Bamboos are the fastest growing woody plants in the world. They are capable of growing up to 60 cm (24 in.) or more per day. Organic, beautiful & earth-friendly, this material is known for its fast growth cycle and natural strength. Highly adaptable, bamboo can grow almost anywhere and protects the environment by generating more oxygen than other trees. Unlike conventional cotton, bamboo requires no fertilizer, pesticides or chemicals to grow.
There are two methods by which bamboo may be processed into fiber for fabric, both developed in China. The first is a mechanical process similar to that used to process flax or hemp; the stalks are crushed and natural enzymes break them down further, allowing fibers to be combed out. The other follows the process by which rayon is made where the fibers are broken down with chemicals and extruded through mechanical spinnerets; the chemicals include lye, carbon disulfide and strong acids.
Retailers have sold both end products as "bamboo fabric" to cash in on bamboo's current eco-friendly cachet, however the Canadian Competition Bureau and the US Federal Trade Commission, as of mid-2009, are cracking down on the practice of labeling bamboo rayon as natural bamboo fabric. Under the guidelines of both agencies these products must be labeled as rayon with the optional qualifier "from bamboo". Bamboo fabric is known for its softness and boasts strong absorbency and anti-microbial properties, though the chemical process in bamboo rayon destroys any anti-microbial quality. (Cited from Wikipedia.com)
The Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 is a globally uniform testing and certification system for textile raw materials, intermediate and end products at all stages of production. Oeko-Tex Standard 100 is the benchmark of safety in the textile industry. Testing criteria include: no chemicals which are known to be harmful to health, environmentally responsible manufacturing practices and no child labor or other practices that harm human ecology. Read more about Oeko-Tex here.
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