The fastest growing woody plant on this planet is bamboo. It grows one third faster than the fastest growing tree. Some species can grow up to 1 meter per day. Bamboo is just grass, but it varies in height from dwarf, one foot (30 cm) plants to giant timber bamboos that can grow to over 100 feet (30 m). It grows in many different climates, from jungles to high on mountainsides. Bamboos are further classified by the types of roots they have. Some, called runners, spread exuberantly, and others are classified as clampers (sympodial), which slowly expand from the original planting. There are also varieties of root systems that are a mixture of these types. Generally, the tropical bamboos tend to be clumpers and the temperate bamboos tend to be runners.

Bamboo fiber and starchy pulp are made from bamboo that grows widely through Asian countries. Starchy pulp is a refined product of bamboo stems and leaves through a process of hydrolysis-alkalization and multi-phase bleaching. Chemical fiber factories then process it into bamboo fiber.

Bamboo is both decorative and useful. In many parts of the world it is food, fodder, the primary construction material and is used for making great variety of useful objects from kitchen tools, to paper to dinnerware. Generally bamboos are commonly used for furniture, construction, musical instruments and many more things.

Bamboo is not only highly fashionable for decorative purposes but useful too. As it is a viable replacement for wood, in Far Eastern countries, it is the primary building material. Bamboo is in fact one of the strongest building materials available and even provided the first re-greening in Hiroshima after the atomic blast in 1945. Bamboo's tensile strength is 28,000 per square inch versus 23,000 for steel.

Botanically, bamboo is classified as:










: Plantae

: Magnoliophyta

: Liliopsida

: Commelinidae

: Cyperales

: Gramineae (Poaceae)

: Bambusoideae

: Bambuseae

: Bambusinae

Compared with other textiles, bamboo fiber has the following advantages:

Natural anti-bacteria

It's a common fact that bamboo can thrive naturally without using any pesticide. It is seldom eaten by pests or infected by pathogen. Why? Scientists found that bamboo owns a unique anti-bacteria and bio-agent named "bamboo Kun". This substance combined with bamboo cellulose molecular tightly all along during the process of being produced into bamboo fiber.


Bamboo fiber has particular and natural functions of anti-bacteria, bacteriostasis and deodorization It is validated by Japan Textile Inspection Association that, even after fifty times of washing, bamboo fiber fabric still possesses excellent function of anti-bacteria, bacteriostasis. Its test result shows over 70% death rate after bacteria being incubated on bamboo fiber fabric. Bamboo fiber's natural anti-bacteria function differs greatly from that of chemical antimicrobial. The later often tend to cause skin allergy when added to apparel. 

Physical Parameters of bamboo fiber

Testing condition: Temperature: 200C Relative humidity: 65%


Reference data

Dry tensile strength(CN/dtex)


Wet tensile strength(CN/dtex)


Dry elongation at break (%)


Linear density percentage of deviation (%)


Percentage of length deviation (%)


Overlength staple fiber (%)


Overcut fiber(mg/100g)


Residual sulfur(mg/100g)




Oil-stained fiber(mg/100g)


Coefficient of dry tenacity variation (CV)(%)


Whiteness (%)


Oil content (%)


Moisture regain (%)



Grade A



Fineness (dtex)


1.33 / 1.56 / 1.67













Breathable and Cool

What's notable of bamboo fiber is its unusual breathability and coolness. Because the cross-section of the bamboo fiber is filled with various micro-gaps and micro-holes, it has much better moisture absorption and ventilation. With this unparalleled micro-structure, bamboo fiber apparel can absorb and evaporate humans sweat in a split second. Just like breathing, such garments make people feel extremely cool and comfortable in the hot summer. It is never sticking to skin even in hot summer. According to authoritative testing figures, apparels made from bamboo fibers are 1-2 degrees lower than normal apparels in hot summer. Apparel made from bamboo fiber is crowned as Air Conditioning Dress.

Green & Biodegradable

As a regenerated cellulose fiber, bamboo fiber was 100% made from bamboo through high-tech process. The raw material bamboo is well-selected from non-polluted region. They are all 3-4 year old new bamboo, of good character and ideal temper. The whole distilling and producing process in our plant is green process without any pollution. Our company manufactures bamboo fiber strictly according to ISO9000 and ISO 14000. It produces natural and eco-friendly fiber without any Chemical additive.


What's more, bamboo fiber is biodegradable textile material. As a natural cellulose fiber, It can be 100% biodegraded in soil by microorganism and sunshine. The decomposition process doesn't cause any pollution environment. "Bamboo fiber comes from nature, and completely returns to nature in the end".

Bamboo fiber is praised as "the natural, green, and eco-friendly new-type textile material of 21st century".

Bamboo fiber fabric Production flow:

Bamboo fiber fabric production flow: bamboo - thick pulp - fine pulp - bamboo fiber - bamboo yarn - fabric

Bamboo Fiber is a kind of regenerated cellulose fiber, which is produced from raw materials of bamboo pulp. Firstly, bamboo pulp is refined from bamboo through a process of hydrolysis-alkalization and multi-phase bleaching. Then process Bamboo pulp into bamboo fiber. Repeated test has proved that it has a strong durability, stability and tenacity. And the thinness and whiteness degree of bamboo fiber is similar to classic viscose.

Further more it owns high abrasion-proof capacity. Bamboo fiber spins nicely. This fiber is a natural cellulose fiber, can achieve natural degradation in the soil, and it won't cause any pollution to the environment. Bamboo can be spun purely or blended with other materials such as cotton, hemp, silk, Lyocell (Tencel)), Modal cotton chemical fiber and so no.

After hi-tech disposal, bamboo fiber is thinner than hair. It has a round and smooth surface. Thus it has no stimulation against human skin.

Dyeing and Finishing of Bamboo Textile

Light sergeing, enzyme desizing, and moderate bleaching and semi-mercerizing should be applied to the bamboo fabric during its dyeing and finishing process, which also avoid drastic condition and use small mechanical tension.

  1. Sergeing: Carried out in Moderate condition.

  1. Desizing: Should be consolidate, desizing rate should be over 80%.

  1. Scouring: Pure bamboo normally need no scouring, sometimes wash it with a little alkaline soap. The scouring process should be made in terms of contents blended with cotton. When pure bamboo fabrics are under scouring, the alkali should not be over 10g/liter but be applied in accordance with the thickness of fabrics.

  1. Bleaching: The processing should be made in terms of the specification and thickness of fabrics.

  1. Mercerizing: The fabrics are normally free of mercerizing due to their sound luster and bad anti-alkaline. However, some cases are found in order to increase their absorbance capacity to dyestuff.

  1. Dyeing: It is better to use active dyestuff during dying process, and the alkali should not be over 20g/liter, the temperature should not over 100c. During drying process, low temperature and light tension are applied.


The End-use of Bamboo Fiber

Bamboo fabrics are made by pure bamboo fiber yarns, which have excellent Wet Permeability, moisture vapor transmission property, soft hand, better drapery, easy dying, splendid colors. It is a newly founded, great prospective green fabric.

The following are some of the end use of Bamboo fiber

  • bathrobes and towels
  • foot mats
  • mats
  • bed clothes
  • underwear
  • bamboo T-shirts
  • bamboo socks

Bamboo intimate apparels include sweaters, bath-suits, mats, blankets; towels have comfortable hand, special luster and bright colors, good water absorbance. Bamboo fiber has such a sole function as anti bacteria, which is suitable to make underwear, tight t-shirt and socks. Its anti-ultraviolet nature is suitable to make summer clothing, especially for the protection of pregnant ladies and children from the hurt of ultraviolet radiation.

Bamboo non-woven fabric is made by pure bamboo pulp, which has same property as viscose fibers. However, bamboo has wide prospects in the field of hygiene materials such as sanitary napkin, masks, mattress, and food-packing bags due to its anti-bacteria nature.

Bamboo sanitary materials include bandage, mask, surgical clothes, nurses wears and so on. The bamboo fiber has natural effects of sterilization and bacteriostasis, therefore it has incomparably wide foreground on application in sanitary material such as sanitary tower, gauze mask, absorbent pads, food packing and so on. In the medical scope, it can be processed into the products of bamboo fiber gauze, operating coat, and nurse dress, etc. Because of the natural antibiosis function of the bamboo fiber, the finished products need not to be added with any artificial synthesized antimicrobial agent, so it won't cause the skin allergy phenomena, and at the same time, it also has competitive prices in the market.

Bamboo decorating series has the functions of antibiosis, bacteriostasis and ultraviolet-proof. It is very advantageous for utilization in the decorating industry. Along with the badly deterioration of atmosphere pollution and the destruction to the ozonosphere, the ultraviolet radiation arrives the ground more and more. Long time exposure to ultraviolet irradiation will cause skin cancer. But the wallpaper and curtains made from bamboo fiber can absorb ultraviolet radiation in various wavelength, thus to lessen the harm to human body farthest. What's more, bamboo decorating product won't go moldy due to the damp. Curtain, television cover, wallpaper and sofa slipcover can all be made by bamboo fiber.

Bamboo bathroom series enjoy good moisture, soft feel and splendid colors as well as anti bacteria property, which are well popular in home textiles. Bamboo towel and bath robe have soft and comfortable hand feeling and excellent moisture absorption function. Its nature antibiosis function keeps bacterium away so that it won't produce bad odour.


The merits of bamboo for use in textile fibers are their breatheability, the ease of processing them into fabric, their high functionality and their beauty. The fashion world's fascination with all things and bamboo is attracting the interest of a number of designers. More and more of this material is expected to find way onto store shelves as time goes by.

About the Authors:

The authors are associated with the Sona College of Technology, Salem.