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Bamboo Fiber All in 1, Production, Property, Usage

bamboo fiber

Bamboo Fiber has wide application in our daily life especially in textile and clothing because of its eco friendly and unique properties.  Our R&D are working on our bamboo fiber yarn dyed and solid collection recently. I think it will be finished beginning of September and I will upload them on the website immediately.

Today I’m going to share with you the knowledge about bamboo fiber in every details you want to know.

Table of Contents

What is Bamboo Fiber?

Bamboo fiber is cellulose fiber extracted from bamboo that grows naturally. The natural bamboo fiber has the characteristics of good air permeability, instant water absorption, strong abrasion resistance and good dyeability. It has natural antibacterial, anti-mites, anti-odor and anti-ultraviolet functions.

Composition of Bamboo Fiber

The chemical components of bamboo fiber are mainly cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, all of which belong to high saccharides. And the total amount accounts for more than 90% of the dry mass of the fiber, followed by protein, fat, pectin, tannin, pigment, ash, etc. Mostly exist in the intracellular cavity or special organelles, and directly or indirectly participate in their physiological effects.

Cellulose is the main substance that composes the bamboo fibril cells, and it is also the reason why it can be used as a textile fiber. Due to the difference of bamboo age, its cellulose content is also different. For example, the bamboo cellulose is 75% in a young bamboo, 66% in one-year-old bamboo, and 58% in three years old bamboo. The content of hemicellulose in the natural bamboo fiber is generally 14% to 25%. With the increase of bamboo age, its content also decreases, such as 24.9% of bamboo grown in 2 years. 23.6% of 4 years old bamboo.

Classification of Bamboo Fiber

Natural Bamboo Fiber

Only the natural bamboo fiber can be call bamboo fiber according to the authority law of U.S., EURO, Canada and Japan. Natural bamboo fiber is produced by a combination of physical and chemical methods.

Chemical Bamboo Fiber

Chemical bamboo fiber can be classified into bamboo pulp fiber and bamboo charcoal fiber.

Bamboo pulp fiber

Bamboo pulp fiber is a kind of bamboo chips made into pulp, and then the pulp is made into pulp and then wet-spinned to make fibers. The manufacturing process is basically similar to that of viscose.

Bamboo charcoal fiber

It is a fiber product that is made of nano-level bamboo fragrant charcoal powder, which is added to viscose spinning solution through a special process and then woven through a similar conventional spinning process.

Construction of Bamboo Fiber

Observed by the scanning electron microscope, the bamboo fiber has horizontal sections in the longitudinal direction, and the thickness distribution is very uneven, and there are countless fine grooves on the surface of the fiber. The transverse direction is irregular ellipse, waist circle, with a cavity inside, and the cross section is full of large and small gaps, and there are cracks on the edge, which is very similar to the cross section of ramie fiber. The below image is for your reference.

cross section of bamboo fiber
Cross Section of Bamboo Fiber
cross section of ramie fiber
Cross Section of Ramie Fiber

Parameter of Bamboo Fiber

Average fineness: 6dtex

Average strength: 3.49CN/dtex

Average length: 95mm

Bamboo Fiber Usage

  1. Bamboo fiber yarn is used for fabric and clothing, summer mats, bed sheets, curtains, scarves, etc. If it is blended with vinylon, it can produce light and thin clothing fabrics.
  2. It can be blended with cotton, wool, linen, spun silk and chemical fibers for weaving or knitting to produce various specifications of woven and knitted fabrics. Woven fabrics can be used to make curtains, jackets, casual wear, suits, shirts, bed sheets and towels etc. Knitted fabrics are suitable for making underwear, singlets, T-shirts, socks, etc.
  3. Bamboo-cotton blended yarn with bamboo fiber content below 30% is more suitable for underwear, socks, and can also be used to make medical care products.
  4. It is also used in the manufacture of tissue. In recent years, healthy and environmentally friendly bamboo fiber tissue using natural bamboo fiber as raw materials appears on the table in everyone’s home.

Bamboo Fiber Properties

Moisture absorption and breathability

Observed under an electron microscope at 2000 times, the cross-section of bamboo fiber is uneven and deformed, and it is full of elliptical pores. It is highly hollow and has a strong capillary effect. It can absorb and evaporate water instantly. Among all natural fibers, the moisture absorption and air permeability of the bamboo fiber ranks first among the five major fibers. And the far-infrared emissivity is as high as 0.87 which is much better than traditional fiber fabrics. So it has the characteristics of thermal comfort. At a temperature of 36°C and a relative humidity of 100%, the moisture regain of bamboo fiber exceeds 45%, and its air permeability is 3.5 times stronger than that of cotton. It is known as “breathing fiber” and also called “queen of the fiber “.

According to the demands of different seasons, using bamboo fiber products in summer with different production process, the human body will feel extremely cool, the temperature is 1-2 degrees lower than wearing ordinary clothes. In winter and spring, it is not only fluffy and warm, but also can eliminate excess body heat and moisture, no dryness. The function of warm in winter and cool in summer is incomparable to other fibers. The textile made with it is called “the second skin of human”. At the same time, bamboo fiber fabrics have excellent skin-friendliness, soft touch and refreshing skin feel. Bamboo fiber fabrics are fluffy and light, smooth and delicate, soft and light, with cotton-like softness, silk-like smoothness, soft and close-fitting, skin-friendly, good drape, and give people a zero-pressure comfort.

Antibacterial of Bamboo Fiber

Bamboo fiber products have natural antibacterial and sterilization effects. Because bamboo contains a unique substance which is named “bamboo quinone”. It has natural antibacterial, anti-mite, anti-odor, and anti-insect functions. Observed under a microscope, bacteria can multiply in cotton, wood and other fiber products, while the bacteria on bamboo fiber products not only cannot survive for a long time, but also disappear or reduce in a short time. The bacterial mortality rate reaches more than 75% within 24 hours. The new discoveries of the Japanese authority have increased the added value of this product. The results were confirmed by China Cotton Textile Product Quality Supervision and Inspection Center together with Shanghai Institute of Microbiology of Chinese Academy of Sciences. However, cotton products do not have antibacterial and antibacterial functions. The reason why they are moldy, smelly, and sticky is the result of the proliferation of bacteria on the towel. The reason why bamboo fiber towels do not have this phenomenon is mainly because it has antibacterial and antibacterial functions. Bacteria cannot multiply or even survive on it. Therefore, even in a warm and humid environment, bamboo fiber towels are not moldy, tasteless, and sticky.

Anti-UV Function of Bamboo Fiber

The Shanghai Institute of Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has proved that cotton has a penetration rate of 25% for 200-400nm ultraviolet rays, and bamboo fiber has a penetration rate of less than 0.6%. Its UV resistance is 41.7 times that of cotton. The ultraviolet rays of this wavelength are the most harmful to the human body, which is unmatched by other textiles.

Eco Friendly and Sustainable

The extensiveness and availability of resources are mainly manifested in the short growth period of bamboo, which can be used for 2-3 years and can be used for long-term operation. Bamboo can grow up to 3 feet in one night. It can grow and renew quickly and can replace it. Bamboo can be used sustainably. The products made of bamboo fiber can be degraded naturally in the soil and will not cause any pollution to the environment after decomposition. It is a natural, green and environmentally friendly textile material.

For some sweaty people, wearing bamboo fiber clothing will have a very excellent function. The special ultra-fine pore structure inside the bamboo fiber makes it have a strong adsorption capacity, which can absorb harmful substances such as formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, and ammonia in the air, and eliminate bad smells.

Wearability of Bamboo Fiber

After Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, electron microscope, antibacterial test, thermogravimetric analysis and other conventional testing equipment tests, it shows that bamboo fiber is a natural cellulose fiber with excellent wearability.

Physical Properties of Bamboo Fiber

The length of the fiber can be made into the required length of cotton type, medium-length type and wool type according to the requirements of users, and the length is better. The general technical parameters of raw bamboo fiber are shown in Table 2. The raw bamboo fiber has a strong capillary effect (test conditions: 30℃, pretension 4 g), 6.74 cm at 5 min, 6.85 cm at 15 min, 6.90 cm at 30 min, and after 60 min It remains unchanged, slightly higher than cotton fiber, and much higher than ramie, viscose fiber and regenerated bamboo fiber.

Chemical Properties of Bamboo Fiber

The natural bamboo fiber has strong antibacterial and bactericidal effects. According to AATCC6538, the antibacterial performance of the natural bamboo fiber, flax fiber, ramie fiber and cotton fiber was tested.  It can be seen that the natural bamboo fiber has strong antibacterial effect with flax and ramie, and its antibacterial effect is unmatched by any artificially added chemical substances. The characteristics of natural, environmental protection, long-lasting, and health care are completely different from artificially processed antibacterial fibers. And its antibacterial effect has a certain spectral effect. Since the bamboo fiber contains sodium copper chlorophyll, it has a good deodorizing effect. Experiments show that bamboo fiber fabric has a deodorizing rate of 70% to 72% for ammonia, and a deodorizing rate of 93% to 95% for acid odor. In addition, sodium copper chlorophyll is a safe and excellent ultraviolet absorber, so the bamboo fiber fabric has a good anti-ultraviolet effect.

How to Make Bamboo Fiber?

Natural bamboo fiber is produced by a combination of physical and chemical methods.

Preparation process: bamboo material→making bamboo slices (first cut off the bamboo to remove the bamboo joints and cut into bamboo slices, the length of the bamboo slices depends on the need)→smelting bamboo slices (putting the bamboo slices in boiling water for smelting)→pressing broken and decompose (take out the bamboo slices, crush and hammer into filaments) → steam bamboo slice (put the bamboo slice into a pressure cooker to remove part of the pectin, hemicellulose, and lignin) → biological enzyme degumming (the above pretreatment The bamboo silk is immersed in a solution containing biological enzymes for processing, allowing the biological enzymes to further decompose the lignin, hemicellulose, and pectin in the bamboo silk to obtain the cellulose fibers in the bamboo. In the decomposition of lignin, hemicellulose, In addition to pectin, a certain amount of enzyme that can decompose cellulose can also be added to the treatment solution to obtain finer bamboo fiber) → comb fiber (clean, bleach, oil, soften, and open the bamboo fiber after enzyme decomposition) → get the bamboo fiber which can be uses in textile production.

Chemical bamboo fiber includes bamboo pulp fiber and bamboo charcoal fiber

Bamboo pulp fiber: Bamboo pulp fiber is a kind of bamboo chips made into pulp, and then wet-spinned to make fibers. The manufacturing process is basically similar to that of viscose. However, the natural characteristics of bamboo are destroyed during the processing, and the fiber’s deodorizing, antibacterial and anti-ultraviolet functions are significantly reduced.

Bamboo charcoal fiber: It is a fiber product that is made of nano-grade bamboo incense charcoal powder, which is added to viscose spinning solution through a special process, and then spun through a similar conventional spinning process.

Bamboo charcoal fiber preparation process: bamboo material carbonization (heat the alpine bamboo material with a bamboo age of more than 5 years to 450~550℃ to carbonize, and then carry out high temperature carbonization, that is, after the above low temperature carbonization project, the carbonized material is heated to 800~900℃ again , Continuous treatment) → activated bamboo charcoal (the bamboo charcoal after the above two heating treatments is sprayed, and the bamboo charcoal is rapidly cooled to extinguish the fire. At this time, due to the physical and chemical effects of water, the bamboo charcoal produces a complex porous structure, and the surface area increases several times , Greatly improve the absorption capacity. After the activated bamboo charcoal, its tissue binding density is increased, and become extremely hard. The carbon rate can reach 85% or more) → the pulverization of bamboo charcoal (the aforementioned activated bamboo charcoal is pulverized to make sub Nano-level bamboo charcoal powder) → Disperse evenly (mix the bamboo charcoal powder into the original pulp such as polyester or viscose and stir to make it evenly dispersed in the original pulp) → Spinning (from the original pulp, through the spinning equipment, The filament containing bamboo charcoal powder can be drawn out, and it can also be cut into cotton or wool type staple fiber, medium and long fiber, etc. according to need, so as to make bamboo charcoal fiber)

Extraction process

(1) Press along the bamboo growth direction with a pressing machine;

(2) Use a hammer mill type grinder with a special mechanism to fiberize the crushed bamboo obtained from the first process;

(3) Separate the thin bamboo skin part from the fiber obtained in the second process.

Maintenance Method of Bamboo Fiber Fabrics

Bamboo fiber fabrics can be washed, dry cleaned, and washed at normal temperature. They cannot be soaked at high temperature or soaked for a long time. Do not rub back and forth strongly when washing by hand. Do not spin dry during machine washing. Dry it in a ventilated and dark place after washing. Do not expose it to the sun and should be ironed at low temperature. The shrinkage rate of bamboo fiber bedding is within 3%, and it can be machine washed at high temperature. The bamboo pulp fiber product is a regenerated viscose fiber, and the shrinkage rate of the finished bed product is 8%. Therefore, it is not suitable for high temperature washing, nor machine washing, but low temperature hand washing.

If you use a dryer, please choose low-temperature drying, and the temperature should not exceed 35 degrees Celsius to prevent excessive shrinkage. Removable decorations such as laces and pendants must be removed before washing. When drying clothes, they should be laid flat to dry. Excessive stretching of clothes is forbidden to prevent clothes from deforming. When preserving, fold it and store in a dark place with low humidity and a well-ventilated place.

How to Identify Bamboo Fiber?

We’ve talked about burning test method in previous blog as an easiest way to identify the fabric fibers. It is also a perfect way to identify the bamboo fiber.

Bamboo fiber left thin and soft gray-black dust after burning, while binder fiber (including bamboo pulp fiber) is gray-white ash after burning.

Bamboo Fiber V.S. Rayon Fiber

What’s the difference between bamboo fiber and rayon fiber? It’s the question that asked a lot online. I think you may have the answer after finishing this blog post. Anyway, let me make a conclusion for you.

  1. Bamboo fiber is a natural fiber which is eco friendly and sustainable. But rayon fiber is synthetic.
  2. Bamboo fiber has the properties like good moisture absorption, antibacterial, anti-UV, highly breathable which are much better than rayon fiber.
  3. Bamboo fiber has better shrinkage than rayon fiber.

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