For me its scaffolding. There was a time in my life when I was on a plane going somewhere almost every week – and everywhere I went, I would turn on CNN*. CNN was like a kind of English speaking buddy during my travels, and it would almost without fail have on a documentary about bamboo scaffolding. It was kind of interesting the first few times.
Thank goodness for mini-bars.
There are over 1000 documented uses of bamboo. Most recently, there has been a lot of hoo-hah in the environmental world about bamboo fabric as the ‘new cotton’.
Bamboo fabric is a natural textile made from the pulp of the bamboo grass. Bamboo fabric has been growing in popularity because it is light and strong, has excellent wicking properties, is anti-bacterial and its production has less environmental impact than most textile fibre production. Bamboo fibre has been found to be approximately 60% more water absorbent than cotton.
So bamboo is uber cool. You can now buy bamboo towels, sheets, T-Shirts, socks – the list goes on. I have bought a few of these – my favourite are my Santens towels. I offered a bamboo towel to a visiting friend one day and they asked ‘Won’t that be a bit scratchy?’ Well, shouldn't we suffer a little to do the good thing environmentally?
No need. My bamboo towels are really soft, and I just touch my wet skin and the water disappears. That’s the 60% more absorbent thing. I really liked their colour range too. I admit they were a lot more expensive than equivalent cotton towels, and they do get shipped from Europe – so they lose some of their environmental cred on the trip. Unfortunately there will always be a level of shipping involved in Australia – bamboo is not grown in Australia for fabric production as yet. But for me they were a good investment – and certainly a better option than traditional cotton towels.
Todae.com.au and The Bamboo Fabric Store are a good place to start for bamboo fabric items online, a quick Google will give you a good list of suppliers. A few things to be aware of, most bamboo fabric is mixed with some cotton. So where possible, try to ensure that the cotton is also coming from a reliable source. There is a lot out there – I will be checking out some more bamboo products in the next few weeks.
The cool new bamboo.
*or it might have been BBC World News – hey they are practically the same anyway
The Bamboo Fabric Store