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Fabric Philosophy: Bamboo

Springtime is in full swing for many of us and summer is right around the corner, and I just wanted to let you know about one of my favorite hot weather fabrics. Bamboo! You might be thinking, “Bamboo? You mean like the plants panda bears eat!?” Well, yes, kind of.

What is Bamboo?

Bamboo fabric is made up of semi-synthetic rayon extracted from bamboo or yarn made from bamboo fibers. It might sound a bit rough, but bamboo is actually super soft and very breathable for those hot summer days.

What is Bamboo fabric used for?

There are so many uses for bamboo. Many people will make sheets or blankets out of it, but I love it for dresses, drapey tops, and robes. It is the perfect fabric for both adult and kid patterns.

What is the difference between Bamboo and other knits?

For one, bamboo is very breathable, which makes it the perfect hot weather fabric. It is also a lot stretchier than some knits, which is perfect for clothing. Many bamboo fabrics have almost a silky feel, and makes wearing them for long periods of time bearable. This is probably why a lot of people make robes out of them. The drape of Bamboo is amazing!

How easy is it to work with?

Bamboo is very comparable to any other knits. I find them very easy to work with and sew up.

Sewing tips:

  • Pre-Wash your material.
  • Just like any rayon fabric, you always want to pre-wash your material before sewing it up. It may shrink a bit, so you want to make sure you shrink it before you cut and sew it. To pre-shrink it you can throw it in hot water and then toss it in the dryer.
  • Make sure you pin your garment.
  • Bamboo can be a bit “silky”, because of that it can slip a lot easier than other fabrics. If you are the type of sewist who normally just sews without pinning, you may not want to skip that with Bamboo.
  • Spray starch can be your friend with Bamboo.
  • Some Bamboo, like any pre-shrunk material, can tend to curl when cut. Spraying a bit of starch on your fabric can help eliminate this. Simply spray and let it dry before cutting your material. It will stiffen a little for you to work with it, and then will wash out in the first wash.

Caring for your Bamboo Garment

You never want to wash your Bamboo garment in hot water, instead choose either cool or warm water. If you have pre-shrunk your fabric, you may also throw it in the dryer, but use a cool setting. I usually prefer to hang dry my Bamboo garments. One downside of Bamboo is it does wrinkle easily if left in the dryer for long or folded in a drawer. No need to worry, just run it through the dryer for a few minutes and the wrinkles will be out in no time!

Which of our patterns are suited for Bamboo?

 

What do you think about bamboo knit fabric? Love it? Hate it? Tell me why in a comment!

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