Bamboo Bliss

Bamboo Bliss

Sleep. The older I get, the more sleep seems to elude me. It’s annoying (and likely irritating to anyone who has to spend time with me after a restless night). I find making my bed as comfortable and cozy as possible goes a long way in helping me get a good night’s sleep. In keeping with the Earth Month theme, it’s time to look at how sleeping in bamboo sheets might help. 

Why bamboo? And maybe the better question is, how can bamboo be made into fabric? It’s an incredibly fast growing plant that doesn’t need pesticides. Bamboo is a grass so cutting it doesn’t harm the roots and it quickly regenerates. The cut grass is chipped, soaked to soften, dried in flat sheets, then ground up and spun into fibre. Now you have threads to weave into fabric. 

From this point, the process gets a bit complicated. There are several different ways of producing the fabric made from bamboo. The most common is Rayon or Viscose Bamboo. This process uses several chemicals to regenerate the cellulose from the bamboo so this isn’t the most environmentally friendly bamboo sheet set. Rayon Bamboo comes in two forms, silky sateen or twill weave. Twill is more durable and sateen is softer. Both weaves are hypo-allergenic, anti-bacterial, and will help regulate body temperature during sleep. Both are available in a variety of colours but remember that the darker the colour, the more dye has been absorbed so the fabric can feel stiffer. And a darker fabric won’t wick perspiration as well. Bamboo is a natural deodorizer, which helps you wake up feeling fresh rather than sticky. 

A more expensive but longer-lasting sheet set can be made from a combination of linen and bamboo. Now you have material that didn’t go through as much of a chemical process to become fabric. It is a bit rougher than twill from rayon bamboo but with time, softens to a silky feel. These sheets are usually only available in white or off-white as any dye makes them too stiff for comfort. 

We often hear about how ‘everything is made in China’. However, bamboo sheets should be made in China as it is the Asian countries that produce the most bamboo. Responsible manufacturers will use what is known as a ‘closed loop’ recycling process where no chemicals are released into the environment and water use is limited. 

One weird thing I noticed about my bamboo sheets is how stiff they feel when they are washed. Transferring them from the washer to the dryer or the clothesline, the fabric has a poster board sort of feel. Once dry, the material is lovely and soft again. And a bit more wrinkly than my cotton sheets. 

If you are looking for sheets that feel silky smooth to the skin, warm in winter and cool in summer, with natural anti-bacterial and anti-allergenic properties, bamboo might be for you. 

Did you know? A bamboo grove releases 35% more oxygen than any other type of type of tree. And it’s a grass.


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