FABRIC TALK: BAMBOO
Bamboo is made out of cellulose which comes from woody bamboo grass. There are two different types of fibers: natural bamboo and bamboo viscose. The last one is by far the most common one.
Bamboo viscose is substituted from bamboo wood as the source of raw cellulose in viscose production. The natural polymers are chemically dissolved and then extruded as a continuous filament. The production of viscose generates emissions to air and water. A better substitute for viscose is Lyocell. There is not much information yet about the processing of the natural bamboo fiber.
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A disadvantage of bamboo viscose is that the processing has the same (high) impact on the environment as conventional viscose and if you want to reach a maximum ecological benefit, you still have to make sure that bamboo is harvested in a sustainable way. On the other side, bamboo has the advantage that it is derived from a very fast regenerating raw material. Like soy, bamboo fibers are promoted as health-giving with natural antibacterial properties, although there is no evidence available to support this idea.