Bamboo fibre has many benefits that other fibres do not. Here, we look at each of these benefits as compared to what the fibres of other popular materials offer.
Bamboo Fibre Softness
Bamboo fibre is naturally soft, down to the core of its very structure. Bamboo fibre is long, smooth and rounded. The length of each bamboo fibre means that it has less ends, which is one major factor in any material’s softness. The smoothness of each bamboo fibre is another factor which makes this material naturally soft. The rounded ends of bamboo fibres also make it softer, as opposed to rough or pointy ends.
Many other materials are made from fibres that have rough strands. These strands have jagged edges along their lengths and ends. Fibres are microscopic, but all these millions of jagged points make a woven fabric rough. Bamboo fibre, being smooth and rounded, means that the weave is much softer, naturally.
There are few other materials that are as soft or even softer than bamboo. One of these is silk. Silk is known as the softest material with its absolutely luxurious texture. Silk, however, is very expensive. Bamboo is much less pricey and can provide comparable softness, not to mention its other benefits, which silk cannot boast of. Being so soft, bamboo fibre is ideal for those with sensitive skin. Its smoothness means that bamboo cloth does not irritate the skin as other materials with jagged edges are prone to do. Partly because of this non-irritating structure, bamboo material is considered hypoallergenic. Silk is also non-irritating, but lacks the hypoallergenic quality that bamboo fibre naturally offers.
Almost as a bonus feature, bamboo fibre gets softer and softer as it is washed. Almost every other material will become rougher as time goes by because of the roughness of the fibres themselves. Being smooth, washing causes bamboo fibres to line up in a more orderly fashion, rather than snagging and moving out of position. As they become arranged, the texture of the weave becomes smoother and softer.
Breathability and Thermoregulation
Bamboo fibre is naturally breathable because of its structure. Again, the smooth strands do not snag against each other, which causes blockages in the gaps of the weave. Bamboo fibre smoothly falls into place in its weave, leaving these gaps open for air to flow freely through.
The breathability of bamboo material makes it very comfortable to wear even in hot climates. The fibres allow for a weave that naturally regulates temperature. Because of its breathability, the air flow allows the temperature on one side of the fabric to regulate against the temperature on its other side - i.e., the temperature of your body and the temperature of the air around you. Because of this structure, bamboo fabric also helps you to keep warm when it’s cold outside. This may not sound logical, but is is - the same principle of thermoregulation applies. The weave regulates the temperature between your body and the air, making you feel warmer when its cold. This level of breathability and thermoregulation is not possible with cotton, hemp, wool or synthetic fabrics.
Absorbency and Moisture Wicking
Bamboo fibre is naturally absorbent and speedily wicks away moisture - up to four times faster than cotton. The innate qualities of bamboo fibre give it this ability. Bamboo fibre is both hydrophobic and hydrophilic, meaning that it is alternately attracted to and not attracted to water. Because of this, the cohesive force of water along these fibres make the water molecules attracted to each other along the strands, which pull the moisture up along them and away from the skin. When the water reaches the surface of the bamboo material, it can evaporate more quickly, leaving your skin dry and feeling fresh. This evaporation, which naturally and constantly occurs, drives the moisture to continually travel towards the surfaces of each bamboo fibre.
Cotton and most other fabrics do not have such great moisture wicking properties - when they get wet, they stay wet much longer. Bamboo fibre keeps the moisture away so that the fabric does not stick to the skin, and dries fast so that you feel cooler and more comfortable while you wear it.
The softness of bamboo fibre is rivaled only by the most luxurious of fabrics, silk. Yet, no other fabric, including silk, offers the superior breathability and thermoregulating properties of bamboo. Bamboo’s natural absorbency and moisture wicking abilities are also unrivaled by any of the fabrics used to make the same types of clothing, bedding and other items for daily use.