Just like silk, bamboo fabric boasts many natural benefits, making it a luxurious fabric for clothing. Unbelievably soft, and a little less expensive than other fabrics it is compared to, bamboo is wonder fabric. It’s similar to cotton, softer than cashmere and as smooth as silk.


But, how is bamboo fabric made? How does bamboo go from a plant to clothing?


Mechanical or Chemical


Bamboo fabric, of course, is made up of bamboo fibres and is one of the most eco-friendly fabrics in the world. There are two extraction methods; one is mechanical, and the other is chemical.


The mechanical process isn’t as popular, because it is more labour intensive and costly. This process involves crushing the woody part of bamboo and using the natural enzymes to break the bamboo walls into essentially, mush. When in this state, the fibres can be mechanically combed and rolled into yarn which is used to make the fabric.


The chemical process of making bamboo fibre uses chemicals to make a kind of cellulose fibre which can be woven into cloth. It uses all parts of the bamboo plant.


The Chemical Process


Harvesting the bamboo is the first step in the process. The bamboo must be harvested when it is mature, which is usually when it is between two and four years old. Once harvested, it will be transported to a factory where it is chopped into chunks.


Next, the bamboo chunks are soaked to extract the cellulose. The bamboo chips are broken down and converted into a pulp-like substance. This is when most dyes or colours are added to the material.


The pulp is drained and pressed into sheets, which look a little bit like parchment. The sheets are then ground up and spun into fibre. The fibre is woven to make the fabric which can then be made into a variety of garments. It is most commonly used for socks, shirts, baby blankets and other accessories.


Sometimes during this process, the bamboo is blended with other materials to make different fabric.


Properties of Bamboo Fibre


Bamboo fibre is one of the most eco-friendly fabrics used today. One of the reasons for this is that it naturally repels insects and other pests, meaning there is no need for pesticides or chemicals while it grows. It generates plenty of oxygen and grows one metre a day faster than any other textile-related plant.


Just to show you how sustainable bamboo is as a fabric, here is an overview of how it is environmentally friendly:


  • It only needs rainwater to grow
  • Bamboo viscose is biodegradable
  • It doesn’t need pesticides or chemicals
  • It’s fast-growing


Benefits of Bamboo Fabric


Not only is bamboo fibre environmentally friendly, but it has many natural properties that are beneficial.


First of all, bamboo is a long-lasting fabric that will take a lot of wear. It will outlast materials like cotton, keeping its shape especially when it’s cared for properly. One of the main things that allows bamboo material to last longer is that it requires less washing than other fabrics, thanks to its antibacterial properties which reduce bacteria that would normally thrive on clothing.


Similar to silk, bamboo is also great for sensitive skin. This is thought to be because the fibres are rounded, making the fabric less irritating. The super soft fabric gently glides over the skin, causing no irritation. Also, it’s anti-static and wicks away moisture, keeping your skin refreshed and cared for. These features are particularly useful when the fabric is used for socks and gloves.


If that’s not enough, bamboo fabric also has insulating properties and is thermal, but breathable.


Read more about bamboo and the other materials we offer at Jasmine Silk, to find out more.