A tropical plant with woody, usually hollow stems that is plentiful and inexpensive with over 1450 species , a versatile, fully sustainable product with an increasing global market, particularly in textiles.
* The largest bamboo forests are in India and China. In the right conditions, bamboo grows profusely–up to 120cm/47” a day.
* Bamboo has many ancient and traditional uses whether in canes, chunks, whole or split: as supports for garden plants such as runner beans and sweat peas; in joinery, as walls, floors, wall coverings, ceilings, screens, table tops; for furnishings such as chairs, sofas and floorboards; as rolled bamboo blinds in the garden room; as fencing panels around the plot; as room screens, window screens and tropical ceilings.
* The Japanese in particular are renown for their use extensive of bamboo from clothing to bowls, to baskets, to musical instruments to whole houses; the monasteries and teahouses of old Kyoto testify to its longevity as a construction material.
* More recently, along with all the new vegetal fibres, bamboo promises a rich and exciting future for us in elegant, lovely to wear, economically viable and eco-friendly textiles. And all the while contributing to the sustainable economic growth of rural communities.
Here are some of bamboo’s extraordinary qualities:
* It only requires natural rainwater to grow, and can survive both flooding and drought.
* No pesticides, fertilisers or chemicals are needed as it holds a natural anti-bacterial agent called ‘kun’, which repels bugs and insects.
* No research and development programmes are needed to perfect the crop.
* The speed of growth means that to an equivalent stand of trees, it produces 35% more oxygen and absorbs five times the amount of CO2.
* Bamboo is a totally self re-generating grass that does not need to be replanted after the annual harvest.
* Bamboo can be used to reclaim land destroyed by overgrazing and overbuilding.
* The tuberous root structure is effective in cleansing the soil of toxins. Bamboo is 100% biodegradable.
* A bamboo filter will desalinate water.
* Bamboo cellulose is increasingly valuable in the paper making industry as it provides six times more cellulose than pine.
For softer home furnishings too, bamboo textile provides an exiting new scope. BLINDS can be made from a single width of material, the hems stitched with a decorative finish by hand, to better control the weave and also out of appreciation for the beauty of the material.
To list the properties :
* One acre of bamboo provides ten times more fibre per acre than cotton
* After extruding the fibres, it can be woven into very fine fabrics for beautifully tactile, lightweight clothing, especially for nightwear, summer wear and all things for the new baby.
* Bamboo fibre responds to humidity by retaining or releasing moisture, the woven cloth is soft, warm and light, easy to wear and maintain.
* It regulates body temperature, wicking, taking moisture away from the skin, and is four times more absorbent than cotton–making it perfect for exercise wear.
* The natural bacteria ‘kun’ keeps the cloth clean and the wearer odour free.
* Bamboo fibres have a round surface and are very smooth, irritating the skin less than any other fibre, making it suitable for those with skin allergies.
* The natural UV protection is up to 98%, scoring 50 on the UPF scale.
* Micro porous construction provides natural thermal regulation, allowing the skin to breathe; it is warmer in winter and cooler in summer than cotton by about 2-3o
*Bamboo is anti-static
* The Chinese wore open weave bamboo vests as under garments beneath expensive silk gowns. The garments were made with small pieces of bamboo strung together, often with intricate patterning, and the edges bound with linen with hand stitches, formed into a loop and button closure.
* For softer home furnishings too, bamboo textile provides an exiting new scope.
* Blinds can be made from a single width of material, the hems stitched with a decorative finish by hand, to better control the weave and also out of appreciation for the beauty of the material.