When I first started looking at bamboo sheets, I had heard how wonderful the sheets were and I was interested in trying a set.
Needless to say, I was hooked right away.
As I researched bamboo sheets, I was convinced this amassing grass will play a big part in our future. At that point I decided to build a website and market bamboo bedding.
Bamboo is a sustainable resource, growing up to as much as a foot a day. It is hardy and pest resistant, so pesticides are not used in the growing process.
Bamboo is just now beginning to become popular in the Western World. The Asians have utilized bamboo for centuries from the making of fighting sticks , for housing, paper, clothing and let’s not forget as a food.
With new technology new products are appearing at a rapid rate. Here in the United States we are seeing bamboo bedding and bamboo apparel becoming popular. We wear it, use it to decorate, manufacturing furniture, window coverings and for flooring in our homes.
You can also use bamboo in quilting as they are making batting with bamboo fabric. There are some bamboos that are stronger than steel. The US military is developing a bamboo bandage for use in the field. The bamboo bandage is absorbent and has anti-bacterial properties that help the healing process.
Bamboo charcoal is used the purify water. the list goes on.
Are Bamboo Sheets Good for your Health?
When people think of bamboo, the first thing that likely comes to mind is the bamboo tree of Asian descent, followed by bamboo chutes (common in Asian food dishes).
Few people would think of bamboo as a fabric. But bamboo sheets made from pure bamboo fiber yarns can make excellent linens. The trait of interest in bamboo material is its unusual ability to breathe, and its coolness.
Because bamboo fiber is filled with micro-gaps and micro-holes (a physical trait of the material), a bamboo sheet has better moisture absorption and ventilation. The best bamboo sheets absorb and evaporate human sweat in a split second, and thus your bed feels cool and comfortable in hot weather.
Despite bamboo fabric being on the fringe of the mainstream, products such as bamboo bed linen, clothing and accessories are manufactured and available for purchase over the internet and in specialty stores.
Other benefits of bamboo as a fabric include:
- Easier on sensitive skin – The fabric inhibits bacterial metabolism causing fewer allergic skin reactions than other fibers .
- Reduces Static buildup – Bamboo fabric is really a conductive material so it keeps a balanced charge in fabric to reduce static buildup.
- Superior Washing and Durability – Bamboo fibers are quick-drying. The fabric may be washed numerous times with no adverse effects.
- Moisture Regulation – Bamboo yarn has a cross-section weave filled with various micro-gaps and micro-holes compared to conventional fabrics, it is better at moisture absorption and ventilation. The fabric keeps the wearer dry and comfortable.
Bamboo vs Cotton Sheets
It’s a common misconception that cotton is the king of all bedding materials. While cotton might be the most popular fabric on the scene, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the desirable.
For starters, cotton crops are often slathered with pesticides and harsh chemicals before they are even picked. By the time the material is finally turned into fabric, it’s drenched with bleach and other artificial substances.
Bamboo bedding, on the other hand, is all-natural and untouched pesticides and other undesirable chemicals.
Just like with cotton, you can evaluate the softness and durability of bamboo sheets by looking at the thread count. Hold the sheets up to a light source and make a mental note of your findings. If the sheets are mostly opaque, they should be comfortable and sturdy. If the sheets appear translucent, they are thin and won’t last long.
How is Bamboo fiber manufactured?
Much like the paper-making process, the bamboo pulp needs to be broken down and separated until it becomes cellulose, which can then be spun in to thread and woven into fabric.
Chemicals are used to break down the cellulose which is multi-phase process.
The cellulose is then spun into bamboo thread, and finally, woven fabrics. This process is commonly referred to as ‘viscose’.
However, due to the growing demand for bamboo fiber and the environmental impact of the chemicals used in the processing, manufacturers are working on developing less intensive methods.
One such method is the same that is used to produce lycocell from wood products (we know it as Tencel in clothing). This is a “closed loop” process that uses non-toxic chemicals where 99.5% of the chemicals are captured and recycled and re-used. This is a much more eco-friendly and healthy method.
Currently, China is the only manufacturer of bamboo fiber, leaving no local alternatives to source from. While there are no North American producers at this time, some clothing manufacturers are purchasing the thread and yarns and doing the remaining production, sewing and assembly here in the U.S.