What’s the Deal with Bamboo Clothing We Shoot from the Hip

What’s the Deal with Bamboo Clothing? We Shoot from the Hip

Bamboo. Not just good for panda food, Chinese torture tactics or a makeshift snorkel for Rambo. Ever since students at Beijing University developed the process of turning bamboo into fabric in the early 2000s, there have been ambassadors championing the benefits of it as clothing. Some even call it a miracle fibre. Naturally eco-friendly, resilient and superbly soft, it does have its advantages;


Fabric made from bamboo is light, luxuriously soft and gentle on the skin, yet it’s also very durable. It’s so soft it actually feels like a cross between silk and cotton.


Bamboo contains an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal bio-agent which makes it odour-resistant and retains this through washing. Unlike cashmere, bamboo is hypoallergenic, so it does not itch or cause flare-ups of skin conditions like eczema.


The structure of the bamboo fibres contains micro-gaps, which provide ventilation and pull moisture away from the body, allowing the skin to breathe. This wicking feature is ideal for yoga, running, gardening, and other outdoor activities.


Unlike other luxury fabrics, bamboo is machine washable in cool water, and it can even be tumble dried. There’s no need for dry cleaning, hand washing, or fabric softeners.


Bamboo uses very little water to grow, and grows faster than any other plant in the world – some species can grow almost one metre a day. Some call it the world’s most renewable resource. It’s naturally pest resistant, so pesticides and insecticides aren’t needed. Furthermore, it absorbs large amounts of carbon dioxide and needs no fertilisers.

That all sounds good to me, but are there any downsides? We took a look at some bamboo clothing products to find out.


The softness of the material really is impressive and feels fantastic on the skin. And the micro-gaps are useful to ensure there’s breathability. The design is pretty simple but comfortable enough. This item is 80% bamboo, with nylon and elastane making up the rest. Ultimately it’s the softness and the comfort that make this a favourite.


Like the underwear, there’s a silkiness to the t-shirt so it’s very comfortable and a nice option for just hanging out at home, going out with friends or as a bottom layer in winter (it’s thermo-regulating). It’s breathable so, in theory, it would be possible to work out in it, although I’d prefer to use it as a normal t-shirt. The slim fit isn’t too tight and is actually pretty stylish.  

In short. No downsides. Have you tried any Bamboo products? What are your experiences or thoughts?

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  • Michele Smith
    Posted at 07:38h, 30 April Reply

    I wear the Boody crop top bras they are fantastic cool in summer warm on winter. Whilst in the UK I brought asquiths yoga pilates every day wear and love it wish we could have this type of casual wear here as it’s a pleasure to wear and always makes me feel happy?

  • Jo
    Posted at 12:01h, 08 March Reply

    “ Patagonia began researching bamboo fabrics back in 2003and what we found was that although bamboo as a plant is pretty benign, making it into fabric is anything but. It turns out that most bamboo fabric isactually a rayon-like fabric made using a “viscose rayon process” where bamboois pulped, dissolved with a solvent, spun into strands, and then woven intofabric. Because this process turns cellulose from any plant into a “regeneratedcellulose fiber”—what’s commonly known as rayon—there is no chemical differencebetween rayon fabrics made from different fibers. Unfortunately, the solventused in this process (carbon disulfide) is not only toxic, factories typicallyrecover only about 50% of it. The other half goes straight into theenvironment. This was unacceptable to Patagonia so we searched and foundTencel®, a fiber that ismore environmentally benign, similar in aesthetics to rayon, and has unique performance attributes.”

    Writing up the pros of a store stocked product is always dubious and misleading.

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