Bamboo fibre has many benefits that other fibres do not. In a previous post, we looked at its superior softness, breathability, thermoregulation, absorbency and moisture wicking properties. Here, we look at more of these benefits as compared to what the fibres of other popular materials offer.
Bamboo Fibre is UV-Resistant
Bamboo has the unique quality of being resistant to harmful UV rays. There is no other natural fibre used for textiles that has this very useful property.
Ultraviolet rays, or UV rays, are invisible radiation that come from our sun. As part of the sun’s energy, we have to take this bad with all the good that this energy bring us. UV rays are also emitted by unnatural sources, however. Artificial tanning lamps and electric arc lamps - used in furnaces and motion picture projectors - are examples of these artificial sources. We must be careful to protect ourselves from the dangers of UV radiation.
The UV rays that are able to get through our earth’s protective ozone layer are not always harmful. They are what help us to naturally produce vitamin D for healthy bones and teeth. Too much exposure to UV radiation, however, can cause harmful effects such as sunburn and premature skin aging. As the ozone layer thins, as it has been each year, the risk of damage from intensifying UV radiation becomes greater and greater.
Some of the more harmful effects of UV rays are permanent and even life-threatening. UV exposure can cause eye damage resulting in causing vision loss. The fronts of our eyes absorb over 99% of the UV radiation present under any circumstance. The eyes can suffer corneal damage, develop cataracts, and suffer macular degeneration. Each of these can ultimately lead to blindness. The skin cancer known as melanoma can also develop as a result of UV exposure. UV rays can also cause immune system suppression, which leads to a vulnerability of the body to infection and disease. This suppression of the immune system is closely related to the tendency of exposed persons to develop certain cancers. Simply put, UV radiation prevents tumor rejection, a natural defense that our bodies should have to prevent the growth and spread of cancer. In addition, UV rays have carcinogenic effects, which means that on top of preventing natural defenses against cancer, UV radiation encourages the growth of cancerous skin tumors.
By protecting our skin against UV rays, bamboo fibre acts as a protective agent. Wearing clothing and using drapes and blinds made from bamboo fibre will protect you from the harmful effects of UV rays that you cannot avoid when walking or sitting under the sun. Instead of avoiding the sun completely, staying indoors and blocking out its light, use materials made of bamboo fibre to protect yourself while you enjoy the sunshine.
Antimicrobial and Odour Resistant
Bamboo fibre is antimicrobial because of a natural component in the bamboo plant called kun. Bamboo kun is a bacteriostatic agent. This means that it is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. Kun is naturally found in the bamboo plant itself, and is actually only found in bamboo. Bamboo fibre is therefore resistant to bacterial and fungal growth, which can cause infection and disease.
Being antimicrobial, bamboo fibre is the safest material to have close to the body. It can be safely worn as clothing or used as bedding. Babies, people with allergies, and others who are highly sensitive to infection have an additional layer of protection with bamboo fibres around. The bamboo kun protects them from harmful bacteria and fungi that can cause disease.
It is also this unique antibacterial property of bamboo fibre that makes it odour resistant. Bamboo kun stops odour-producing bacteria that can thrive on other types of fibres such as cotton and polyester.
Bamboo Fibre is Durable
Bamboo cloth is more durable than silk and many of the other textiles that are considered strong and resistant to wear and tear. The actual weave of any fabric of course plays into this durability, However, the smoothness of bamboo fibre along its strands and its points contributes greatly to its innate durability.
Because it does not have the jagged edges and ends that other materials do, fabric made from bamboo fibre does not wear out easily. Jagged edges get caught on each other and on other materials when they com in contact. This causes them to be pulled away and apart, leading to what we recognise as wear and tear.
For instance, when you wash a certain material, it gets thrown about in your washing machine and quite roughly rubbed against other materials and itself - even if it is hand-washed. Imagine how this friction affects its individual fibres - their edges are forcefully pushed against one another, and this causes the pointy ends to stick out further and even tear away.
As this process is repeated, the material loses bits and pieces of itself. It piles - what happens when you see little bumps along the material after several washings. This piling is the result of rough fibres snagging on each other and bunching together. Eventually, these snagged fibres and others that have been torn at will fall away and the material becomes threadbare.
Bamboo fibre is not prone to this effect. Its fibres are smooth and rounded, so they have no jagged edges to snag and tear. Material made from bamboo fibre therefore lasts much longer, even after multiple washings. In fact, bamboo fibre even gets softer as it is washed, as mentioned above.
Bamboo fibre is far superior to any other natural fibre type used in the manufacture of textiles and even other household, commercial or industrial items. Bamboo fibre has natural UV protection that cannot be found in any other natural substance with the same wide applications. Bamboo fibre similarly has a unique antimicrobial agent that protects its users unlike any other material, which can actually even harbour dangerous bacteria and fungi. To top it all off, bamboo fibre is extremely durable, simply because of the way it naturally grows. There is no need to add anything to this amazing material to make it better, and this makes it highly superior since its integrity is not weakened by unnatural processes.