Clothes made from bamboo plants are as soft and breathable (ability to absorb moisture) as contemporary cotton clothes. In addition, they also have many global environmental benefits. These clothes are antibacterial and chemical free. The fabric is very good for making clothes as well.
Bamboo plants are very easy to maintain, be it indoors or those that grow outdoors or in jungles. They do not require any pesticides because of natural antibacterial and antifungal substances present in them. These substances, which help protect the plant, also protect us when we wear clothes made from the plant.
For making these clothes, bamboo pulp is converted into fabric by a process called hydrolysis-alkalization. This process is then followed by many other processes, which take place in a completely closed container, making the release of harmful byproducts impossible. The chemicals used in these processes are not as harmful as the chemicals used in the processing of cotton and polyester. Two major companies in the world that make bamboo clothes are Bambrotex and Tendro, based in China. Moso bamboo, a species that is used for making bamboo fiber, grows abundantly in China. Almost 2% of the total Chinese forest area is covered by this plant.
Bamboo clothing has numerous benefits, some of which are:
- The fiber is very soft. Even softer than cotton. It absorbs water better than other fabrics, keeping the skin comfortable. It keeps the body warm during the winter and cool in the summer.
- These plants have a substance called 'bamboo kun', that prevents bacteria from cultivating. Besides being thermal regulating and odor free, it has a natural UV protection too.
- The bamboo plant is one of the most sustainable plants on Earth. It can grow up to 3 feet overnight, and is ready for harvesting in about 4 years. After harvesting, the plants do not require replanting, as their vast roots continuously sprout new shoots.
- These plants are environment friendly. They take in 5 times more greenhouse gasses and produce 35% more oxygen than any other plant or tree. They help reduce the level of carbon dioxide, thus reducing the rate of global warming.
- Bamboo fabric has excellent antibacterial properties which sustain even after numerous washes.
These clothes are available for men, women, and children alike. They range from bath towels to bathrobes, scarves, T-shirts, sheets, bags, bandannas, hair bands, underwear, and even socks. The biggest advantage of these clothes is that they are biodegradable and environment-friendly.
Bamboo clothing has created a stir in the eco-fashion field. Processing techniques are being improved upon to provide much better and cheaper bamboo fabrics.