Fabrics Database - Bamboo

Summaries for Bamboo

Key: Centre (0) Bad        Outer (6) Good

Characteristics / options defined by the above graphs are proportionally represented and approximate, and are only intended as a guide. As such they do not represent any industry standards. Among other things, fabric construction and weight will influence the perceived ranking.

Data Sheet for Bamboo


Regenerated Cellulose fibre. Bamboo fibres are produced using the viscose process from sustainable sources of Moso Bamboo. Environmental concerns relating to the production of standard viscose apply to the production of Bamboo. A major advantaged claimed by bamboo fibres is a natural anti-bacterial property however exposure to strong acids and alkalines during processing would make this unlikely. Distinction between standard viscose fibres and "bamboo" viscose may not be possible. Use of bamboo fibres is on the increase and finding niche markets where the "antimicrobial" properties are seen as a potential advantage.

Available as:

Currently limited availability. Bamboo fibres are supplied as staple fibre spun into yarns that may be blended with other fibres in the same way as viscose.


Treat to remove sulphur and use cellulose dyes. Since Bamboo fibres are produced using the viscose process, and will encounter the same problems as experienced with viscose. Fibres will often have residual sulphur compounds present after manufacture and will require some form of treatment to reduce these.

Fibres can be dyed with reactive dyes or in some cases direct dyes. As with viscose fibre there is the potential to spin pigment dyed fibres. from coloured dope. If the clothes are to be used for work wear reactive dyes, vat dyes or sulphur dyes would be the selection of choice.

Dimensional Stability

Susceptible to shrinking. A reduction of 30% to 50% in the strength of Bamboo fibres can be expected when wet and this may cause some problems.

Resistance to pilling

Resistant to pilling

Moisture regain

12-15% regain. Being cellulose based, bamboo (viscose) will absorb high levels of moisture dependent upon the ambient conditions. Typically at 65% RH levels of between 12%-15% can be expected.

Care information

Dry-cleaning recommended for 100% regenerated bamboo. Being a "viscose" fibre, bamboo has poor wet strength and this may influence laundering. Currently the fibre is not widely available however similar washing instructions used for viscose fibres should be applied. Dry cleaning is on option for 100% bamboo fabrics while blended yarns can be washed. This should be carried out using lukewarm or cool cycles avoiding any wringing or twisting of the garments in order to prevent damage. Air-drying is recommended, with knitted garments laid flat. Ironing while slightly damp is using a moderate heat setting is preferred when necessary taking care to iron on the reverse side of the garments to prevent the fabric from becoming shiny.


Potentially the same as viscose. Currently not penetrating into the corporate clothing sector. Regenerated bamboo has the same potential as viscose fibres and as such could be used in woven fabrics for suit linings.

End of life Possibilities

Can be disposed of using all end of life opportunities. Bamboo fibres are essentially the same as viscose and can be treated in the same way. The fibres are 100% cellulose and as such are biodegradable. The fibre has also the potential for re-use and remanufacture. Where used as 100% viscose there is the possibility of using the fabrics as a raw material for regenerated cellulose fibre production. When present in blends, the end of life options are reduced. Blending with other cellulose fibres such as cotton, provide the options of using the fibre as a cellulose raw material for regenerated cellulose fibres. The re-use of the non-woven viscose fabrics will depend on the way they have been manufactured.

Eco aspects

Cost scope (economic impact)

Common trade names




Oakdene Hollins Limited, 2024 for the CRR Uniform Reuse Project www.uniformreuse.co.uk


The rationale behind the study has been to provide a means whereby current and potential fibres/fabrics for use in the corporate clothing sector, can be compared. Any such comparison will be dependent on a multitude of factors that will influence the choice. Although application is the foremost factor that will be influencing the material selection, service life and cost will also play an important role.

The information contained within the following data sheets is an attempt to draw together some of the salient points that may be of interest at the specification and design stage without trying to be exhaustive.

De Montfort University produces these data on the fibres/fabric groups and blends on a non exhaustive basis. De Montfort University therefore makes no representation, express or implied that any of the fibres/fabric groups or blends will be unaffected by other treatments or processes. Users of these data must address the possibility of any health and safety issues that may arise personally.