What is bamboo muslin fabric?
Bamboo muslin is a silky soft and breathable fabric man-made from bamboo. It has many benefits over cotton and is ideally suited to babies. Often referred to as the ‘cashmere of cotton’ it is considered a luxury fabric and is a more expensive fabric option for designers over cotton and organic cotton.
Is bamboo softer than cotton muslin?
Bamboo muslin is much softer than cotton and organic cotton muslin. This is due to the naturally round and smooth fibres of the bamboo plant which lie flat against the skin.
Is bamboo muslin breathable?
Bamboo is very breathable. It is also anti-static so it doesn’t cling to the body.
Bamboo muslin vs cotton muslin
Bamboo muslin is considered a superior textile to cotton and is ideally suited to babies.
It is 2-3 times more absorbent than cotton muslin, great for feeding and wicking milk away from little mouths.
Bamboo muslin is thermoregulating, cotton muslin is not. This is due to unique ‘micro gaps’ within the structure of the weave. Bamboo muslin will stay 2-3 degrees cooler in hot temperatures and warmer in cold temperatures.
Bamboo muslin is much softer than cotton muslin, often likened to silk.
The bamboo plant is naturally antibacterial and some studies claim that these properties carry through in fabric form.
Bamboo vs cotton for the environment
Bamboo farming is much better for the environment than cotton (considered the world’s dirtiest crop). Cotton production accounts for one sixth of all pesticides used globally, with high levels of pesticides and toxic chemicals seeping into earth and water supplies. It is also very water intensive to cultivate and process, taking between 10,000 and 20,000 gallons of water to make a single pair of jeans and up to 3,000 to make a T-shirt.
Organic cotton is better than conventional cotton as it doesn’t use pesticides and uses substantially less water.
Bamboo cultivation is highly sustainable and better than both cotton and organic cotton. It is naturally pest resistant so doesn’t use pesticides and is extremely fast growing (the fastest growing plant on earth) so is easily renewable.
Whilst bamboo farming is better for the environment than cotton farming, the production of bamboo fabric entails additional processes not needed with cotton. Bamboo fabric is often referred to as 'viscose from bamboo', this is because unlike cotton it is man-made, meaning a chemical process is required to extract the plant cellulose and turn it into fibre. Assuming that these chemicals are handled responsibly (e.g. at approved levels in an ethically managed factory) they are not dangerous and you will never find them in the finished textile product.
Sodium hydroxide (or caustic soda) – is used in many industries such as manufacturing drinking water, paper, soaps and detergents. It’s also used in food production, pharmaceuticals and medicine.
Carbon disulfide – is used to manufacture all viscose textiles. It also occurs naturally and is released from soil, marshes, volcanoes, and forest / grass fires.
Is bamboo viscose safe for babies?
Yes absolutely bamboo is safe for babies and offers many additional benefits over conventional cotton.
Bamboo vs cotton sustainability
Keeping all the above in mind, one can only really determine the sustainability of a product by looking at the full supply chain and its impact on the environment.
Whilst most bamboo farming and production takes place in China, ours takes place in India at a GOTS certified factory. GOTS is a global textile production certification that limits the use of toxic bleaches, dyes and other chemical inputs during the production process of textiles. Once the yarn has been prepared in India it is shipped to Europe where it is woven into muslin and printed. This printing process complies with OEKOTEX class 1 for babies meaning it's free from harmful chemicals. We then bulk ship our printed bamboo muslin to our factory in England where it is stored and sewn into product on short lead times. Manufacturing our items locally allows for a much smaller carbon footprint than our competitors producing in China.
We are one of the very few baby muslin brands making printed bamboo muslins in the UK, and we are extremely proud of this. Whilst we strive to make everything here it isn't always possible, so you can filter by 'British made' when browsing our shop.