Care and Dyeing of Bamboo Fabric
General information such as weight, width and country of origin for each of our fabrics can be found on the fabric key.
Laundering Bamboo Fabric:
We recommend the coolest water and gentlest drying practical for laundering your bamboo fabric garments. No hotter than warm, line or flat dry when possible. If you line dry, double the fabric or garment over the line to avoid distortion from stretching. Gentle cycle is a good idea for some finished garments and fabric types. Because bamboo fibers lose some strength when they're soaking wet, even a lingerie bag is a good idea if you've sewn an item from 100% bamboo jersey that has parts that might get snagged in the agitator. Bamboo does shrink. Always prewash and dry to keep your finished projects from warping. Use moderate heat for best results.
With most of our fabrics you should expect some shrinking. As with cotton, severe temperature changes lead to more shrinking. Fabric styles with a small amount of polyester shrink less than the bamboo and bamboo/cotton blend fabrics with no poly. The bamboo/soy mix woven is preshrunk.
Absorbency of our Bamboo Fabrics:
We've done a lot of 'lab' tests on the absorbency of the various blends and constuctions of bamboo fabric we carry and some that we don't. Most of what we found can be summarized with the following comparison of the top three absorbency performers: One quarter cup of water, poured over a stack of many layers of each fabric soaked through 7 layers in the velour (h) test, 6 layers in the fleece (f) test, and 4 layers in the double side terry (e) test. Also, for absorbency without a lot of bulk, both single-side terry fabrics do great.
Dyeing Bamboo Fabric:
Bamboo and bamboo blend fabrics dye quite nicely with dyes intended for use on natural fibers. The results on bamboo are comparable, though not identical, to those on cotton. Here's a side-by-side look at bamboo and cotton dyed in the same dye bath. This is for comparison of cotton and bamboo only; we're not experts with dye here. The blue color is Procion fiber reactive dye (Dharma Trading Co.'s #23, Cerulean Blue) and the purple is plant derived madder dye, both were soaked in soda ash prior to dyeing.