What you need to know about bamboo clothing

Heard the term ‘bamboo clothing’ and wonder what it is? Read on to learn more about this fabric and why it has become so popular.

Bamboo is a fairly new fabric in the fashion industry. And though, as you can probably guess, it comes from the bamboo plant, ‘bamboo fabric’ actually refers to a number of different textiles, including bamboo rayon.

So we do we love bamboo so much right now? There are several good reasons. But first, here’s a quick run-down of the history of modern bamboo fabric. 

A quick history of modern bamboo clothing

Bamboo fabric is often considered to be a modern invention, but the very first patent for bamboo was made by Philipp Lichtenstadt in 1864. His plan was to use bamboo to produce clothes, mats and papers, but gave up when he realised how much it would cost, and the low level of demand for it at that time. 

Many years later, in 2001, bamboo was turned into cloth for the first time by Beijing University. And since 2004, bamboo fabric manufacturing has really taken off, thanks to technological advances in affordable manufacturing processes and the increasing popularity of more sustainable products. 

Today bamboo equals big business. In 2021, the global bamboo market was estimated to be worth USD 59.30 billion, and is predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 4.5% between 2022 and 2030.

Eight reasons why bamboo clothing is so popular

To find out exactly why the industry is predicted to continue expanding, we have researched eight reasons bamboo clothing is so popular.

1) Bamboo fabric is deliciously soft

People love bamboo clothing as it’s such a wonderfully soft fabric. This is because the actual fibres of the bamboo plant are themselves soft. They are also long, which means fewer ends – which also adds to softness. And the ends of the bamboo fibres themselves are rounded, unlike other fibres used for clothing. 

This gives a much softer weave and feel and reduces skin irritation and sensitivity. And the good news is that the more you wear and wash your bamboo clothes, the softer they become.

2) Bamboo fabric is more sustainable

Bamboo is a fast-growing plant, which means it is a more natural, sustainable and renewable resource. It also grows very densely, which means it requires less space. This makes it a natural choice for people looking for more ethical clothing options. However, it is still important to make sure that you buy from companies who employ ethical working practices. 

3) Bamboo is breathable

There’s nothing worse than clothes you can’t breathe in, which isn’t a problem when you choose clothes made from bamboo. Thanks to its structure, bamboo fabric is very breathable, and is excellent at wicking excess heat and moisture away from your body.

4) Bamboo helps you regulate your body temperature

Bamboo fabric has micro-gaps in it, which helps with ventilation and traps cool air in the summer and warm air in the winter, which in turn helps you to regulate your body temperature. So you can feel a little cooler in summer, and warmer in winter when you wear bamboo clothing. 

5) Bamboo protects your skin from the sun

Not only does bamboo help keep you cooler in summer, but it also provides natural ultra violet (UV) protection. Bamboo fabric is said to be able to filter as much as 97.5% of harmful UV rays, giving you greater protection from the sun on hot, sunny days. 

6) Bamboo is dust mite resistant

Do you suffer from allergies? If so, you’ll be pleased to know that bamboo fabric repels common allergens including dust mites. It does this by wicking away moisture from your body, and consequently creating an unattractive environment for dust mites and bacteria, which reduces their ability to survive. 

Another plus of bamboo fabric’s natural anti-bacterial properties is that it can help fight body odour. 

7) Bamboo is better than silk

Silk is a popular – but luxury – fabric choice thanks to its softness. But bamboo offers you almost unequaled softness without the drawbacks of silk. For example, unlike bamboo, silk is not breathable. It is also not machine washable without wearing it out, unlike bamboo, making it more inconvenient. And finally, silk comes with a luxury price tag, which means you can afford a higher quality piece of bamboo clothing for the same or less money than a silk equivalent. 

8) Bamboo clothing is less likely to crease or wrinkle

As a rule, natural fibres such as cotton and linen are much more likely to wrinkle than synthetic fibres such as polyester and nylon. Why? Because natural fibres are less flexible and less tolerant of stress and tension. So when they are exposed to heat or moisture they are more likely to crease and wrinkle.

Bamboo, however bucks this trend. And there are three reasons for this:

  • Bamboo fibres are generally longer and more strong than other natural fibres, which means they are able to stand more stress and tension without wrinkling or creasing.
  • Bamboo is usually tightly woven, which means the fibres are less likely to move out of place, causing wrinkling. 
  • Bamboo clothing is often pre-washed which helps to relax the fibres of the fabric and reduce the likelihood of them creasing and wrinkling when exposed to heat or moisture.

So if you are looking for a natural fabric, but also want it to stay wrinkle-free, bamboo clothing could be the right choice for you. 

Could bamboo clothing be the right choice for you?

As you can see, there are many good reasons to choose clothing made from bamboo fabric. Not only is it soft and kind to your skin, but it’s a more sustainable choice, and is less likely to crease or wrinkle, meaning you can feel and look cooler all day long.