Mystery Material

By , August 14, 2007 7:16 pm

The other day I wore this simple navy blue crewneck shirt to a party and took an informal poll. I asked everyone to feel the shirt (fortunately I knew all these people very well!) and tell me what they thought it was made of. The results? 100% of poll participants said that it was definitely silk. What is it really made of? Drum roll please….. Bamboo!

Newsflash: Bamboo fibers make great clothing. This is yet another interesting new use for this highly sustainable resource.

When I stumbled across the website Shirtsofbamboo.com, I was underwhelmed by the thought of bamboo clothing. But I thought it sounded interesting and different. Since I like things that are different, I decided to give it a try and ordered two shirts (from the sale section though – I wasn’t ready to hand over full-price!).

Email communication was good, the shirts came quickly and … I love them! They are the softest shirts that I own. They are light as a feather, and cool on hot days. Plus, they seem to be easy to care for.

The washing instructions say “machine wash warm, tumble dry low.” The fiber is so soft and delicate feeling that I would have machine washed cold and hung to dry. By now however, I could see a blog post on the horizon. So, in the interest of research and accurate reporting, I decided to risk it all and do what the label said.

Expecting to be able to hand my shirt down to my 19 month-old daughter after the first run through the drier, I was astonished to find that it didn’t shrink and looks as good as it did when I first got it!

I have only washed it once so I can’t comment on durability, but I can say that I love it enough to have joined their affiliate program.

So, if you want to try bamboo clothing too, please click here:

125x125 Animated Full Product Range

Not only will you be helping to spread the word to the world that this ecologically sound fiber option exists, but you will be providing me with a little pocket change to save up for another bamboo shirt (or maybe yet another children’s book from Amazon…just what we need!). If you don’t like it, Shirts of Bamboo will pay the return shipping and refund your money.

NOTE:

Here is more information on the benefits of bamboo from Shirts of Bamboo’s blog:

Soft Bamboo fiber is softer than the softest cotton, has a natural sheen to the surface and feels similar to silk or cashmere.

Unlike other anti-microbial fabrics, which require a chemical treatment, bamboo fiber clothing is naturally anti-microbial and requires no harmful chemicals. It contains an agent, ‘bamboo kunh’, that prevents bacteria from cultivating on it. Bamboo apparel is comfortable, thermal regulating and will keep you cooler, drier, warmer and odor free.

Natural Bamboo is one of the world’s most prolific and fastest-growing plants, and is able to reach maturity in about four years, compared to the typical 25 to 70 years for commercial tree species in the U.S.

Bamboo is nature’s most sustainable resource. It is grown without pesticides or chemicals, is 100% biodegradable, and is naturally regenerative. Bamboo is actually a tropical grass with an extensive root system that sends out an average of four to six new shoots per year, naturally replenishing itself and growing to heights of 60 feet or more. Some bamboo species grow up to 4 feet per day and can be harvested every 3 to 4 years.

In Asia, bamboo has been used in the traditional hand-made production of paper for centuries. Now, through modern manufacturing processes, bamboo pulp is capable of producing bamboo fiber for use in yarn and fabric.

Bamboo is planted and grown on family-owned farms that have been in agricultural use for generations. None of the fiber comes from tropical forests.

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4 Responses to “Mystery Material”

  1. Obsidian Kitten says:

    i’m delighted you posted about bamboo! it’s becoming a very popular fiber with spinners and knitters, too, along with a number of other plant-derived fibers.

    i hope to take a class on spinning it this fall! i should definitely do a post about this, after i learn more.

    beautiful shirt, too =)

  2. CelticMommy says:

    I recently bought some bamboo yarn and am loving the way the crochet looks and agree 100% about it’s softness. When I’ve got some extra dough, I’ll have to check out a shirt or two from that store.
    :-) Excellent tips as always! ~Hettie

  3. Jenny says:

    You find the coolest things! :o) A soft shirt that doesn’t requite any special care? I love it! I’m saving your blog post so when I get one, you’ll get the credit.

  4. Karen (Pediascribe) says:

    That’s very interesting. I just bought a cross stitch pattern the other day and almost all of the fibers in it are BAMBOO! I didn’t even know there WAS bamboo cross stitch floss! I’m excited to try it!

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