The Miracle Plant
Bamboo is one of the most fascinating useful plants in the world. Although it may look like a tree it’s actually considered to be a grass. Scientists have documented over 1,000 different species of bamboo growing in various regions around the world. Bamboo forests grow naturally and stretch across large expanses throughout Southeast Asia, Hawaii, and many parts of South America. For centuries bamboo has been a miracle plant used by many as a sturdy building material and a viable source of food. More recently new processes in bamboo manufacturing have made it possible to take an extremely hard substance such as bamboo and transform it into an ultra-soft fabric that rivals the softness of luxury fabrics like silk and cashmere.
In a time when global warming depletion of resources and deforestation threatens the balance of the delicate natural world and its diverse ecosystems. Bamboo is making a name for itself as a viable solution and resource that’s both remarkably useful and environmentally friendly. A bamboo horticulturist from all over the world. Consider bamboo to be one of the most sustainable renewable resources known on the planet, this is evidenced in some species of bamboo that have been known to grow up to four feet a day and reach maturity within two years a mere fraction of the 50 to 60 years it takes for traditional timber to grow to maturity and become ready for harvesting. After harvesting bamboo it rapidly self propagates and new bamboo forests quickly spring up preventing deforestation and soil erosion that is common with other types of timber harvests.
Unlike other plants bamboo is naturally antibacterial and has no need for harmful pesticides and fertilizers that can be detrimental to the environment with carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere on the rise. Bamboo becomes a highly beneficial tool to clean the air we breathe. Bamboo and other plants convert carbon dioxide into clean breathable oxygen, however bamboo does it much better than your average tree. Stands of bamboo can produce 35% more oxygen than an equivalent stand of trees helping each of us breathe a little bit easier.
Bamboo is a unique product, bamboo have over 50 varieties from a foot tall to 50 feet tall but it all shares the same growth method which is it’s totally unique. A bamboo shoot’ comes out of the ground at full diameter it grows to full height in a matter of weeks it branches it Leafs and it’s finished. The combs are incredibly useful to make all manner of products. The shirt we’re wearing to bamboo flooring furniture fencing innumerable products the Canes are stronger than steel by weight. Thomas Edison used bamboo as reinforcing in concrete in some of his experimental swimming pools and house structures because it was cheaper than steel for the same strength and lightweight.
One of the more intriguing uses of bamboo is the recent production of bamboo into the ultra-soft and comfortable eco-friendly fabric. How can a material that has the tensile strength of steel be transformed into an ultra-soft fabric? the answer lies in the incredibly unique manufacturing process that allows us to wear this remarkable plant. It begins with the harvest of mature bamboo that is merely 2 years old, getting the cut as clean as possible makes it possible for new shoots to grow and naturally replenish for the next harvest in two years time. The bamboo is then taken and chopped into pieces resulting in piles of raw bamboo chips, the chips are then soaked in a solution that has been approved by the global organic textile standard. To ensure that this process is as environmentally friendly as the bamboo it soaks. This solution breaks down the bamboo fibers, extracting the bamboo pulp that is then dried into parchment-like sheets.
Once thoroughly dried these sheets are ready to be ground and spun into a soft fluffy material refer to as bamboo fiber. The fiber is then separated and spun into thread which is used to create yarn for weaving. The result is a cloth that is twice as soft as cotton and is compared to luxury fabrics like silk. It can be made into products from t-shirts to luxurious king-size bed sheets. Bamboo fabric is a remarkable material with properties that are unique and fascinating. One such property is that the cloth is naturally thermal regulating keeping the body cooler when the weather is hot and warmer when it cold. It also wicks moisture away from the body keeping the wearer dry and 3 degrees cooler than other conventional fabrics. When made into bed sheets they are softer than 1000 thread count Egyptian cotton. Bamboo sheets are truly a comfortable yet eco-friendly way to enjoy a good night’s sleep.
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