Do You Bamboo? 5 Reasons to Love Bamboo Sheets
Terms like “environmentally friendly” are used often these days. Many manufacturers throw these terms supposedly signifying eco-sensitivity onto their labels to try to catch the bandwagon of consumer consciousness. Sadly, sometimes these words are merely empty marketing, with no thought whatsoever for the environment going into product manufacturing. However, the growing use of bamboo in construction materials and textiles, including bed sheets, is a trend that can lay actual claim to being planet-sensitive. There are multiple reasons to strip your bed and put bamboo sheets on it right now. Read on for five reasons to love bamboo sheets.
First Things First
Knowing what bamboo fiber is exactly can be a good place to start. While there are more than 1400 species of bamboo, fibers that are woven into fabrics come from the species that most resembles timber. The manufacturing process depends upon each manufacturer’s specifications for fabric creation, and some methods of production are kinder to the environment than others that use toxic chemicals.
Manufacturers specify at what age the bamboo plants are to be harvested. Once that is done, the plants are moved to a production facility where they are crushed and frequently put to soak into a liquid mixture, often carbon hydroxide. The bamboo cellulose then dissolves. Chemicals are added to make it easy to get the fibers from the plants. Depending on what type of fabric is to be made, sometimes toxic chemicals such as carbon disulfide may be added. This chemical is often used during the process of producing rayon fabric made from bamboo fibers.
When the fibers are finally removed from the plant, they are bleached and dried, and sit ready to be woven into fabrics. Bamboo rayon (viscose) is made through using toxic chemicals, and material made using this process must be labeled as “rayon made from bamboo.” Tencel bamboo is kinder to the environment, as it reduces manufacturing waste and uses non-toxic solvents. This fiber is labeled as bamboo lyocell. Another attractive fiber on the market is bamboo linen, and blends of bamboo and cotton are also available. Now, here are good reasons to choose bamboo bedding.
The bamboo plant grows quite rapidly and naturally wards off insects. Because of its inherent properties, bamboo requires no pesticides, chemicals, or fertilizers, and bamboo harvests are organic and earth-friendly. The sheets are, in fact, themselves biodegradable. Regular harvesting of bamboo has no negative impact on the environment, making bamboo a renewable and highly sustainable fiber.
Bedding can only be labeled as being made from bamboo if it is made from 100 percent bamboo. When fabrics such as rayon are created using fiber from the bamboo plant through a toxic method called viscose, government agencies require a label such as “100% viscose – made from bamboo” to be put on bedding to clarify which production process was used.
Bamboo fiber is naturally strong, and it contributes to durable sheets that can be enjoyed for a long time. However, some attention is needed when caring for these sheets. Often, long lists of instructions for care are included. The main things to remember are that bedding woven from bamboo should be washed on the delicate cycle using cold water and tumbled dry at a low setting, or even air dried.
Bamboo fabrics do tend to wrinkle, so they should be removed from the dryer as soon as possible and immediately placed on the bed. With a little attention to care as mentioned here, bamboo bedding should last to be enjoyed for an extended period.
Bedding made from bamboo is a good choice for those who suffer from allergies. Bamboo bed linens are naturally hypoallergenic, and since some manufacturing processes for bamboo fibers use non-toxic solvents, users—or in this case, sleepers— may have fewer chances of suffering an allergic reaction to the fabrics made through the eco- and skin-friendly processes.
Bamboo itself is antibacterial, as well as being able to repel insects. However, there is ongoing debate about whether or not bamboo loses its natural qualities when turned into fabric. For those allergic and highly sensitive to dust, though, bed linens made from bamboo are still a good choice to reduce bedroom allergens.
Fabrics made from bamboo have a high rate of absorption. This is good news for people who sweat heavily at night, as well as for those who live in hot climates. Bamboo bedding can make sleeping more comfortable by absorbing excessive wetness and moisture. These have been four practical reasons to switch to bamboo bedding, especially if you care about the environment and the planet. Now, for lovers of sumptuousness and simple ease, comes another reason to do bamboo.
Comfortable and Luxurious
Lovers of lavishness, rejoice! Because of natural qualities in the plant fiber, bamboo bedding has a soft and smooth feel, almost like satin. Bedding made from bamboo is cozy yet lightweight, and it drapes attractively over the bed. Bamboo bedding usually comes in restful neutral shades that are easy to live with and also to decorate around, as they can fit in with any style and color scheme.
Read the Label
For the truly health-conscious and environmentally-minded, spend some time researching top-rated bamboo sheets from different manufacturers. Learn about each company’s manufacturing process. Many are open and clear about the chemicals used and the methods followed to produce the bamboo fabrics they use to make their finished products. Different types of fabrics are made using various production methods. Some processes leave a smaller environmental footprint than others by reducing waste during the production process and by eschewing toxic chemicals, which also makes their finished products ultimately cleaner and safer to spend every night with so sleepers can rest easy.
The Bottom Line
Bamboo is no longer just food for pandas or calming plants used to create peaceful environments. Fibers from this plant are used now for everything from flooring to textiles. These plants grow quickly, and they naturally repel insects, making the use of chemicals, fertilizers, and pesticides unnecessary. Bamboo fabrics are durable, strong, and attractive. There are good reasons to love bamboo sheets, especially for those who care about sustaining the planet for generations to come.