As many of you know, we use bamboo fabric for our bed sheets and pillow case ranges. This post will explain why bamboo is such an amazing material!
Bamboo is an incredibly sustainable resource! In the right conditions, bamboo can grow up to 4 feet in 24 hours, which means that there is plenty of bamboo to share between manufacturers and the pandas. Because it grows so quickly we are able to make our products without disturbing the panda’s diet, as 99% of it is solely bamboo. When bamboo is harvested it is cut and not uprooted allowing it to regrow quickly so that it can be regularly harvested without having to be replanted. The root system of bamboo is vast, holding the soil together, preventing erosion and retaining water.
Like many other plants, bamboo absorbs Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and releases Oxygen (O2) into the atmosphere, reducing greenhouse gasses. The wonderful thing about bamboo is that it absorbs 5 times the amount of Carbon Dioxide and releases 35% more Oxygen into the atmosphere compared to trees!
Bamboo plantations are incredibly easy to maintain as bamboo does not need any pesticides or fertilizer to grow and only uses a small amount of water compared to other plants for textiles such as cotton.
The bamboo fabric is also environmentally friendly in its own way as it can be washed at 30 degrees and air dries twice as fast as cotton. So there’s no need to use extra electricity on tumble drying. The fabric used for bed sheets and clothes is 100% biodegradable! So fantastic for the environment.
Bamboo is a very versatile material that can be used to make furniture like tables and chairs and even houses and wall insulation! Although bamboo in its raw form is very tough, the fibre is twice as soft as cotton with a silky cashmere touch!
Here comes the Sciency bit! –
The fabric is made out of bamboo fibres which are produced by submerging and crushing the bamboo in a Sodium Hydroxide solution which dissolves the bamboo cellulose (the fibres). Carbon Disulfide is then added to get the mix ready to regenerate the dissolved fibres which are then drawn out of the solution and dried. Once dried, the fibres are spun into yarn in the same process as any other textile fibre.
Bamboo yarn has a very high tensile strength compared to other types of yarn and this is what makes it so durable and long-lasting.
The chemicals that are used in this process are Sodium Hydroxide and Carbon Disulfide and we bet you are thinking chemicals = BAD! You have nothing to worry about, because although carbon disulfide had a bad start in the 30’s and 40’s, people were unaware about good ventilation when using the chemical nowadays it is always used in well ventilated areas and the two elements that make the chemical – Carbon and Sulfur are not poisonous elements. As for Sodium Hydroxide, it is also known as caustic soda and is strongly alkaline. However it is not toxic at all and is used in many different ways for cooking! They use this caustic soda to coat pretzels – that’s what gives them their distinctive flavour!
Bamboo is naturally antibacterial and the same can be said about bamboo fabrics. This is great news for people with allergies to dust, hay fever and also people with Sensitive Skin/ Psoriasis/ Eczema as the fabric is less likely to irritate the skin, harbour allergens or germs. Another benefit of the fabric being antibacterial means that you won’t have to wash the sheets as frequently as you would cotton sheets, which is fantastic!
The fabric is extremely breathable due to the bamboo viscose which has micro gaps which help with the ventilation, the structure also works as a natural insulator, keeping you cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
Due to the porous nature of bamboo fabric it is three to four times more absorbent than cotton, allowing it to wick and absorb away moisture from the body, keeping you dry and comfortable.
The ever-growing issue of climate change is a great concern to us at Panda, that is why we pride ourselves on using environmentally friendly and sustainable materials for our products and in our offices. Learn more in our Environmental Policy.