About Bamboo Viscose

Bamboo viscose consists of semi-natural fibers and is used to make bamboo clothing. The original fiber, however, is derived from natural cellulose coming from the bamboo plant. Bamboo itself has a rigid structure and in order to make it soft and wearable, chemical processing is needed.

Characteristics

Soft, absorbing, anti-bacterial, flexible, color-fast and cool.

Production countries

There are many different types of bamboo. Countries as India, China and Brazil are large producers. However, almost all of the viscose fiber production takes place in Asia, throughout the Asia-Pacific region. It used to take place in Europe but it has moved overseas due to rising labor costs and stricter environmental rules. The biggest viscose fiber producing country nowadays is China.

Soil

Bamboo viscose grows very fast and can even grow up to 1 meter a day. It has a positive impact on the soil quality and helps to recover eroded soil. Bamboo plants have a very voluminous root network. This root network holds the soil together and keeps the soil nutritious. It is not necessary to replant bamboo because the plant perfectly takes care of its own propagation. From an environmental point of view, bamboo plants are doing very well since pesticides, fertilizers and machinery are not of any use.

Labor

The cultivation of bamboo is very labor intensive, it’s usually grown by traditional and small farmers.

Water usage

The water usage during the cultivation of bamboo is relatively low, especially when you compare this with the water usage of cotton. No extra irrigation is needed as rainwater is usually enough to let bamboo grow.

Processing

The cultivation of bamboo is quite environmentally friendly. However, in order to turn bamboo into bamboo viscose or bamboo fabric, heavy processing is needed. The common method to do this is called the “viscose process”’. This process had already existed for a long period of time, when in 2003 they also started using it for bamboo, calling it “bamboo viscose”. During this process, bamboo fibers are transformed into fiber yarns. This is done by dissolving bamboo in a chemical solvent which looks like honey. This solvent is toxic and approximately only 50% of it is used during the process. The other 50% leaks into the environment through the air and wastewater. After processing, the viscose fibers are weaved into fabric.

Dyestuffs

Bamboo viscose is very easy to dye since the fibers easily absorb dyestuffs. It depends which kind of dyestuffs are used for bamboo fabric.

Costs

Bamboo viscose is slightly more expensive than for example cotton. However, there is only a small difference in price.