Bamboo vs Cotton: Differences and Comparison (With Table)
Cotton is a staple fiber with a long history, while bamboo is a new product that comes from the fast-developing textile technology. When buying clothes, cotton and bamboo are two natural fabrics you may come across. Then, what are the differences between bamboo and cotton fabric?
The main differences between bamboo and cotton fabric are that bamboo fabric is more durable, softer, and more absorbent than cotton fabric. And the price of bamboo fabric is also expensive than cotton.
This article will explain the differences and comparisons between bamboo and cotton, as well as their blends and some ready-made products. If you want to get more info, please read on.
Bamboo vs Cotton: Comparison Chart
Here is a comparison chart showing the basis and properties of bamboo and cotton fabric.
|Origin||Bamboo grass||Cotton plant|
|Fiber Type||Natural eco-friendly fiber made from the pulp of bamboo grass||Natural fiber derived from cotton plants|
|Fabric Types||Bamboo viscose fabricLyocell bamboo fabricFine bamboo fabric||Pima cottonEgyptian cottonSupima cotton|
|Properties||Smooth and luxurious to the touch.Very soft, breathable, and durable. Good anti-static, anti-UV, and anti-bacteria.Sustainable and eco-friendly.||Cotton fabric is soft to the touch.Durable, breathable, and very absorbent. Easy to dye to any color as needed. Good anti-static. Easy to shrink and wrinkle.|
|Manufacture Process||The semi-synthetic viscose cellulose is extracted from the bamboo raw material, and then the cellulose fiber will be used to make bamboo yarn and fabric. Natural bamboo yarn is made from bamboo fibers without chemical treatment.||Gather the raw cotton fibers that grow in the boll, then spun and woven the soft and fluffy cotton fibers into cotton textiles.|
|Common Uses||Apparels: sportswear, underwear, socks, T-shirts, loungewear, lingerie, sleepwearHome uses: bath towels, beddings||Clothing: blue jeans, T-shirts, business wears, versatile apparelHome products: bed sheets, blankets, duvets, towels, bathrobes, etc.Used as woven fabrics to make canvas, denim, damask, flannel, etc.|
What Is Bamboo Fabric
Bamboo fabric, also known as bamboo rayon or bamboo linen, is one of the popular eco-friendly natural fabrics. It is made from the pulp of bamboo plants. Today’s bamboo fabric stands for a variety of textiles made from bamboo. The main types of bamboo fabric are bamboo viscose fabric, lyocell bamboo fabric, and fine bamboo fabric. The bamboo fabric is often a cellulosic fiber, not pure natural fibers. Because pure bamboo fibers are not strong enough to use.
With the increasing awareness of environment-protecting, sustainable and eco-friendly fabrics are getting popular and used frequently. Bamboo fabric and textiles are such types of fabric. Other fabrics such as ramie, hemp, linen and cotton are also eco-friendly and sustainable.
Due to its soft and breathable nature, bamboo fabric has many uses, mainly found in households and garments. For example, there are bamboo towels, underwear, shirts, and bedsheets. And most times bamboo fabric is a good alternative to cotton because of its soft, breathable, and smooth features.
What Is Cotton Fabric
Cotton fiber is a common type of natural fiber made from cotton plants. It is composed of fibers of different lengths, which come from the fluffy part of the cotton ball.
Cotton is the main fabric in the fashion industry. It is soft, durable, and breathable, enabling it to present versatile applications. Cotton fabrics are popular choices, no matter clothes, beddings, or home decor.
Cotton has a very long history and it was produced earliest in India. With textile technology developing fast, different types of cotton come into being. Here are the 4 different types of cotton.
● Pima cotton. Considered the most popular type of cotton, Pima cotton is known for its ultra-soft feel and long fibers. Different from common cotton, Pima cotton is resistant to wrinkle and tear.
● Egyptian cotton. Similar to Pima cotton, Egyptian cotton is also soft and not easy to wrinkle.
● Organic cotton is a generic name for common cotton that grows without using chemicals.
● Upland cotton is a typical medium- and short-stapled form of cotton that usually grows in the US. Its production makes up about 90% of the world’s total cotton production.
Bamboo vs Cotton: 7 Main Differences
The above part gives you a simple brief about the similarities and differences between bamboo and cotton fabric, but now, let’s walk through their differences in more detail.
Both bamboo and cotton fabric are soft because of their natural features. Generally, bamboo fabric is softer than common cotton because it often has higher thread counts ranging from 300 to 600. Thread counts play a vital role in how the textile soft is. The higher the thread counts, the softer the textile.
However, for high-quality cotton fabric, especially Egyptian cotton, and Pima cotton, the cotton fabric will have an ultra soft and silky feel, and with a higher thread count, its softness is even better than bamboo.
Cotton and bamboo fabric are more breathable than synthetic fibers. The truth is it does, because both of them derive from natural plants. However, bamboo fabric is more breathable than cotton fabric. And the bamboo fabric is able to adjust your body heat because it allows moisture to evaporate into the air quickly and keep you cool in hot weather, while cotton can’t do better than bamboo.
Cotton and bamboo fabric are not the best options when it comes to durability. Many man-made fabrics such as nylon, polyester, and rayon are more durable.
But bamboo and cotton are durable in natural fabric if they are taken care of in a proper way. In general, bamboo textile is more durable than cotton ones, but it also needs more attention to take care of.
Bamboo and cotton textiles are nice choices for those who want to have a good sleep because comfort and soft beddings are necessary. Both bamboo and cotton beddings are soft and breathable, and bamboo textile is even anti-bacterial. All these features are beneficial with the sleeper’s utmost comfort in mind.
Besides, cotton and bamboo are plant-based fibers, they perform well in moisture-wicking, and can keep your body cool in hot weather, offering a comfortable sleeping experience.
Generally speaking, cotton is much cheaper than bamboo fabric. But sometimes it depends. In the market, high-quality cotton textile also cost the same as bamboo textile. For example, cotton sheets and bamboo sheets have a similar price when their amount of threads is equal.
Cotton and bamboo fabrics are known for their sustainability. Actually, when it comes to “is bamboo or cotton more sustainable” or is cotton or bamboo more friendly”, we shouldn’t take it for granted. Bamboo plants grow quickly with no fertilizer and less water, which have no side impact on the environment. But its production process is still taxing on the environment.
Compared to bamboo fabric, cotton fabric is reverse. The cultivation of cotton plants costs water and needs large fertilizer to keep it from pests. However, the cotton textile manufacturing process requires no chemicals and is eco-friendly.
Bamboo and cotton fabric should be maintained in different ways during daily use because they have different characteristics.
The key points of bamboo fabric maintenance:
● Not rub or wring vigorously, or it will easy to damage the fabric structure.
● Avoid sharp objects or nails to pick up the product.
● Avoid prolonged soaking for more than 12 hours.
● Avoid sun exposure and drying, and let it dry naturally.
The key points of cotton fabric maintenance:
● Please deal with the stains before washing.
● Avoid washing cotton clothes in different colors together.
● New cotton clothes or bedsheets should be pre-washed before being used due to their high shrink ability.
Bamboo vs Cotton: Which is Better?
There is a variety of bamboo and cotton textiles in the market, and when it comes to bamboo vs cotton fabric, which is better to choose will be a question. We have discussed the 7 main differences between bamboo and cotton above. And you can pick up one type based on the points you care more about.
For example, cotton fabric has more widespread use in our daily life, and its price is affordable. But the bamboo fabric, as an up-come, is not used widely as cotton, and its price is higher than cotton.
In simple terms, bamboo fabric has many advantages over cotton ones, especially in the environment sustainable. But high-quality cotton such as Egyptian cotton and Pima cotton also have equal comforts and softness as bamboo textile. So if you need comfort bedsheets, bamboo, Egyptian cotton, and Pima cotton can be a good choice.
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