You might have seen bamboo plants used for decoration in offices and other rooms. However, how many of you have probably heard about bamboo bed sheets. You might be wondering, “How are bamboo bed sheets made?” Well, that is what we will discuss in this article.
So, how are bamboo bed sheets made? Bamboo bed sheets are made from bamboo fibers. Bamboo fibers are taken from particular areas of the bamboo plant. Viscose rayon, a versatile cellulose fiber, is the main component used when making bamboo sheets.
Therefore, what is the complete process involved behind making bamboo sheets? Let us discuss it comprehensively to understand the process’s ins and outs.
How Bamboo Sheets Are Made
The process behind making bamboo sheets is long and tedious. Here’s a basic rundown of what happens during the process:
Bamboo trunks are mechanically crushed and steamed, after which they go through a process for separating particularly long rayon fibers. The process is known as retting. Countries from East Asia and China are some notable places where bamboo plants and bamboo bed sheet production are popular.
Below, you will learn all about the process in which a bamboo plant converts into a textile. You will also learn about the different parts involved in the manufacturing process, which will allow you to make a well-informed decision on the type of bamboo sheet that would suit you the most
1. Harvesting the Bamboo Plant
Initially, harvesting resources for creating a variety of textiles is not eco-friendly. However, how bamboo is harvested and grown has brought a significant change to all of that. Of course, bamboo crops grow on land, which is typically not suitable for forestry and tons of other applications.
However, considering bamboo is not a tree but a grass, its roots are firm and stay in place. Once you harvest them, the chutes begin to grow soon after. You will notice that some species become twice as stable after being cut once.
Getting the best quality of textiles is only possible by harvesting the best quality of bamboo. It means that the bamboo being harvested should be free from dangerous chemical pesticides, and have a 100% natural growth certification. Compare this with cotton, and you will notice that bamboo is significantly safer as cotton supports more than 20% of the insecticide market and 11% of the pesticide market of the world.
2. Processing Bamboo Fiber
Bamboo fiber comes from a special species of bamboo that bears an uncanny resemblance to timber. In case you didn’t know, bamboo has a family of over 1,400 species. The process for manufacturing bamboo fiber can vary depending upon the required fabric production.
Generally, people harvest the plant according to an age that the manufacturer specifies. After harvesting, they take the bamboo to a facility. In the facility, the harvested bamboo goes through a rigorous crushing process, after which the manufacturers immerse it inside a liquid mixture.
The mixture mixed with the crushed bamboo can vary, but in most cases, manufacturers use sodium hydroxide. In the middle of this process, the cellulose bamboo is dissolved. After dissolving completes, a mixture known as carbon disulfide is often used with the solution to allow the regeneration of fibers. After removing the fibers from the plant, they are dried, followed by bleaching, after that they are ready to be laced into textile or fabric.
3. Creating Bamboo Fabric
If you didn’t already know, there are three different kinds of bamboo fabric present in the market. The significant differences between them depend on the fiber’s manufacturing process used for weaving the fabric. Let us discuss them in some detail:
Bamboo Rayon or Viscose
You might have noticed that various bamboo sheets, along with other textiles, feel like they feel incredibly similar smooth and silky textures of rayon. The reason for this is that the process for creating the rayon fabrics is identical to the operation of producing bamboo sheets. Through a chemical process, the workers convert the natural material into a fiber.
Commonly, the process is known as viscose. There have been some concerns regarding the use of this process. The main concern is that there are several toxic chemicals used in it. Carbon disulfide, in particular, is used in a viscose solution, which some people find to be less than desirable.
The process for the fabrication of bamboo linen is similar to that of various other linen fabrics, which also includes cotton. Identical to the linen pants sitting in cotton, the fabric wrinkles very quickly. Neither is it considered as soft as lyocell or viscose processed options.
There is no denying that it is a durable option, but you will need to maintain it regularly, which also means that ironing it is necessary. These fabrics are also known as bamboo linen.
Lyocell or Tencel Bamboo
These are bamboo products developed with fiber and manufactured with the lyocell process. You can also find them under the Tencel brand name. Tencel bamboo is far more eco-friendly in comparison to rayon bamboo fabric and viscose fiber. The same regenerated fiber process is used for creating lyocell fibers; however, there is a difference. The solvents used for dissolving the bamboo are non-toxic and utilize a closed-loop system, which means low emissions and minimal waste.
This process also uses minimal water consumption. Most eco-friendly brands that use this process are not only using it because it’s greener, but it’s also a highly sustainable processing option when it comes to bamboo fabric.
How to Maintain Bamboo Sheets
Because bamboo fibers are vastly different from cotton, you have to treat your bamboo bed sheets differently. In most cases, you will get bamboo sheets with special care instructions to maintain your specific fabric. Avoid using vinegar and bleach-based products. Acids like vinegar, along with bleach, can ruin your bamboo sheets. Choose baking soda or other natural cleaning ingredients.
Make sure that you wash your sheets gently in cold water. If you have darker colored sheets, make sure that you wash them along with similar or darker colored fabrics. Finally, dry your sheets on a gentle and low cycle. Some brands encourage buyers to air dry or hand their sheets if possible.
More Interesting Facts about Bamboo Bed Sheets
When talking about bamboo, most of us think that they are a versatile plant that pandas eat as snacks. Some of you might also think of bamboo as something that people install as furniture or flooring for a new house. The bamboo fiber in its natural state is capable of wicking away moisture.
It’s also durable and hypoallergenic as it is silky. All of these qualities combine to make bamboo an excellent material for adding to bedding like pillows and sheets. The industry standard for bamboo bedding is set by Cariloha (link to Amazon storefront). They offer high-quality and eco-friendly bamboo sheets that are some of the softest available on the market.
You may be surprised to discover that the bamboo plant has natural antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. You can learn a lot about your purchased product’s benefits by taking a more in-depth look at the manufacturing process the particular company uses for its bamboo sheets. Companies that use bamboo to create their bedsheets mostly have reliable scientific evidence that testifies that they used bamboo fiber for making the sheets.
Natural bamboo also contains numerous properties that make it an ideal bedding option. Bamboo is moisture-wicking, thermoregulating, and antibacterial. All the qualities combine to make you feel warm or cold at night, according to the temperature of your body.
There has been some debate regarding the transference of bamboo plant properties to the fabric in the middle of the manufacturing process. However, the consensus is that bamboo sheets prevent sweating at night.
The process for making bamboo bed sheets varies from the type of cloth to the company that is manufacturing it. Nonetheless, you now know all that you need to know about how to make bamboo sheets, so you can make a better-informed decision when you’re looking for your next set of bed sheets.