What Are the Benefits of Bamboo Fabric?
Comfortable and Soft
If you think nothing can compare to the softness and comfort offered by cotton fabric, think again. Organic bamboo fibers are not treated with harmful chemical processes, so they are smoother and do not have the same sharp edges that some fibers have. Most bamboo fabrics are made from a combination of bamboo viscose rayon fibers and organic cotton in order to achieve the superior softness and high-quality feel that leaves bamboo fabrics feeling softer than silk and cashmere.
Unlike most performance fabrics, like spandex or polyester fabric that are synthetic and have chemicals applied to them in order to make them moisture-wicking, bamboo fibers are naturally moisture-wicking. This is because the natural bamboo plant typically grows in hot, humid environments, and the bamboo is absorbent enough to soak up moisture to allow it to grow quickly. Bamboo grass is the fastest growing plant in the world, growing up to one foot every 24 hours, and this is partially due to its ability to use the moisture in the air and ground. When used in fabric, bamboo naturally wicks away moisture from the body, keeping sweat off your skin and helping you stay cool and dry. Bamboo textile also dries very quickly, so you don’t have to worry about sitting around in a wet shirt soaked in sweat after your workout.
If you’ve ever owned any activewear made from synthetic materials, you know that after a while, no matter how well you wash it, it tends to trap the stench of sweat. That’s because synthetic materials aren’t naturally odor-resistant, and the harmful chemicals that are sprayed onto the raw material to help it wick away moisture eventually cause odors to become trapped in the fibers. Bamboo has antibacterial properties, which means it resists the growth of bacteria and fungus that can nest in the fibers and cause odor over time. Synthetic activewear may be sprayed with chemical treatments designed to make them odor resistant, but the chemicals can cause allergic reactions and are especially problematic for sensitive skin, not to mention bad for the environment. Bamboo clothing resists odors naturally making it better than cotton jersey materials and other linen fabrics that you often see in workout gear.
People with sensitive skin or who are prone to allergic reactions from certain types of fabrics and chemicals will find relief with organic bamboo fabric, which is naturally hypoallergenic. Bamboo does not have to be treated with chemical finishes to obtain any of the performance qualities that make it such an excellent material for activewear, so it is safe for even the most sensitive skin types.
Natural Sun Protection
Most clothing that offers Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) protection against the sun’s rays is made that way by, you guessed it, chemical finishes and sprays that are not only bad for the environment but also likely to cause skin irritation. They also don’t work very well after a few washes! Bamboo linen fabric provides natural sun protection thanks to the makeup of its fibers, which block 98 percent of the sun’s UV rays. Bamboo fabric has a UPF rating of 50+, which means that you’ll be protected against the sun’s dangerous rays in all the areas that your clothing covers. No matter how good you are about applying sunscreen when you go outside, a little extra protection is always nice to have.
More Benefits of Bamboo Fabric
As previously mentioned, bamboo thrives in warm, humid climates. That means that the fiber of the bamboo plant is uniquely suited to help regulate your body’s temperature. A cross-section of bamboo fiber shows that the fibers are filled with tiny gaps that increase ventilation and moisture absorption. Bamboo fabric helps keep the wearer cooler and drier in warm and humid conditions and warmer in cooler and drier conditions, which means you have dressed appropriately for the weather no matter what time of year it is.
The micro gaps identified in bamboo fibers are the secret behind its superior breathability. Bamboo fabric is incredibly lightweight, and the air is able to circulate through the fabric smoothly so that you stay cool, dry, and comfortable. The added breathability of bamboo fabric not only helps regulate your body temperature, but it also reduces the risk of chafing because it helps pull sweat away from the body and towards the material. Bamboo fabric may not look as breathable as some of the more porous mesh fabrics used in other activewear pieces, but you’ll be amazed at the superior ventilation offered by bamboo fabric without sacrificing coverage.
There’s nothing worse than being in a rush and heading to your closet to pick out your favorite shirt, only to realize that it’s wrinkled - again. That’s not a problem with bamboo fabric, because it’s naturally wrinkle resistant. That’s a great quality for activewear to have because in addition to helping you to always look your best, it makes your bamboo fabric activewear highly portable. Throw it in your suitcase or into a gym bag and you’re ready to go - no obsessive packing and folding strategies required. Bamboo is the ultimate easy-care fabric.
Regardless of whether you have sensitive skin that is easily irritated, have skin that is prone to allergic reactions, or simply want to help protect the planet from damaging chemicals, you’ll appreciate that bamboo fabrics are chemical-free. Synthetic materials often have numerous chemicals applied to them during the manufacturing process in order to give the materials all of those performance qualities that you’ve come to know and expect in your activewear, including odor-fighting abilities, moisture-wicking technology, UPF protection, and more. Bamboo doesn’t have to be treated with any chemicals because it already possesses all of those traits naturally. When you purchase clothing that is made with bamboo fabric, you’re not only saving your skin from irritation and breakouts, you’re also helping make the world a better place by removing harsh chemicals from the environment.
Sustainable and Eco-Friendly
Speaking of eco-friendly, it doesn’t get much better than bamboo when it comes to sustainable fabrics. Unlike synthetic fabrics, which are made largely from plastic and sprayed with chemical finishes to give them performance characteristics, bamboo fabric is produced from natural fibers. Bamboo is the fastest growing tree in the world, growing at a rate of up to one foot every 24 hours. Bamboo can be harvested once a year and grown in the same area indefinitely, so unlike other natural fibers, farmers don’t have to constantly clear more land for the replanting of new shoots of bamboo. Because bamboo fabric doesn’t have to be treated with chemical finishes, not only does bamboo fabric manufacturing prevent the release of dangerous chemicals into our water systems and environment, it also allows water that is used in the factories to be recycled. Approximately 99 percent of all wastewater from bamboo fabric factories can be recovered, treated, and reused in a closed-loop process that helps keep treated water out of the ecosystem. Additionally, the power needed to run bamboo fabric factories is generated by solar power and wind, which keeps toxic chemicals that cause pollution out of the air. Bamboo is an eco-friendly fabric that can constantly be farmed and harvested without causing damage to the environment, and the farming offers a sustainable, and stable living for farmers who supply the bamboo used in fabrics and other products.
Good for Humanity
Bamboo fabric is not only good for the planet, but it’s also good for humanity. In addition to offering farmers continuous employment in a manner that does not cause further environmental damage and degradation, the manufacturing of bamboo fabric and apparel is also practiced fairly for all people involved in the textile industry. Bamboo fabric factories have a history of fair labor and workplace practices, offering wages that are 18 percent higher than the local average. All employees and their families receive healthcare, and they also receive subsidized housing and food in order to ensure that all employees and their families have access to adequate living conditions. Each member of the workforce is also encouraged to develop their skills through integrated practices so that they can advance through the ranks in the workplace. Morale is also important, as the factories hold weekly team building and cultural events to help the employees feel connected, engaged, and appreciated. There is also a training program and recognition for disabled employees, who are an important part of the workforce.