It is often asked how on earth a hard plant like bamboo can become such wonderfully soft bamboo clothing? The process of turning this amazing plant which is actually a grass into a material that can be worn as clothing can be done by 2 different methods.
Firstly, the natural method is achieved by mechanically crushing the bamboo’s woody stalks and then applying a natural enzyme to break the bamboo into a pulpous mass. From here the bamboo fibres are combed out of the mass and then spun into a yarn. The yarn is then made into lengths of bamboo material that becomes bamboo clothing. This is the same method that can be used for both linen and hemp materials. This is a brilliant natural method of production for bamboo clothing but unfortunately it can be very expensive and is very labour intensive.
The second and most common way to make the bamboo material for bamboo clothing is to use a chemical solution to break down the pulp. The bamboo’s leaves and woody stems are crushed and then a chemical is added to break down the pieces even further. In the past a lot of manufacturers have been using strong and hazardous chemicals in this process to speed up the result. It is now becoming much more popular for these manufacturers to use chemicals that are non-toxic. There is a process called lyocell which uses these non- toxic chemical enzymes to break down the fibre and up to 99% of the chemical residue is washed away before being spun into a yarn. This makes for a much better eco-friendly option when intensive labour and costs associated which the natural process cannot be achieved.
Bamboo fibres can be spun with a variety of other plant fibres also. When it is mixed with a cotton, hemp or linen it can be known as Bamboo Linen. This is generally a very soft material and can be made into bamboo clothing that can be both flowing or tailored. When bamboo is mixed with an elastane it becomes a stretchy fabric. This bamboo mix of material becomes great bamboo clothing for intimate apparel such as underwear, bra’s and socks.
The benefits of bamboo clothing are many. With moisture-wicking properties it draws moisture from the skin and pushes it through the fabric allowing your body to keep dry and cool. Perfect for undergarments. Bamboo clothing can be anti-bacterial and hypo-allergenic also which is great for sensitive skin. It has a thermal-regulating nature which keeps you cool in hot weather and warm in the cold.