NITRA unveils findings on viability of bamboo fibre
Bamboo fibre is one of potential novelty fibres today. NITRA scientists are also working on this and a project “A Study to assess the properties of bamboo and bamboo/cotton blended fabrics.” has already been presented in the 52nd Joint Technological Conference at ATIRA, Coimbatore.
Further systematic study has been conducted to verify the suitability of bamboo fiber for providing comfort and antibacterial property in the fabrics.
Cotton has been known from centuries for its softness and comfort properties. Cotton and its blended fabrics have acquired popularity among the people and is a widely used fiber due to its superior properties.
However, cotton fiber also has some limitations like short fiber length, harsh feel and less lustrous, when compared to viscose and other regenerated fibers.
With the growing demand for more comfortable, healthier and environmentally friendly products, new kind of regenerated fibers, which are an alternative to conventional fiber like cotton, have gained importance in apparel and home textile manufacturing.
One of the latest developments in new fiber researches is the use of bamboo fiber in various textile products.
The bamboo fiber has certain inherent properties, which are better than the cotton fiber. It has also been claimed by the manufactures, that fabrics made out of bamboo fiber have good moisture absorbency, excellent air permeability, high elasticity, soft feel, and better dye ability than cotton.
Further it is claimed that bacteriostatic agent present in bamboo plants called “bamboo Kun” keeps bacteria away from bamboo fabrics.
There are some studies which claim that bamboo fiber posses antibacterial properties. However, the recent reports have shown difference of opinion regarding the inherent antibacterial property of the bamboo fiber.
Therefore a systematic study has been conducted to verify the suitability of bamboo fiber for providing antibacterial property in the fabrics. Work has also been carried out to assess the comfort related properties of bamboo and bamboo/cotton blended fabrics.
Further investigations are carried out to assess the extent to which the bamboo fiber would show up an increase in comfort and other functional properties, when compared to cotton. The present work also highlight the additional cost incurred due to the use of bamboo fiber in place of cotton.
Following are the findings:
- The fabrics made out of bamboo have better moisture absorption, air & water vapor permeability and soft feel than cotton fabrics and therefore comfort and functional properties of bamboo undergarments are better than cotton undergarments.
- The tensile & bursting strength and abrasion resistance of bamboo fabrics are lower than those of cotton fabrics; therefore one would expect shorter bamboo undergarment life when compared to cotton undergarments.
- The cost of bamboo knitted fabrics, are 5.0% to 8.0 % higher than the cotton knitted fabrics due high bamboo fiber price.
- It has been concluded that chemically processed bamboo fiber does not have the inherent antibacterial and UV protection properties.
- Due to the better comfort properties of bamboo undergarments, they may be preferred by the middle & upper class of the society.