Going Green: Choosing Bamboo for Window Treatments
Burnt Bamboo Ready Made Roman Shade
Espresso Bamboo Grommet Valance
Bamboo is turning up everywhere. You can have floors, wallpaper, furniture, window treatments, building materials, clothing and more made out of this versatile renewable resource. Unlike other woods, bamboo can grow to its full height in one growing season. Some species can grow up to 39" per day. Bamboo has always been popular and abundant in the eastern reaches of the world like Asia, where bamboo is not only a building product but also a food staple.
What makes bamboo sustainable and eco-friendly? Besides the rate of growth, bamboo also retains much of its moisture and therefore doesn't dry out as quickly as other woods. This also retains the color of the bamboo for longer, which is an important quality when exposing shades to the sunlight. On the flip side, most bamboo is shipped from Asia, which is not so environmentally friendly or cost effective.
With so many natural type window treatments, especially shades, it's not surprising that bamboo has increased in popularity. Grasses and bamboo are very popular not only with shades, such as roller shades and roman shades, but also with valances and panels. There's just something about bringing a little of the outdoors in. When on the window it becomes a great transitional piece.
Of course there are many custom products that deliver great bamboo products, such as Hunter Douglas and similar companies. As the demand grows, other companies have followed suit and are now offering ready made bamboo products, such as Lewis Hyman Inc., and Versailles Home Fashions. The two latter companies offer ready made roman shades, roller shades, grommet tiers, valances and grommet curtain panels all at affordable prices. What you're giving up are the custom sizes, a few options and the array of colors that a custom product offers.
One other benefit worth noting, even though it has nothing to do with sustainability. Bamboo and other 'natural' window treatment products add texture which adds interest and dimension to the design of a room. With any natural product, that is not painted, there is also the variations of color that also adds to the design. By adding texture and interest, the eye is brought upward from the flooring and furniture of a room and the whole look becomes cohesive!
Happy designing and decorating!