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Eco-friendly Bamboo Sheets and Towels Help You Go Green

Updated on September 13, 2015

With thoughts of Christmas, and hostess gifts comes the desire to give something that will be of continued use for your hostess - not become just another pretty what-not or potential garage sale item. Thinking about our environment is so popular right now, why not "Go Green" this year and give the gift of bamboo? Bamboo towels and bedding are as soft and luxurious as the finest cotton, but are a cheap and easily renewed resource.

...and while I am buying pretty bamboo guest towel sets to give as hostess gifts, I will do some stocking-up of my own linen closet. Every year, it seems, when my house is filled with guests, the time I have to spend on chores such as laundry and cleaning is at a premium. Try as I might, though, I can never quite stay ahead of the demand for bath towels and bedding. This year, I found some beautiful new bamboo towels - they are so reasonably priced that I can afford to buy enough to outfit both guest baths with a generous supply.

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From tree to bath...

So how do we get from bamboo the forest into the boudoir? To begin, bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants on the planet, so a stand of bamboo is quickly regrown.

With proper management, this versatile plant, that most of us know only as a semi-tropical grass, can keep producing for many years. Bamboo is naturally anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and some claim it is hypo-allergenic.

As well, bamboo can be grown without herbicides and pesticides and is a rapid and ready producer of oxygen.

I remember long, roll-up bamboo blinds and the woven floor mats that my parents brought out every summer to screen the back deck, and provide a cool outdoor "carpeting," and no summer table setting in the '60s was complete without bamboo place-mats.

Once relegated to novelty status in the summer months, bamboo has shown what a versatile material it is in the manufacture of a wide variety of products.

Many of us are becoming more familiar with durable and beautiful bamboo flooring, but did you know that bamboo is also used to make fabrics/clothing, furniture, building materials, housewares, tableware and utensils, and, yes, paper.

A markerPortland Oregon - home of bamboo flooring manufacturing -
Portland, OR, USA
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Beautiful bamboo towels would be at home in anyone's bathroom.

Once only available in high-end boutiques, and pricey, specialty bath shops, bamboo towels are now readily available in every major department store, and in every price range.

Bamboo takes color well, especially the softer, earth-tone, non-toxic dyes that reflect the nature of the product.

Highly absorbent - I am told that a bamboo towel is four times as absorbent as a cotton towel - bamboo toweling makes a wonderfully soft and cuddly wrap.

...and what guest wouldn't love a touch of luxury after washing up? These lovely guest towels are available in a variety of shades and patterns.

Whether your pleasure is a blended bamboo and organic cotton, or pure bamboo, you will find these towels are of unequaled softness and durability.

At the risk of sounding like a commercial, I can vouch for the fact that these towels retain their softness and ability to absorb moisture after repeated washing. We have exceptionally hard water, and hard water can quickly dull and mat most fabrics unless great care is taken. I always wash almost all my clothes in the gentlest cycle. My bamboo towels, though, have stood up well to frequent washing in hot water and in the regular cycle.

Soft enough for baby...

Bamboo is not only soft enough for baby's delicate skin, because of its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal properties, bamboo is a natural choice for baby's safety.

Everything is easy care - simply machine wash and tumble dry, and your baby's clothes will be a fresh and sweet as when they were new.

Baby's grow out of things so quickly, it's seems almost silly to think of baby clothes in terms of durability, but many frugal moms pass on gently used clothing to other new moms - family, friends, or resale stores. How lovely to be able to pass on clothing and blankets in such like-new condition.

Bamboo sheets are amazingly soft and silky. Like the best cotton sheets, the higher the thread count, the finer and silkier the fabric.

Though 250 - 300 thread count cotton, or poly-cotton blend used to be an acceptable weight of sheeting, fabric with a higher thread count, while feeling softer, is also more durable.

I have found that bedding with a lower thread count will eventually pill , that is, the fabric surface begins to degrade with normal wear and washing, forming little nubs or "pills." Eventually, as more of the fabric gathers into pills , the sheet becomes threadbare, and eventually wears out.

Long before this happens, though, you will begin to feel as though you were sleeping on a sheet that is coated with sand - not a pleasant sleeping arrangement.

The higher the thread count, the more durable the sheet, so pilling is rare, and will usually only occur after many, many years of wear.

I have yet to find any evidence of pilling on my bamboo sheets. They are now several years old, and have endured many wash cycles.

I splurged on a bamboo and cotton duvet two winters ago, purely for the pleasure of it, though I was also able to applaud my eco-sensitive shopping. Of course, then I had to find an equally lovely and eco-friendly duvet cover - in 100% bamboo fabric!

I have found the average thread count for reasonably priced bamboo sheets runs anywhere from 350 to 750, with 500 thread count having a nice weight and finish, while still being a reasonable price.

One thousand thread count sheets are available as well, but they are quite high end in price, and not as readily available outside of specialty bedding stores. Even at this high a thread count, they are still a touch less pricey than the same offering in Egyptian cotton, though the bamboo sheets feel every bit as silky.

Bamboo is such a versatile material. Easy to grow, and faster growing than almost any other plant, it can be harvested and replaced without extensive use of resources, making it an eco-friendly "super" material.

From those first bamboo place-mats that made their way onto our tables so many years ago, bamboo has taken a significant place in our daily lives - from tea towels, bath towels, bedding, furniture, flooring, housewares, drawer inserts, and even clothing.

One of nature's finest gifts to us, we are only now taking bamboo out of the tropics and developing this wonderful, easily renewable, natural resource.


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    • Imelleda profile image

      Imelleda 6 years ago from East of the Sun, West of the Moon

      You are most welcome, vocalcoach! I am i big fan of bamboo, too!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Oh, I love bamboo fabric and anything bamboo. I want a set of these sheets so bad. I will be back to purchase these very soon. Thanks :)vocalcoach

    • Imelleda profile image

      Imelleda 6 years ago from East of the Sun, West of the Moon

      Thanks so much for stopping by to comment, ChatKath! I am a big fan of bamboo!

    • Chatkath profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from California

      Hi Imelleda- I actually have a bamboo pillow that I got when I did some work for a Natural Bedding Store, I love it! After that I gradually started replacing my bed, bedding, etc with organic/natural stuff...

      Great hub, good info. Thanks!