What’s on the Wheel
Wrapped in Fire batt from Bohoknitterchic Etsy Shop
- a grass and not a tree
- found in diverse climates, from cold mountains to hot regions
- bamboo just might be the world’s most sustainable resource
- It is the fastest growing grass and can grow a yard or more a day
- Bamboo is ready for harvesting in about 4 years
- Bamboo does not require replanting after harvesting because its vast root network continually sprouts new shoots
- bamboo does this the natural way without the need for pesticides and fertilizers
- two methods by which bamboo may be processed into fiber for fabric, both developed in China.
- 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
- process by which rayon is made where the fibers are broken down with chemicals and extruded through mechanical spinnerets
- Chemical processing
- “cooking” the bamboo leaves and woody shoots in strong chemical solvents such as sodium hydroxide (NaOH – also known as caustic soda or lye) and carbon disulfide in a process also known as hydrolysis alkalization combined with multi-phase bleaching
- This is basically the same process used to make rayon from wood or cotton waste byproducts. Because of the potential health risks and damage to the environment surrounding the manufacturing facilities, textile manufacturing processes for bamboo or other regenerated fibers using hydrolysis alkalization with multi-phase bleaching are not considered sustainable or environmentally supportable.
- 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”
- Lyocell Process
- The lyocell process, also used to manufacture TENCEL®, uses Amine oxides.
- Lyocell processing is substantially healthier and more eco-friendly because the amine oxides are reported to be non-toxic to humans
- The chemical manufacturing processes are closed-loop so 99.5% of the chemicals used during the processing are captured and recycled to be used again
- Only trace amounts escape into the atmosphere or into waste waters and waste products.