Have you knitted with Bamboo yarn?
I have, it's smooth and silky creating a lovely soft knitted finish. As well as a tactile joy to knit with, Bamboo yarn has been promoted as an environmentally friendly product.
The following qualities are widely attributed to Bamboo Yarn.
- Environmentally friendly due to high growth and sustainable crops, as well as using less water and reducing soil erosion.
- Antibacterial qualities
- Allows your skin to breathe
- Biodegradable product
- Natural fibre
After doing a little research I was disappointed to find that Bamboo yarn is not the planet saving wonder yarn I had believed.
It was my understanding that Bamboo fibre was all natural. However the reality is that the finished product created for knitting is likely to be the result of intensive chemical processing. Bamboo fibre is a replacement to wood pulp in the process that creates Viscose Rayon. The cellulose of bamboo is used in the production of 'mechanically processed Bamboo' essentially Rayon.
Whilst there is still a great deal of environmental benefits to using Bamboo instead of wood pulp, the chemical processing is not as environmentally friendly as one might have thought.
It also seems that the touted Antibacterial and UV shielding properties of Bamboo yarns do not remain once the Bamboo has been chemically processed in the Viscose Rayon manufacture treatment.
There are yarns available however, that have modified the process and create a linen style Bamboo yarn which is the result of manually crushing the pulp and adding a natural enzyme 'retting' to process rather than chemicals.
So if benefit to the environment is your primary motive for using Bamboo yarn, I suggest you find out the exact processing your selected brand has used to create the yarn.