The qualities of bamboo fiber explained under the microscope

Bamboo fiber has many benefits that other fibers don't have. Here, we look at each of these benefits in comparison to what fibers from other popular materials offer.


Bamboo fibre is naturally soft, at the core of its own structure. Bamboo fiber is long, smooth, and rounded. The fiber being long means that it has fewer edges, which is an important factor in the softness of any material. The rounded ends of bamboo fibers is another specific feature of bamboo that make it softer, as opposed to the rough or pointed ends of other materials.

Many other materials are made from fibers with rougher yarns. These wires have jagged edges along their length and at the ends. The fibers are microscopic, but all these millions of uneven stitches make a woven fabric rough. The bamboo fiber, being smooth and rounded, makes the weave naturally much softer.

There are few other materials that are as soft or even softer than bamboo. One of these materials is silk. Silk is known as the softest material, with its absolutely luxurious texture. Silk, however, is very expensive. Bamboo is much less expensive and can provide comparable softness, not to mention its other benefits, which silk cannot boast about. Being so soft, bamboo fiber is ideal for those with sensitive skin. Its softness means that bamboo fabric does not irritate the skin as other materials with uneven edges are prone to provoke. Partly because of this non-irritating structure, bamboo material is considered hypoallergenic. Silk is also non-irritating, but it lacks the hypoallergenic quality that bamboo fiber naturally offers.

Microscopic image of bamboo and cotton fiber

Microscopic image of cotton, linen and wool fiber

Breathability and thermoregulation

Bamboo fiber is naturally breathable due to its structure. Again, the straight threads do not attach to each other, which would cause blockages in the micro gaps of the fabric. The bamboo fibre falls smoothly into your weave, leaving these micro air pockets open for air to flow freely.

The breathability of the bamboo material makes it very comfortable even in hot climates. The fibers allow for a weaving that naturally regulates the temperature. Due to its breathability, the airflow allows the temperature on one side of the fabric to regulate against the temperature on the other side - that is, the temperature of your body and the temperature of the air around you. Because of this structure, bamboo fabric also helps you stay warm when it's cold outside. This may not sound logical, but it is - the same principle of thermoregulation applies. The weave regulates the temperature between your body and the air, making you feel warmer when it's cold. This level of breathability and thermoregulation is not possible with cotton, hemp, wool or synthetic fabrics.

Moisture absorption, capillarity

Bamboo fibre is naturally absorbent and wicks away moisture quickly – up to four times faster than cotton. The innate qualities of bamboo fiber give it this ability. Bamboo fiber is hydrophobic and hydrophilic, meaning that it is alternately attracted to and repelled by water. Because of this, the cohesive force of water along these fibers causes water molecules to attract each other along the threads, which pull moisture up along the threads and away from the skin. When the water reaches the surface of the fabric, it evaporates more quickly, leaving the skin dry and fresh. This evaporation, which occurs naturally and constantly, causes moisture to travel continuously towards the surfaces of each bamboo fiber.

Cotton and most other fabrics do not have such moisture properties - when they get wet, they stay wet for much longer. The bamboo fiber keeps moisture away so the fabric doesn't stick to the skin, and it dries quickly so you feel cooler and more comfortable when in contact with the bamboo fabric.


The softness of bamboo fiber is rivaled only by the most luxurious of fabrics, silk. However, the slippery touch of silk makes it not a comfortable fabric for bedding. No other fabric, including silk, offers the superior breathability and thermoregulatory properties of bamboo. The natural wicking and moisture-wicking ability of bamboo is also unbeatable by any of the fabrics used to make the same types of clothing, bedding and other items.

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