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Bamboo Bedding - The Ecological Narrative Part 2 (Bamboo Viscose)

A Response to Julie's Question: Regarding bamboo sheets: "Can you tell me the difference between "bamboo rayon" and "bamboo cotton"?

Dear Julie,

Your answer in seven steps:

1. Bamboo rayon (or viscose) is 100% derived from the cellulose of bamboo plant tissue. All fabrics used to produce bamboo bedding and bamboo apparel are rayons. Some people think that rayon is a like a synthetic polyester but it is not.

2. Cotton yarns are derived from the cellulose fiber of the cotton plant.

3. The difference in the yarns is that cotton is spun from the fibers of the cotton plant (the cotton boll), whereas bamboo yarns are made from fibers that are extruded from a cellulose pulp formed from bamboo plant tissue (viscose process). The extrusion process makes the bamboo fibers and yarns much smoother and longer than their cotton counterpart. The resulting bamboo fabric used for bamboo sheets is much smoother, silkier and much more comfortable to sleep on. The "buzz" about the amazing comfort of bamboo sheets is true.

4. "Bamboo cotton" is a blend of bamboo rayon fiber (from the bamboo plant) and cotton fiber (formed from the cellulose fibers of the cotton plant). There is no such thing as “bamboo cotton” yarn unless one is referring a mixture of fibers from two different sources. Bamboo is bamboo and cotton is cotton.

6. There is no question as to which yarns will produce the most comfortable bedding. Bamboo sheets woven from 100% bamboo yarns far out-perform cottons. "Bamboo sheets" that are blends of cotton and bamboo fiber similarly are not as comfortable as 100% bamboo sheets. Note that bamboo sheets become softer, silkier and even more comfortable with every wash.

7. When evaluating bamboo sheets and cotton sheets as they relate to the environment, bamboo is a more environmentally friendly source of fiber than is the cotton plant. The processing and dying of raw yarn (both cotton or bamboo rayon) and the viscose process for producing bamboo rayon yarn are only environmentally friendly if labeled "organic". If you see "organic" always question it, and ask to see the certification (which is not always authentic).


Van Shron


Luxury Bamboo Bedding