What kind of clothes do you like to wear? How often do you pay attention to the material?
When it comes to garments, cotton is probably one of the most common fabrics that you'll come across. For one thing, we've been using it as a textile for thousands of years!
Nowadays, there are many other kinds of fabrics to choose from—some of which are man-made. For instance, polyester comes from recycled plastic.
Others, such as bamboo fabric, are derived from natural sources—that is, the fibers come from plants, more specifically the bamboo plant.
Want to learn more about how bamboo differs from cotton? If so, you're at the right place! We'll be going over some of its advantages below.
Keep reading to learn more!
Bamboo Fabric: How Is It Made?
There are two ways to make bamboo fabric—it can either be done mechanically or chemically, the former of which is more labor intensive.
For those who are curious, the mechanical process involves crushing the plant into mush with the help of natural enzymes. From there, the fibers are combed out and rolled into yarn.
In contrast, the chemical process is much simpler.
The crushed bamboo fibers are soaked in a solution of sodium hydroxide, before being left out to dry. Other chemicals are then added until they turn into fiber threads.
9 Benefits That Bamboo Fabric Has Over Cotton
Now that you know what goes into making bamboo fabric, you may be wondering just what makes it superior to its more widely used cotton cousin. Here are a few reasons why you might want to choose bamboo over cotton.
1. It's More Durable Than Cotton
Bamboo is incredibly durable. When cared for properly, it will easily outlast cotton. Not only is it less likely to fray, but the colors will stay vibrant even with repeated washes.
Another great thing about it is that it is resistant to mold, bacteria, mildew, and odors. It does not wrinkle easily either.
2. It's Softer Than Cotton
Bamboo fabric is naturally smooth and round, which makes it soft to the touch. Unlike cotton, it does not contain any barbs or spurs.
In other words, it will not cause any irritation; this makes it ideal for those with sensitive skin.
Cashmere-like, the material is often compared to that of Egyptian cotton. To give you a better idea, a 300-thread count bamboo sheet can be as soft as a 1,000-thread count cotton sheet!
3. It's More Absorbent Than Cotton
Bamboo fibers are more absorbent than cotton—they can easily take in three times their weight in water.
What good does that do? It prevents you from getting wet, even when you're sweating.
Instead of staying on your skin, the perspiration gets absorbed into tiny gaps within the fibers; nothing will be visible from the outside (i.e. there will not be any sweat marks).
For this reason, bamboo fabric is often used for athletic clothing. After all, nobody likes being clammy when they're working out in the gym!
4. It's Resistant to Odors
Odors can be an issue, especially after a high-intensity workout. Ultimately, this is due to the growth of odor-causing bacteria, which proliferates in moist environments (such as your sweat-covered clothes).
This is where bamboo fabric shines—you see, its fibers are resistant to odors.
Unlike other types of materials, it contains antimicrobial bio-agents called "Kun", which prevent bacteria from thriving.
5. It's Self-sustaining
One of the greatest things about bamboo is that it is self-sustaining—that is, it will quickly regenerate itself after being harvested.
Did you know that these plants can grow upwards of 36 inches in just one day? This amazing ability is possible in part due to their complex roots, which run deep in the soil.
Given that, a field of bamboo will yield much more product than a field of cotton. Don't forget, the latter needs to be re-planted every year as well!
6. It's Naturally Hypoallergenic
Bamboo fibers are hypoallergenic. They naturally repel allergens such as mold, mildew, and dust mites. Because of this, they are much less likely to trigger an allergic reaction.
This makes them a great choice for allergy sufferers who need to stay away from certain fabrics such as cotton.
7. It's Resistant to Wrinkles
Bamboo products are more wrinkle-resistant than ones made out of cotton.
Even if there are creases, you can easily get rid of them by hanging the garment up for a few hours. This is one of the reasons why bamboo is great for traveling—you won't have to worry about needing an iron!
8. It Has Minimal Water Needs
The Bamboo plant has relatively low water needs—especially when you compare it to other crops such as cotton. Self-sufficient, it rarely needs any irrigation at all.
Given that, it's not surprising to know that they do extremely well in dry, impoverished soils. Why? Their roots are excellent at retaining water!
In fact, too much water can actually suffocate the roots and cause them to rot.
9. It's Colorfast
Bamboo fibers readily accept natural dyes; the end result, for the most parts, will be vibrant.
In contrast, cotton often needs to be mercerized. In other words, it has to go through a series of processes in order for it to properly absorb dyes.
The treatment also improves its luster—something that bamboo already has.
Picking the Right Fabric
As you can see, bamboo fabric has many advantages over cotton. Not only is it softer but it's more durable too. Wouldn't you want something that will last longer?
Looking for some new linens for your home? Be sure to check out some of our products!