Here's the Truth About Those 'Environmentally Friendly' Bamboo Textiles
Presidents' Day is behind us, and traditionally that weekend brings a multitude of mattress sales. If you purchased a brand new mattress, then maybe now you need new sheets. If you're eco-friendly, you might even be considering bamboo sheets.
But be warned: Just because the label says bamboo, doesn't mean it's actually bamboo.
It's Not Bamboo, It's Rayon
Special thanks go to user "jaspers" for alerting us to current warnings about so-called bamboo fabric. Bamboo sheets may begin with actual bamboo, but they're not as natural as you might think. Textiles made from bamboo fiber don't feel soft and cozy, so in order to get that luxurious feel, they undergo a processing stage that involves some serious chemicals and solvents. By definition then, bamboo sheets are in fact rayon, a semi-synthetic fabric that's made from wood pulp and reconstituted into fibers.
Bamboo fabrics are thus not eco-friendly, like the name might suggest. According to the FTC, producing bamboo-based rayon releases pollutants into the air, and the cost and time required to do so negates any benefit to using the abundantly replenished bamboo plant.
In addition, one of the main benefits of bamboo is said to be its antimicrobial properties. But rayon products that are made from bamboo don't actually retain those antimicrobial properties. That's because no matter what rayon is made from, by the time the product is finished, it has zero traces of the original plant that went into it.
Rayon is a commonly used material, so this revelation about bamboo might not bother you. However, if you're intent on finding other natural fabrics, consider organic cotton, hemp, organic wool, and silk.
If you're still interested in bamboo fabrics, try to find a company that can provide evidence for their products. They should have scientific test and analyses that clearly show their items are made from true bamboo fiber, and not some overly-processed material.
Readers, what do you say? Are you intrigued by bamboo? Or would you prefer other natural fabrics for your new sheets? Sound off below!