The health benefits that bamboo fibre offers are incomparable to those of any other fibre manufactured into textiles. Bamboo fibre has natural antibacterial, and outstanding wicking and insulating properties that are not found in even the most premium of cotton fabrics. Bamboo fibre is also naturally softer than cotton because of its innate structure.
The Kun Component
Bamboo kun is the natural antimicrobial bio-agent found in bamboo that gives it its antibacterial qualities. This quality is what makes the bamboo plant resistant to pests and therefore removes the need for the use of pesticides that are commonly sprayed on cotton crops. Kun is also an antifungal and makes bamboo odour resistant. These three properties are preserved in the bamboo fibre when it undergoes mechanical processing, producing fabrics that remain resistant to the odours and the bacterial and fungal growth that can thrive on clothing. Even after the bamboo fabric has been washed multiple times, it maintains its unique ability to repel these unpleasant and harmful effects. Cotton has no such protective properties.
Because of bamboo kun, bamboo fabrics are also hypoallergenic. This is another unique attribute that makes bamboo safe for those who suffer from allergic reactions to various environmental agents, and even those with asthma and related respiratory conditions. Bamboo kun also repels dust mites and other bugs, as well as a variety of viruses and other microorganism that can cause disease. Organically grown and processed bamboo is therefore very helpful and absolutely safe for those who are particularly sensitive, such as newborn babies.
Comfortable and Safe
As mentioned in the first part of this series, The Green Solution, the harmful chemicals that go into every cotton plant to ensure its growth can affect end users. These chemicals are not only sprayed onto the cotton but are absorbed into the plant itself through the water and through its buds and leaves. Cotton does not have any natural healthful properties that can be damaged by this chemical processing, but the chemical fertiliser and pesticide sprays leave trace amounts of toxins in the cotton even after it has been processed into fabrics.
Egyptian cotton is a superior cotton variety that is softer and more durable than your average cotton. It is exquisitely comfortable as bedding and clothing. Egyptian cotton is also more expensive, however, and most manufacturing processes for this textile still use chemicals to break down the fibres because it reduces costs and keeps the end product within a reasonable price range. Many people are discovering the benefits of premium beddings and soft bed pillows, but do not always consider the exceptional qualities that bamboo pillows and beddings can offer.
Bamboo fibres, like this special Egyptian cotton, are rounded and therefore have a more luxurious feel than the short and sharp fibres of common cotton and other fabrics. The deluxe feel of bamboo pillows and sheets is similar to that of Egyptian cotton, making this higher standard cotton strain tough competition. Both these fabrics contribute to more comfortable and therefore better sleep. What keeps bamboo fabric a cut above even luxurious Egyptian cotton is that it is organically grown, as soft as cashmere wool, and not slippery to the touch.
Bamboo fabric can comfortably worn directly against the skin without causing any irritation. Even those who have exceptionally sensitive skin and experience allergic reactions to other natural fibres can wear bamboo safely and comfortably. Cheaper cotton material is prone to piling which can irritate the skin, but the long bamboo fibres resist fabric piling and stay soft longer. As the bamboo fabric is washed, it even grows softer and more comfortable.
Highly Absorbent and Insulating
Bamboo fibre has exemplary wicking properties that add to the comfort of wearing clothing and using bedding made of this wonderful material. The bamboo plant is highly absorbent, able to hold as much as three times its own weight in water – more water than most other plants used for manufacturing textiles. Bamboo fabrics retain this important quality. Excessive moisture on the skin can cause further irritation. Bamboo fabric naturally pulls moisture away from the skin and distributes it evenly across the fabric so that it does not remain on the skin, and can evaporate faster, keeping the material dry. Not even Egyptian cotton, known as the king of cottons, can deal with moisture this efficiently.
Bamboo fabric is so breathable that it does not stick to the body even in hot and humid weather. This leaves the wearer feeling much cooler. Bamboo fabrics drape quite nicely, adding to their comfort when worn as clothing. The insulating properties of bamboo fibre also give the material unique thermal regulating abilities that make it equally suitable for use during cold weather.
Strong yet Lightweight
The durability of only the best classes of cotton can compete with the durability of bamboo fibre. The naturally long fibres, as mentioned above, resist piling, which makes it less susceptible to wear and tear. This makes bamboo pillows, garments and beddings the better investment when compared to even the most luxurious of cotton materials. Even if the initial cash out can be greater, bamboo fabric means greater savings over the long term
Bamboo, being more highly absorbent, also needs less dye to bring out the richest hues. Dyes can weaken the integrity of fabrics, and using less dye means preserving the natural strength of the beneficial bamboo fibres. The vivid colors are maintained are in a longer-lasting fabric that can be worn and used through many more washings than cotton can endure. An additional benefit of bamboo fabric is that it is very lightweight. Combined with its durability, a thinner fabric made from bamboo can hold up just as well in comparison to thicker cotton weaves.
All in all, the exquisite comfort and unsurpassed health benefits of bamboo fabric make it the ideal choice for any material that will remain in close contact with your skin for prolonged periods.