Thursday, February 18, 2010

Is Bamboo Rayon??

There is a storm in the tea cup that is New Zealand, about the environmental friendliness of bamboo fiber. It started with an article in our much respected Consumer magazine; you can buy the article here if you wish. I understand the article dealt with the manufacturing process of bamboo fiber, comparing it to cotton and rayon. A short comment in one of the fiber-related newsletters I subscribe to, summed up the article, saying: "So, bamboo is rayon."

I need to get a hold of this magazine and read it because I know nothing of the subject, but I know someone who knows a great deal, and she has a totally different opinion to the article. I hope to post her view here in the near future.

7 comments:

  1. It is produced in the same manner as rayon. That is, beaten to a pulp and liquified and then extruded into fibers. Probably not that environmentally sound, but what is, these days?

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  2. my weaving teacher classifies rayon as a natural fiber as it comes from plants as opposed to acrylic which I think is a synthetic petroleum based fiber? is that right?

    I suppose what makes it not environmentally sound is the disposal of the liquids and also the vast quantities of water used in the processing?

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  3. Connie, yeah, what is, these days... I've not noticed it, but the writer might have felt bamboo (and silk) is sometimes unfairly tooted as natural, therefore environmentally-friendly. So is cotton, but that's, I hear, also an environmentally taxing fiber. Next thing, we should go back to animal skin??

    Dana, yes, and yes. Except rayon doesn't claim to be "all natural", I guess. And yes, I guess so, on the third point. I need to get that article and read it before I talk to my friend on the weekend.

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  4. As well as the source material, and the energy involved in producing a yarn, another environmental concern is how long does it take to biodegrade?

    I expect wool is the most environmentally friendly fibre, you can spin it as soon as it's clipped from the sheep and it rots away after use.

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  5. Nobody will disagree with you re. wool - if you buy dried sheep poo in NZ as garden fertilizer, it comes with bits of wool, which makes it easier to spread, and the wool is gone before you know it.

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  6. Thanks for the information.Environmental friendly materials really do help.bamboo is a wonder plant and the more I hear about it I am still more impressed.

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  7. Throw, well, there is no doubt it's natural, but I've learned that it's about the process of getting out the fiber.

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