You may have heard that bamboo is a wonderful, earth-friendly source for textiles to be used in the home and even on the body. But what are the real facts about this fabric, and is it really as green and great as everyone says?
Is Bamboo Hypoallergenic?
Sorting through fact and fiction to explain the many benefits of bamboo fabrics.
Fact 1: Bamboo Is Hypoallergenic
This seems to be of primary importance to many people, so I wanted to establish it right off the bat: yes, bamboo is hypoallergenic. This is due in part to the fact that it is a natural substance with a protein structure the body can easily recoginize. It is also created through a very complex process which not only involves cleaning the fiber as it goes in, but also washing the finished product - the fabric. This helps to ensure an allergen-free finished product.
Fact 2: Bamboo is Anti-Microbial
This is something which should be even more important to allergy sufferers! It means that the finished bamboo fabric not only arrives hypo-allergenic, but stands a very good chance of remaining that way over time. Why? Because bamboo has been shown to kill bacteria, fungi, and even dust mites, even after many years of use. Since dust mites, mold, and other allergens are inhibited from growing in bamboo fabrics, the average allergy sufferer will have an easier time keeping their home allergen-free when using textiles made from bamboo.
Fact 3: Bamboo is Very Earth-Friendly
According to Wikipedia, "only 2.4% of the world’s arable land is planted with cotton, yet cotton accounts for 24% of the world’s insecticide market." Compare that to the fact that most of the bamboo on the planet is grown without the use of pesticides or fertilizers. Bamboo also grows very quickly, which means it can be ready for harvest more quickly than labor-intensive crops like cotton. Most importantly, Bamboo need not be re-sown every growing season. Instead, the plants will immediately begin to re-grow from the root end after they have been harvested. These last two facts are why bamboo is preferable to almost any other textile crop available.
Why Not Give Bamboo a Chance?
Regardless of whether or not you suffer from allergies, you'll definitely want to look more closely at bamboo as a fabric for the new, green lifestyle. It's quickly growing in popularity, and many have compared it to silk because of its soft feel and drapey qualities. It also tends to be relatively inexpensive, especially compared to other hypoallergenic products like silk and organic cotton. If you're shopping for clothing, there's everything from bamboo hats bamboo socks available. In your home, you can easily find bath towels, draperies, even bamboo duvet covers to help keep you warm, cozy, and allergy-free!