When we look at tall, hard canes of bamboo it''s hard to believe that these plants could eventually turn into clothing that''s amongst the softest available. Cashmere, silk and cotton we can understand, but bamboo? It''s not surprising we wonder how bamboo clothing is made.
Bamboo is a grass and although the culm wall is hard, the leaves and inner pith can be easily pulped and processed into a bamboo fibre through a process of crushing and mixing with caustic soda, a low impact chemical.
The first pulping leaves a thick pulp that has a variety of uses. When it''s destined to become bamboo clothing, it''s crushed and mixed into fine pulp that''s easily spun into bamboo fibre that''s no thicker than the average human hair, with a round smooth surface that''s perfect for spinning into bamboo yarn destined to become bamboo clothing that will be in contact with the skin.
Yarn made from bamboo fibre is available in a variety of thicknesses, each of which is suitable for manufacturing into various types of bamboo clothing and textiles, the thinnest of which have been shown though technological analysis to be matched only by the viscose, a fibre produced by chemical processing.
The result? A product that''s softer than cotton and as soft as cashmere. A product that is highly durable, has high vapour transmission properties, has thermal qualities and is anti-bacterial, has superb drapery and can be easily dyed to acquire splendid colours. A product that can then become comfortable bamboo clothing.