About Bamboo Yarn
Bamboo Yarn's Manufacture Process
Bamboo yarn is a cellulose plant based man-made fibre.
The process of making fibres from the bamboo plant is via a chemical process which produces a resultant liquid called Viscose.
The chemical process is necessary since organic pulp cannot be dissolved in water. This resulting liquid is then put through an acid process turning it into fibres.
Viscose is not to be confused with synthetic man-made yarns.
Despite being made from purified cellulose, which is a natural material, Viscose’s chemical processing is what makes it different from natural spun fibres such as cotton, wool or silk. The latter (cotton, wool or silk) requires very little chemical processing to be spun into yarn for textile use, whereas viscose, rayon and synthetic man-made fibres depend on these processes to be turned into the fabric used for clothes, yarn and other textile products.
Bamboo Yarn's Positive Features
When these cellulose plant based fibres were invented, it was apparent that finished Bamboo fibre had a similar quality to silk in handle, drape and sheen. The glossy appearance gives the yarn an expensive look, despite being quite affordable in general.
Bamboo is anti-static, absorbent to both moisture and colour, which makes it very easy to dye, therefore providing a wide colour range, and fantastically, remains colourfast.
Additionally, it is also hypoallergenic and highly breathable, keeping you cool in warm weather and providing some level of insulation when cooler.
How to care for your Bamboo knits
Bamboo is durable but can hardly compare to other more robust fibres, so treat your Bamboo items delicately. Bamboo yarns weaken in wet conditions due to its ability to absorb moisture at twice the rate of cotton. It can also exhibit a tendency to develop mildew so make sure a washed item is completely dry and store in a well-ventilated cupboard. With very frequent use the garment can easily wrinkle and if not stored correctly a stubborn crease can develop, so plan before wearing and hang for a few hours prior. If a crease persist you can lightly steam it out on the hanger but do so with great care.
For infinitely more wearable and usable garments, choose a bamboo yarn that has a hardier companion mix, like cotton or wool.
Bamboo's Eco Credentials
Bamboo (and cotton) will eventually break down unlike synthetic man-made yarns and fabric that will take hundreds of years – if not ever – to break down. Viscose is not to be confused with synthetic man-made yarns.
For planet conscious knitters, they should be aware of the manufacturing process of any Viscose products. While Bamboo was introduced to save our tree stocks it’s manufacturing process can potentially be harmful to the environment if not properly conducted. On the plus side, though, most of the Bamboo grown in different parts of the world, is Eco-Friendly as it requires no pesticides or fertilizers and needs little water.
Bamboo is ...
the fastest growing woody plant on this planet
It grows one third faster than the fastest growing tree. Some species can grow up to 1 meter per day. One can almost "watch it grow". This growth pattern makes it easily accessible in a minimal amount of time. Size ranges from miniatures to towering culms of 60 meters.
a critical element in the balance of oxygen / carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
Bamboo is the fastest growing canopy for the re-greening of degraded areas and generates more oxygen than equivalent stand of trees. It lowers light intensity and protects against ultraviolet rays and is an atmospheric and soil purifier.
a viable replacement for wood.
Bamboo is one of the strongest building materials. Bamboo's tensile strength is 28,000 per square inch versus 23,000 for steel. In the tropics is it possible to plant and grow your own bamboo home. In a plot 20m x 20m, in the course of 5 years, two 8m x 8m homes can be constructed from the harvest. Every year after that the yield is one additional house per plot.
an enduring natural resource.
Bamboo can be selectively harvested annually. Bamboo provided the first re-greening in Hiroshima after the atomic blast in 1945. Thomas Edison successfully used a carbonized bamboo filament in his first experiment with the light bulb.
versatile with a short growth cycle.
There are over 1000 species of bamboo on the earth. The diversity makes bamboo adaptable to many environments. It can be harvested in 3-5 years versus 10-20 years for most softwoods. Bamboo tolerates extremes of precipitation, from 30-250 inches of annual rainfall.
a soil conservation tool. Bamboo is exquisite component of landscape design. It's anti-erosion properties create an effective watershed, stitching the soil together along fragile river banks, deforested areas, and in places prone to earthquakes and mud slides. The sum of stem flow rate and canopy intercept of bamboo is 25% which means that bamboo greatly reduces rain run-off, preventing massive soil erosion.
a food source. Bamboo shoots provide nutrition for million of people worldwide. In Japan, the antioxidant properties of pulverized bamboo bark prevents bacterial growth and its used a natural food preservative. Bamboo make fodder for animals and food for fish. Taiwan alone consumes 80,000 tons of bamboo shoots annually constituting at $50 million industry.
an ancient medicine. Bamboo has for centuries been used in Ayurveda and Chinese acupuncture. The powdered hardened secretion from bamboo is used internally to treat asthma, coughs and can be used a an aphrodisiac. In China, ingredients from the root of the black bamboo help treat kidney disease. Roots and leaves have also been used to treat venereal disease and cancer. Sap is said to reduce fever and ash will cure prickly heat.