Bamboo Trends & Growth
Bamboo sheets, bamboo clothing, and bamboo baby products have certainly been around in the United States since prior to 2003. However,
there were few companies here in the U.S. that were actively getting the bamboo products out into the public eye. That being said, in looking at the numbers on
the internet for Bamboo Bedding, Bamboo Clothing, Bamboo Towels and Bamboo Baby Clothes, we can see that from the start of
the 2nd quarter 2007, these various segments of the respective industries started to really take off for “bamboo”. Since then, we have seen a dramatic increase in demand for products produced from viscose from Bamboo Fabric.
In fact, the demand for bamboo bedding, bamboo towels, bamboo clothing and bamboo baby products has increased over 5000% since 2004. Yes, you read that correct. We believe that is mainly attributed to the amazing softness and comfort of fabric derived from bamboo. Once people try it, they come back for more and/or other products made from viscose from bamboo. The comfort and benefits are that much better than the traditional fabrics that you are accustomed to.
Particularly, when we compare viscose from bamboo fabric products to other organic fabrics or cotton, we can see that the numbers for other fabrics have decreased as compared to the demand for bamboo, be it Bamboo Sheets or Organic Baby Bedding.
The same holds true for the fashion industry. There is a desire to find “eco-friendly” sources for fabrics for dresses, gowns and apparel.
We believe that the future for bamboo being used in clothing, bedding and baby products is very bright, and some years from now it will be as mainstream as cotton. Even if you remove the eco-friendly benefits of bamboo, the bottom line is that it is a far superior product to cotton and other fabrics in so many ways. Once you have tried it you will see what all of the buzz is about.
Bamboo - what are some other uses?
Since you are here, you must be interested in reading about
bamboo and we appreciate that. However, the list of bamboo “uses” is pretty
long, so we will cover some of them here but if you want a comprehensive list I
would suggest taking a look at “Wiki” or something of the like. So, let’s take
a look at some interesting uses and facts about bamboo that you may not be
Construction- You may have already known this, but did you
know for example, that in some cases bamboo is virtually as strong as steel. It
is also valuable for building homes and even some larger structures in Asia and
S. America, to name a couple. They value bamboo for its ability to bend, not
break. I think it was the great Bruce Lee that said…”Notice that the stiffest
tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending
with the wind”. Yes, one of the great thinkers of our time. It is also being
used in areas where earthquakes and cyclones are common. In fact they are
finding that in many cases it is more effective than traditional building
materials. One such example is an earthquake that took place in Costa Rica. All
30 bamboo constructed houses in the epicenter of a 7.6 magnitude earthquake
survived without any damage.
It has been calculated that a 173-acre bamboo plantation is
sufficient to build 1000 bamboo houses per year. If these houses were built
with timber, 1482 acres of natural forest would be destroyed each year. 173
acres compared to 1482 acres - a pretty significant difference.
In some area’s of the world, parts of the bamboo plant are
consumed as food. The “culms” which are underground and the shoots are both
prepared in various ways and then consumed. A side note, if you do find
yourself stranded in the jungles of Indonesia and want to enjoy a little bamboo
culm, please boil it first, as some species of bamboo would require this prior
Bamboo has even been used in the technology field. The
computer hardware producer, Asus, which I know some of you are familiar with,
has recently launched the first ever laptop with an outer casing made from
bamboo. It is currently available in France and they’re calling it the “ecolo”.
Bamboo has been used for sewing needles for many years, particularly over in Asia. Bamboo has also been used as a source of paper in Asia for many years. Additionally, Bamboo has long been used to make fishing poles, cutting boards, musical instruments, snowboards and surfboards.
We also came across a U.S. patent whereby they describe a
vacuum cleaner bag made of bamboo fabric.
There are many, many other products that are made of bamboo,
we just wanted to touch on a few for you.
One other thing worth noting, Bamboo has long been highly
thought of and considered lucky, in many cultures around the world.
UPDATE: The Asus "Ecolo" is now available here in the United States.
Bamboo - when did it start being used as a fabric source?
We have spent some time indeed, searching for information on
the history of viscose from bamboo fabrics. We can tell you that there is not a lot out
there on the subject. For starters, the mainstream manufacturing of bamboo into
fabric has just not been going on for very long. Well, perhaps a little longer
in parts of Asia…but here in the U.S. it has really just started to become
popularized within the last 5 years or so.
Here is some interesting “viscose from bamboo fabric” history
information. One of the earlier patents is a patent for “improvement in
preparing fiber from the bamboo”. It is patent #41,627 and has a date of
February 16, 1864. It covers the process for “disintegrating the fiber of
bamboo, so that it may be used in manufacturing cordage, cloth, mats, or pulp for
paper”. There is another patent, #87,295, dated February 23, 1869. This one
also talks about the improvement of preparing fiber from bamboo. In 1881 there
is another one which focuses more on mixing wool and bamboo when spinning into
yarn. Additionally, there are a handful of other patents and or patent
applications that deal with bamboo as a fiber.
Also worth noting - in Nov of 2007 a patent application was
submitted for a vacuum cleaner filter bag. Yes, you guessed it - bamboo is the
basis for the product. Here are a couple of lines from the actual patent:
“Vacuum cleaner filter bag according to claim 1, comprising a powder produced
from a biopolymer and having an antibacterial effect, wherein the antibacterial
powder is bamboo pulp powder or chitosan powder or bamboo pulp powder and
This is not a comprehensive list of the patents or patent
apps on bamboo. It is however, a sampling of some U.S. patents on viscose from bamboo
fabrics that we found interesting. If you have some other interesting facts or
documents about the history of bamboo or anything else regarding bamboo, for
that matter, we would love to hear from you. Just drop us a line and reference
the article/document or the appropriate link to it. We would appreciate that.
Bamboo - is it really being used in high fashion?
The short answer…yes! The long answer….also yes!
Here are some examples of fashion designers that have
realized the awesome benefits of viscose from bamboo fabrics:
Oscar de la Renta
Additionally, there are of course many “eco-fashion” designers which are now using bamboo in their garments. Here are just a few:
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but rather a
sampling of names to give you an idea of how prevalent bamboo fabrics have
become. In fact, even Avon has jumped on the bamboo bandwagon with
their Botanicals bamboo moisturizing gloves.
There are several reasons that more and more designers are opting to use bamboo fabrics in their designs. Here are some of the reasons:
- Viscose from Bamboo fabric is becoming increasingly available.
- Viscose from Bamboo fabric can be machine-washed and dried and doesn't need to be washed as often as other fabrics.
- Viscose from Bamboo's texture has been compared to silk and cashmere, and has been called the cashmere from plants.
- Bamboo yarn is stronger than cashmere.
- Viscose from Bamboo stretches more than a silk-and-cashmere blend.
- Viscose from Bamboo doesn't pill as easily as synthetic yarns.
- Viscose from Bamboo may someday compete with cotton according to National Geographic.
- Viscose from Bamboo clothing is clearly made from the best certified organic source around!
Bamboo - Why is the military using it in a band aid?
“Not Your Run-Of-The-Mill Bandage”
A life sciences company, Entegrion, was asked by the Office
of Naval Research (ONR) of Arlington, Virginia to develop an affordable bandage
that would quickly stop bleeding in combat-inflicted wounds. In looking for a
solution, researchers at Entegrion turned to local textile manufacturers to
help them come up with a solution. The result? Entegrion's chief science officer, Dr. Thomas H. Fischer,
developed Stasilon TM FR, the
first homeostatic bandage with wide applications including surface cuts,
nosebleeds, severe wounds and surgical uses.
To come up with a practical solution–that could be
used for many applications–Fischer set out to develop a bandage that
closely resembled gauze. To do this, Dr. Fischer worked with members of the
textile industry who supplied him with different fibers to test. After testing
numerous fibers, Fischer liked the combination of medical-grade continuous
glass filaments and viscose from bamboo–the glass initiated the coagulation of blood,
and the viscose from bamboo provided great wicking properties. The combination of the two
worked well together.
The bamboo bandage doesn't
look like a typical bandage. It is heavy in comparison to the gauze bandages
found in medicine cabinets, since the surface area of the fabric is a glass
fiber. This glass fiber serves to help the blood clot after the bamboo yarn
wicks the blood to the surface.
According to researchers, the bamboo bandage stops the
bleeding within minutes and is more than twice as effective in reducing blood
loss as traditional gauze bandages. Small nicks can be cleaned up very
quickly–and won't leave
a scab. Severe injuries only take three to five minutes to stop bleeding when
the gauze is pushed into the wound and held with pressure.
Though originally developed for the military, StasilonTM FR
is currently being offered for use in emergency situations for surface wounds,
and is proposed to be approved by the FDA for prescription and over-the-counter
uses. Entegrion also expects to receive FDA approval for other StasilonTM
products including surgical pads and consumer products for controlling problem
To learn more about Eco-Friendly Sources for Fabrics and the benefits of Bamboo, you can read all about it in our Bamboo Facts section.