Bamboo bedding has become increasingly popular in recent years. Due to the many benefits of the fabric, bamboo sheets are now a top choice for people all around the world. Bamboo products are made with materials called bamboo rayon, bamboo viscose or bamboo lyocell, but rayon is quite often the most used of the three.
In fact, rayon isn't only used for bed sheets - it is also a common material for clothing. However, not all rayon is the same. Have you wondered about the material and how it came to be? Here is what you need to know about rayon, particularly bamboo rayon, and why it is the ideal fabric for your bedding products.
The History Of Rayon
Throughout civilization, one of the most popular fabrics for clothing and bedding was silk. This was especially true in China, where people loved the silky feel but were longing to find a more cost-effective alternative. This then led to the development of rayon in the late 1800s, which is a processed fabric made from cellulose.
Rayon is the first man-made fibre and it is a textile composed of regenerated and purified cellulose derived from plant sources. The term 'regenerated' indicates that a chemical change happened in the production process. So is all rayon made from bamboo?
The answer is no. Let's dive in a little deeper.
How Is Rayon Fabric Produced?
As mentioned above, rayon is one of the first man-made textiles but there are arguments surrounding whether the fibre is artificial or natural. Although it comes from cellulose, which is found in plants, the material also undergoes several chemical processes before it is turned into the bed sheets we know and love.
Many prefer the term “natural-based” when referring to the fibre material. This is because the source of the product comes directly from raw material - the sources for rayon are generally derived from wood pulp. The wood pulp comes from a variety of trees and plants, such as beech trees, eucalyptus trees and bamboo plants. Some wood cellulose offers a resemblance to linen or cotton sheets, whereas bamboo cellulose is what creates bamboo rayon sheets.
In rayon factories, the material is manufactured using chemicals, water and energy. These are the five steps:
- Sheets of purified cellulose are steeped in sodium hydroxide. The sheets are then dried, shredded into crumbs and aged in metal containers for a few days. Humidity and temperature are controlled.
- After ageing, the crumbs are combined and churned with liquid carbon disulphide and are then bathed in soda, which makes the solution look and feel like honey. This is when any dyes and designs are added. It is then stored for another few days.
- The solution is next turned into strings of fibres by forcing the liquid through a spinneret and into an acid bath. In the bath, the liquid solidifies and becomes regenerated filaments.
- Next, the filaments are turned into yarn. A variety of methods can be used and are based on the preference of companies, consumers and the types of products they need.
- This is when post-treatment chemicals are added for finishings such as smoothness, fire resistance, pre-shrinking and wrinkle resistance. The material will also be woven accordingly, which can be a twill weave or a sateen weave.
What Is The Difference Between Viscose, Rayon & Lyocell?
Bamboo rayon, bamboo viscose and bamboo lyocell are often used interchangeably. But the bamboo fabrics can be different from each other. While all are made from bamboo, the manufacturing process is not the same. Lyocell does not undergo the same chemical process, and it does offer the same thermal-regulating properties as rayon or viscose.
Additionally, bamboo viscose looks like silk but feels like cotton, whereas 100% bamboo rayon has a silky feel that is softer than cotton and more absorbent.
100% Bamboo Bedding Has Many Benefits For Your Sleep
Today, rayon is considered to be one of the most versatile and economical man-made fibres available. Not only is it hypoallergenic, but it offers undeniable softness and durability. You deserve a good night's rest and bamboo linen makes that possible.
In The Market For Bamboo Sheets?
Snoozy Monk offers 100% bamboo rayon bed sheets with a bamboo fabric that feels like silk. Hypo-allergenic, this product is perfect for those who suffer from skin sensitivities, allergies and other health problems.
Can you use a fabric softener or dryer sheets with your bamboo linen? Learn more on how to wash your 100% bamboo rayon bedding.