I'd like to get your opinions about bamboo fiber for yarn. We've been researching bamboo and bamboo blends to see if we can add bamboo to the Knit Picks yarn line up. So far, we haven't been satisfied with what we've seen.
Bamboo fibers are relatively short, which means that 100% bamboo, unless it is super tightly spun or in a ribbon, tape, or other special construction, sheds a lot. The fibers don't pill because they don't have the scales or barbs on them that animal fibers do which causes them to cling to each other. Rather, bamboo just develops a pretty thick fuzzy halo quickly and with very little abrasion.
Bamboo is commonly blended with other fibers, probably to help minimize the fuzzing issue, but also to lend bamboo's positive attributes to the other fibers. Sheen like silk but less expensive, relatively cool to wear, and it does have antibacterial properties. One trait strongly in bamboo's favor is its sustainability as a harvestable crop. Bamboo has an extremely rapid growth rate. However, bamboo fiber requires as much processing as any other rayon fiber from other plant sources, like the Modal (R)
we use in Shine Worsted
and Shine Sport
, which comes from beech trees.
I'd really love your input on the following questions:
What about bamboo yarn particularly appeals to you?
What types of projects have you made from bamboo or bamboo blend yarns?
Do you hand wash or machine wash your knit bamboo projects?
How have your knit bamboo projects held up through multiple wearings and washings? Please describe the yarn you used - fiber content (100% bamboo, or a blend, and if blended, with what other fiber) and construction (number of plies, tape, ribbon, other).
Thanks! This helps so much.