What is driving this rising interest in what most people think of as a common grass?
Apart from its benefits to the environment — which you can learn about in another video in this series — bamboo-based fabric has many valuable properties.
First, bamboo is incredibly soft and comfortable. For moms who know that baby’s skin is up to 30 times thinner than adult skin, this is vitally important for keeping baby clean and comfortable. For adults and teens with skin conditions — acme, eczema, rosacea and the like — bamboo is a soft, non-irritating alternative to other washcloths.
Second, bamboo contains a natural anti-bacterial bio-agent the Japanese call “kun” which resists bacteria growth on the fabric. Tests have shown that over a period of 24 hours, bamboo fabric achieves a 99 percent antibacterial kill rate. Other tests show that the anti-bacterial properties of bamboo hold up after numerous industrial washings. This means that bamboo fabric is naturally anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, odor resistant and hypoallergenic. These properties alone make bamboo fabric of great interest to healthcare and hygiene sectors, as well as for other medical applications.
Third, bamboo fabric has excellent wicking properties. Wiking refers to the absorption or drawing-off of liquid. In this respect, the fabric is very much like the bamboo plant itself which has the ability to absorb three times its weight in water. The fabric pulls water away from the skin, making it one of the most absorbent fabrics in the world.
Fourth, bamboo is being recognized as thermo-regulating by hospitals, athletes and others who have an interest in temperature and comfort. Bamboo fibers contain millions of mirco-gaps that provide excellent ventilation, trapping cool air in the summer and warm air in the winter. This means that perspiration is absorbed and evaporated rapidly, keeping the wearer cool and comfortable.
Fifth, the same properties that make bamboo an excellent source of timber and building materials mean that bamboo is exceptionally strong and durable. It is often said to have the strength of steel and repeated studies show its exceptionally high breaking and tearing strength.
To sum it up — soft, anti-bacterial, absorbent, thermo-regulating and strong – these capabilities mean bamboo fabrics are among the most versatile available. They provide solutions for fashion, baby care, medical and high-performance applications around the world, and are finding new uses every day.