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Bamboo - The Wonder Material

Did you know that bamboo is classified not as a tree but a grass?

This is just one of the several surprising facts about a natural resource which has been touted as ‘Green Gold’. It belongs to the subfamily Bambusoideae of the grass family Poaceae. The word "bamboo" has a Dutch or Portuguese origin, which probably borrowed it from Malay.

Bamboo is of notable economic and cultural significance in South Asia, being used for building materials, as a food source, and now is popular as a versatile raw product for apparel and accessories. Bamboo species Phyllostachys edulis is used extensively to produce fabric for clothing. The properties are so good that we couldn’t ignore it for our sports and lifestyle products.

India is the 2nd largest producer of Bamboo trailing behind only China in covered area. Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants on Earth, with reported growth rates up to 910 mm (36 in) in 24 hours. That’s amazing and you can literally watch it grow.

Now, the reason why we and several other apparel companies are switching to Bamboo is largely due to its superior properties. Bamboo fiber sourced ethically and produced responsibly can be a great asset owing to its natural anti-bacterial properties. That means no foul smelling socks, towels and other clothing accessories which suffer from this problem due to odour causing bacteria.

In general, bamboo fiber can be used for practically every application in which cotton is used. Moreover, it is now widely preferred over cotton due to its notable beneficial attributes.

For instance, apparel products made from bamboo fiber are highly breathable and also softer than cotton. It's easy to weave into fabrics with high thread counts, and the resulting textiles are often thinner than their cotton counterparts while remaining similar or greater in tensile strength. Bamboo is fast replacing cotton and other natural fibers everywhere but due to its softness and durability, this fabric is most commonly used in garments in place of other fabric.

Due to the porous, hollow structure of the fiber, the moisture absorption and ventilation of bamboo is much better than its competitor fibers. Moisture absorbency is twice than that of cotton which makes it a much better alternative for sweaty affairs like sports and running.

Another critical property to consider is Sustainability.

The relative environmental sustainability of growing bamboo has stimulated its production across the world. Producing this type of wood is even popular in Western nations such as the United States and Europe since it can be grown in a wide variety of climates. Therefore, almost every semi-developed or developed country in the world produces or exports at least some amount of bamboo fabric now.

We continue to improve the fabric and the process in order to improve the properties of the fiber further. We are stoked at the opportunity that lies ahead of us in alternative sportswear and apparel products.

Till next time. See you around!

You can shop Heelium's premium range of Bamboo Fiber and Recycled Polyester activewear here.

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