World Bamboo Day: Fabric Fantastic; the best options out there
From baby blankets and comfy briefs to breathable T-shirts and ultra-hygienic bandanas, bamboo fibre has made its way into Indian textiles and how!
The story of bamboo and India goes back a long way. Traditionally used for paper, weapons, housing and household articles, bamboo fabrics entered into our markets in the early 2000s. But this isn’t a new concept. The experimentation and refinement of this invention has been around for more than a 100 years. The earliest record of US patents involving bamboo was made by Philipp Lichtenstadt in 1864. His original idea was to create a, “new and useful process for disintegrating the fibre of bamboo so that it may be used in manufacturing cordage, cloth, mats, or pulp for paper.” However, his patent never materialised. In 2001, Beijing University became accredited as the first institution to successfully transform bamboo into cloth and in 2009, World Bamboo Day was officially established on September 18 at the 8th World Bamboo Congress (organised every three to four years by World Bamboo Organization, an international coordinating body for bamboo practitioners) held in Bangkok, Thailand. In less than a decade, bamboo fabric had crept into many segments of textile markets across the globe.
On the occasion of the 12th World Bamboo Day, we celebrate this miracle fibre known for being extremely soft, durable, strong, absorbent, lightweight, quick drying and near-silk like; with a curated list of our favourite bamboo fabric options available to the Indian consumer, today.
Silky, but more
Promising to be softer than silk and more comfortable than cotton, this brand that focuses on bamboo fibre trunks for men calls its product (yes, they have just one), a ‘modern tech’ underwear. The brand also promises inspired fabric, great construction and excellent fit. INR 499. wearbriefly.com
This online shop features regular T-shirts in round neck and V neck, boxy balloon tops and Lurex stripe tops as options for women from their Lush Hues collection; but we love their simple and beautifully constructed basic crew neck T-shirt in sage green. INR 749. brownliving.in
From round neck T-shirts, to polos and full sleeve T-shirts, the collection for men on NatureFab also includes graphic and piqué knit T-shirts. We are very intrigued by their piqué (a traditional woven style with a waffle-knit structure) T-shirts that come in an assortment of colours, the mustard being our favourite. INR 799. naturefabstore.com
While bamboo face masks are all the rage, we stumbled upon an interesting brand that focused instead on bandanas. Heelium’s bandanas are touted to be more durable than cotton or synthetic bandanas and fit heads of all shapes and sizes. They come in seamed and seamless variants. INR 490 onwards. heelium.in
Bamboo bath towels seem to be the most commonly available form of the fabric and many online sites feature elaborate collections. Doctor Towels’ bamboo bath waffle towel collection features a blend of bamboo and cotton yarn; and the charcoal and off white number crafted with one side for face and the other side for body, marked with embroidery definitely caught our attention. INR 799. doctortowels.com
Another segment that seems to love bamboo fibre is bedding and the luxurious gold bedding set on Spread Home with a premium 500 thread count from Spread Spain, is a sure eye catcher. Special quality bamboo yarn has been used to make this product for a soft feel and a beautiful drape. INR 3,250 onwards. spreadhome.com
Swaddling clothes are always adorable and this cute piece that can be used as a wrapper, burp cloth, blanket, a stroller cover and much more, from Kicks and Crawls on The Nestery is made from 100 per cent bamboo fibre. This fabric is specifically designed to regulate the baby’s body temperature and ensure comfort, all day long. INR 799. thenestery.in
Antibacterial and antifungal: Bamboo possesses an anti-bacteria and bacteriostatic bio-agent called Bamboo Kun, allowing it to naturally flourish and grow in the wild without the use of pesticides or fertilisers. This beneficial quality of the plant remains in its textile form, killing all bacteria, keeping the wearer feeling fresher and odour-free for longer, making the garment healthier and more hygienic.
Sweat absorbent: The fibre is known for its superior ability to pull moisture from skin for evaporation. The cross-section of the bamboo fibre is covered with micro-gaps giving the fabric better moisture absorption and ventilation.
Natural shine: Its natural sheen gives any garment a luxurious appearance.
Smooth finish: Bamboo fabric is similar in softness to silk. Since the fibres are processed without chemical treatment, they are naturally smoother and rounder with no sharp spurs to irritate the skin, making bamboo fabric hypoallergenic and perfect for those who experience allergic reactions to other natural fibres such as wool or hemp.
Powerful insulation: Keeps you cooler in summer and warmer in winter. The fabric keeps the wearer almost two degrees cooler in the heat and noticeably warmer in the cold.