When you’re purchasing a garment, there are lots of factors to consider. The cut, colour, and fit are probably some of the most important on your checklist. Something you may not have considered, however, is the material the fabric is made of.
When it comes to fabrics, there are a million different kinds to choose from. Cotton is one of the materials that first comes to mind when one thinks about comfort, breathability and durability. Although it’s currently less prevalent than cotton, bamboo is definitely a frontrunner in those categories as well.
So when it comes to choosing a material, how do you decide? We’ve compared the properties of organic bamboo and organic cotton to help you choose which fibres suit your needs.
Bamboo fibres are incredibly soft. A microscopic view of the fibres shows that they’re actually smooth and rounded, not jagged like other natural fibres. This leads to their almost cashmere-like feel and the reason that bamboo is so great for babies or people with sensitive skin.
Organic bamboo is also much softer than organic cotton. This is why thread counts for bamboo sheets are often much lower than those for cotton sheets, while still feeling ultra silky against your skin.
Quality of Fabric
While both bamboo and cotton fibres are durable and long-lasting, bamboo actually comes out on top. Because the bamboo fibres are so long, fabrics made from bamboo are less prone to pilling.
Bamboo fabrics also require less dye than cotton fabrics because of their absorbent and colourfast properties. While this means that dyed bamboo fabrics are usually more vibrant than their cotton equivalent, we still prefer the natural, undyed colour of bamboo for our products.
Unlike cotton, bamboo fibres are hypoallergenic and actually have antibacterial properties. Both the bamboo plant and the processed fibres contain a bio-agent called “bamboo-kun” that blocks the development of bacteria and fungi. Bamboo fabrics are also resistant to mildew and mold, making them ideal for people with allergies or compromised immune systems.
In addition to keeping you bug-free, bamboo fabrics also have water wicking properties. 40% more absorbent than cotton, the fabric draws sweat and water away from skin to keep you comfortable and dry.
When it comes to sustainability, cotton is one of the worst offenders. While organic cotton farmed on smaller plots is leaps and bounds more sustainable than non-organic cotton, organic bamboo is a more sustainable option.
Bamboo is a highly renewable resource that grows quickly and naturally without the use of pesticides. It is the fastest growing plant, growing up to 91 cm in a day!
In addition, the bamboo manufacturing processing has a lower environmental impact than organic cotton. While caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) is used in the production of both organic fibres, the solvent is reused in bamboo manufacturing. With 99.5% of the solvent recycled to make more bamboo fibres, the production process results in less wastewater and conserves energy.
If you’re looking for a luxuriously soft, environmentally-friendly fabric, we recommend organic bamboo. Check out our online store for high quality 100% certified organic bamboo products.
Also, enter our contest to win a set of Queen or King-sized bamboo bedsheets and pillowcases. Contest closes August 28, 2016.