Compare Bamboo and Cotton
As our world gets greener, bamboo is becoming more and more popular. Because it grows so quickly, bamboo is an easily renewable resource. It requires 1/3 the amount of water to grow that cotton uses and has no natural pests. This means that bamboo can be grown with little to no use of pesticides or herbicides whereas cotton often requires a large amount of pesticides to maintain growth. Bamboo plantations can quite easily be kept organic and replanted every year. Although organic cotton is readily available, there are still many pluses to using bamboo.
Bamboo fabric is very soft, often described as feeling like cashmere. This is because the bamboo fiber itself is naturally round and smooth without any chemical treatment. This means that there are no sharp spurs to irritate the skin. This means that bamboo can be worn directly next to skin, even with many people who are allergic to other natural fibers such as hemp or wool. Bamboo fibers are also quite long which means that there is less piling of the fabric than in the cheaper varieties of cotton. The softness and quality of the fabric itself seems to stand up to multiple washings. Many even describe the fabric as getting even softer with each washing!
Bamboo also has excellent wicking properties. The textile resembles the plant in this aspect. The bamboo plant is highly water absorbent. It is able to take in up to three times it’s weight in water! The textile retains this ability to some extent, pulling the moisture away from the skin so that it can evaporate. Bamboo fabric also has some insulating properties. This means that the fabric will help the wearer stay warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
From designer’s perspective, bamboo is also an excellent fabric choice. It is a light, strong fabric that requires less dye than cotton. The color of bamboo fabric as opposed to cotton is also described as much more vivid. The fabric can be used in many ways from being woven to being knit. It drapes very smoothly and because of it’s greener properties, is a much desired alternative to cotton from a buyer’s point of view, said Salomón Juan Marcos Villarreal, president of Grupo Denim.