Referred to as “the Black Diamond” in Japan and Southeast Asia, bamboo charcoal fibre use is an emerging trend in the fashion industry as manufacturers look to combine fashion with function.
Green Earth News previously wrote about the numerous benefits of bamboo charcoal so it should come as no surprise that those benefits extend to the fabric made from bamboo charcoal. The bamboo charcoal is created by heating bamboo at temperatures of 800 degrees and then the charcoal itself is processed and mixed in with fabrics as part of the growing field of nanotechnology.
Nanotechnology is defined as the “understanding, manipulation, and control of matter at the length mentioned above, thus, the physical, chemical, and biological properties of materials (individual atoms, molecules, and bulk matter) can be engineered, synthesized, or altered to develop the next generation of improved materials, devices, structures, and systems.” Hence, textile attributes such as softness, durability, water resistance and breathability can be enhanced with the use of Nanotechnology.
In more technical terms:
“Ordinary and fine-denier textile fibers range from 1 to 100μm in diameter and are produced by established dry-wet-dry, jet melt spinning through spinnerets 1-100 μm in diameter. Nano-fibers of diameters in the nanometer range are mostly manufactured by electro-spinning process, although there are also other methods. Carbon nanotubes (CNT) provide fibers of ultra-high strength and performance. It was shown that super aligned arrays of CNT provide nano-yarns that exhibit Young’s modulus in the TPa range; tensile strength equaled 200 GPa, elastic strain up to 5%, and breaking strain of 20%. In electro-spinning, a charged polymer melt or solution is extruded through sub-micrometer diameter spinnerets to afford fibers on a grounded collector plate subjected to high potential difference between the spinnerets and the plate. The process is an established technique to generate fibers of extremely small diameters and enhanced properties. Further enhancement of fiber strength and conductivity is achieved by heat”(1)
The many positive qualities of bamboo charcoal fabric include:
Easier on sensitive skin – The fabric inhibits bacterial metabolism causing fewer allergic skin reactions than other fibers sterilized with antimicrobial agents.
Reduces Static buildup – This is a conductive material so it keeps a balanced charge in fabric to help reduce static buildup.
Superior Absorption & Deodorizing Ability – This trait is due to the highly porous structure of the bamboo fabric. According to some research, bamboo charcoal can absorb formaldehyde at a rate of 16% ~ 19.39%; as for benzene, the rate is 8.69% ~ 10.08%; as for toluene, the rate is 5.65% ~ 8.42%; ammonia with the rate of 22.73% ~ 30.65%; chloroform with the high rate of 40.68%, and the lasting time can be up to 24d. And in the drop-off of bamboo charcoal fiber, the content of carbon is nearly 93% ~ 96%, and this property enables it to absorb sulfur-based compounds, nitrogen-based compounds and so on.
Anti-pilling – Because it has good per for manceinanti-fluff, bamboo Charcoal fiber can reach level 3.5 ~ level 4.5 as for the anti- fluff, anti-pilling effect.
Far Infrared Radiation properties – Bamboo charcoal fiber can absorb and rer adiation8- l4 μm far-infrared. Because bamboo charcoal fiber contains metal elements such as potassium, magnesium, calcium carbonized material (K 0.85, Na 0.01, Ca 0.05, Mg 0.04, Fe 0.01, Mn 0.05), fibers and fabrics have the property of far-infrared radiation. Once absorbed, the fabric disperses the far infrared radiation to activate human cells, increase cellular energy, accelerate the speed of blood circulation, and promote and improve body metabolism.
Superior Washing and Durability - Bamboo charcoal fibers quick-drying and because the bamboo charcoal nano particles are embedded in the fabric rather than simply coated onto the surface, the fabric can be washed numerous times with no adverse effect on the charcoal qualities.
Moisture Regulation – Bamboo charcoal yarn has a cross-section filled with various micro-gaps and micro-holes so compared to conventional fabrics, it is better at moisture absorption and ventilation. The fabric keeps the wearer dry and comfortable on hot days.
Thermal Regulation – The highly porous nature of bamboo charcoal also lets it act as an insulator against the cold while also retaining heat. According to ITRI test results, when a 500W halogen light shone on the bamboo charcoal yarn for 10 minutes, the yarn emits far more infrared rays 87% ~ 92%, and warm up temperature of 10 degrees Celsius, which is much higher than for instance wool’s 5 degrees Celsius.
Promotes Better Health – The Bamboo Charcoal fiber contains potassium, calcium and other minerals, and the launch of negative ions is at a high level which is equivalent to the anion concentration of the outskirts, and this is beneficial for people’s health.
Antimicrobial Functions – Bamboo Charcoal fiber effectively decomposes the micro-organisms attached to its surface and in the air around it. The American Association for Testing and Materials ASTME2149-2001 fixation antibacterial activity of antibacterial agents dynamic testing method is adopted to study Staphylococcus aureus ATCC6538 (gram-positive bacteria). And by testing the one-sided knitted fabric bamboo charcoal filament bacteriostatic antibacterial function, the results show that the inhibiting rate is 65%, antimicrobial rate is 84%.
While the bamboo fabric technology is still relatively new, only gaining momentum in Asia in the mid-1990s, its uses are growing widespread ranging from clothing to carpeting to bedding. As they look towards more environmentally friendly fabrics that offer the same feel and durability of synthetic fabrics, bamboo charcoal is a surprising but strong contender.
Another fine contender stemming from the world’s most renewable resource – bamboo – is viscose from bamboo fabric, offering a wide range of fashion trends from bamboo clothing to bedspreads, baby blankets to luxurious bath towels.
1. Study on Applications of Nanotechnolongy in Bamboo Charcoal Fibre, July 10, 2009