: http://www.tencel.at/index.php?id=80&L=1

  10. Sandy Says:

    I just have one question for LoTex up there.
    What? Hate to ask but, can I get that in English?

  11. Marianna Cruz Says:

    Ola! sou designer e estou com um projeto de estampas para camisetas e gostaria de fazer isso com csmisetas de malha de bambu,e estou a procura deste material … vc poderia me nformar ond vende este produto. aguardo contato
    Obrigada, Marianna.

  12. Linda Says:

    Ola! Marianna, um grande lugar para começ seus t-shirt feitos do bambu é imprensa do café, estala aqui
    http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-3008948-10561190 Obrigado vindo perto e volte por favor outra vez!

  13. allexsandro Says:

    amigo gostaria de saber como encontrar esses fabricantes de tecido de bambu,ha possibilidades de me dizer quais sao as empresas?

  14. Linda Says:

    Olá!, se você vai a este local, talvez um fabricante está perto de você! http://www.globalsources.com/gsol/I/Bamboo-fabric-manufacturers/b/2000000003844/3000000179245/22542.htm Eu espero que este o ajuda.

  15. Paris Low-Cost Hotels - France Greatest Vacation Says:

    Wonderful, what a weblog it is! This blog gives valuable information to us, keep it up.

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