Is bamboo the new king of menswear fabrics?

We think that bamboo has a huge potential in future of our lives, environment and fashion.

Why do we think so?

Bamboo is the fastest growing plant on our planet, some types of bamboo can easily grow up to 1 meter a day in comparison to other types of bamboo, which can take up to 8-10 weeks to reach their full height and 3 – 5 years to reach their full bloom.

Even though bamboo is very often assigned to trees because of its ability to harvest it as a tree because of its wood properties, it actually belongs to grass group though.

Bamboo is an interesting commodity with not so well known characteristics:

It generates up to 35% more oxygen than some other equivalent trees. Bamboo is also very strong. You would be probably surprised that bamboo is so strong that it is even comparable with steel. Thus the reason for its use also in building industry. Not many people know that globally there are over 1000 types of bamboo, which can have several uses such as: buildings, furniture, window blinds, paper making, as a medicine, kitchenware (chop boards, plates, cutlery, bamboo steamer cooking set) in art (brushes), music (musical instruments), iPhone cases, or in fashion.

Bamboo in interior design

Bamboo in Fashion

Yes, and fashion, that’s right. You can make bamboo fiber out of raw bamboo which is then used to make clothes from the bamboo fabric.  Historically, at first we could see bamboo used only for structural components like construction in corsets in ladies’ dresses but later on, as the technology was changing and developing, bamboo fiber was used in a wide range of textiles and for fashion purposes. For example, because bamboo has the ability to lower light intensity, the bamboo strips were used in hats or shoes for workers, gardeners, farmers and fishermen protecting skin from the sun. Nowadays we are seeing bamboo used even more often and in various products. For example bamboo is pretty popular for making baby clothes as it is super soft, functional, and organic, or you can find bamboo pillows, mattress protector, bedding, socks or towels and many more other things.

Did you know that the textile is made from the pulp of the bamboo grass?

There are a few different methods of creating bamboo fiber out of the bamboo plant.

One of the method is that bamboo leaves and the soft inner pith from the heart of the bamboo trunk are extracted using a steaming process and then mechanically crushed.

The crushed bamboo is soaked in sodium hydroxide to produce cellulose. A common misconception is that sodium hydroxide is a harmful chemical. If used in a responsible manner sodium hydroxide has absolutely no effect on the environment. It is routinely used in the processing of organic cotton into fiber and is approved by the Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS) and the Soil Association. Sodium hydroxide does not remain as a residue on clothing as it easily washes away and can be neutralised to harmless and non-toxic sodium sulphate salt.

The bamboo cellulose is forced through spinneret nozzles (like a filter) and hardened to convert the cellulose into bamboo fiber threads. The fiber threads are spun into bamboo yarn and rolled onto spools.

As a natural cellulose fiber, it is 100% biodegradable in soil by microorganisms and sunshine. Bamboo fiber comes from nature and completely returns to nature in the end.

And yes, we understand all pros and cons of creating a fabric out of bamboo, but there are always positives and negatives of pretty much any process of developing clothing fabrics so we always consider the least impact on environment and the quality of the final product as we really do care about environment and people who are creating our products and who are wearing our products.

Bamboo stakes

Bamboo stakes

Bamboo fabrics used in fashion

Bamboo textile can be made purely from bamboo or it can be blended with other fibers like cotton, organic cotton or spandex to give it a little bit of elasticity (a combination used on our bamboo organic cotton t-shirt).

Bamboo fabric is remarkably soft almost silky against the skin and it has an unusual ability to breath and to cool your body very well. Because the cross-section of the bamboo fibre is filled with various micro-gaps and micro-holes, it has much better moisture absorption and ventilation. It actually absorbs 70% more water than cotton so it can absorb and evaporate quickly the human sweat. So clothes made of bamboo are extremely comfortable in hot summer days wearing t-shirt or a shirt made from bamboo fabric won’t stick to your skin.

Some statistics even say, that apparels made from bamboo fibers are 1-2 degrees lower than apparels made from other usual materials. After wearing our clothes out to test them, we can definitely agree. There is nothing better to wear to your office in a hot summer day than a bamboo shirt or t-shirt. It does not only look elegant but will keep you cool all day as well.

It is a fact that bamboo bloom naturally without using pesticide. It is very rare for bamboo to be eaten by pests or infected by pathogens.

Why? Scientists found that bamboo owns a unique anti -bacteria and bacteriostatic bio-agent named “bamboo Kun”. This substance is combined with bamboo cellulose during the process of being manufactured into bamboo fiber. Bamboo fiber has particular and natural functions of anti – bacteria, bacteriostatic and deodorization. It is validated by Japan Textile Inspection Association that even after fifty times of washing bamboo fiber fabric still possesses excellent function of anti – bacteria. Its test result show over 70% elimination rate after bacteria being incubated on bamboo fiber fabric.

Bamboo organic mens t-shirt

Bamboo used in astico clothes

We researched and tested many bamboo fabrics by washing, drying, ironing and most of all wearing it under different condition (rain, sun, sport, leisure time etc.). And the results confirmed the theory mentioned above and why we decided to use bamboo fabrics in Astico clothes.

These are advantages

The main advantage of using bamboo fabric that it is highly durable, breathable and cool to wear. It is also antistatic and has natural deodorising wealth [after testing it ourselves we can definitely confirm this].

There is probably one main disadvantage

With bamboo fabrics, especially the woven used for shirts. Same as with other natural fabrics, after washing the fabric wrinkles and needs some ironing to get back the luxurious and elegant look. Although you would probably iron all or most of your shirts so at the end it is not such an issue and what really matters is the quality, functionality and the elegant look which is worth spending some time ironing. People don’t iron as much in these days because there exist synthetic fabrics, which don’t wrinkles as much as natural fabrics, but with all the amazing features of bamboo it makes it all worth it, believe it or not.

Men’s habits in clothing are changing as well for the better. It is a slow progress, but there are men who really care about how they look as well as about the quality of their clothes. And for them, clothes made from bamboo fabric are ideal as not only they look and feel great but they are highly functional.

That’s what inspired us to use bamboo fabric for our t-shirts and shirts, as our aim is to help men to wear high quality, comfortable and original clothes to differentiate from the masses.

We understand that for many men clothes made from bamboo is still something unusual and maybe even weird. But we are sure that once you try it, you will love it as much as we do. Simply because all the theory mentioned above is true in reality and we wouldn’t recommend you anything that’s not an acceptable. If you are still not sure, just simply shoot us an email and ask us for a sample and we will be happy to send it to you.

We absolutely fell in love with Bamboo!  We promise you that you will too once you try it.

Astico Menswear Team

Source: http://www.hyism.com/hydictionary.html, wikipedia

Pictures: Flickr (allowed for commercial use) http://bit.ly/1AKtPU7, http://bit.ly/1GTGBrq  epSos.de, http://bit.ly/1Ep05Rk, http://bit.ly/1AtLMHu, www.astico.com.au

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