What Are the Disadvantages of Bamboo Fabric?

Last Updated on February 26, 2023

Discover What Are the Disadvantages of Bamboo Fabric?: Bamboo fabric is quickly becoming one of the most popular fabrics due to its incredible ability to be sustainable and eco-friendly. However, as with all things, some drawbacks associated with bamboo fabric could outweigh its benefits for some people.

Disadvantages of Bamboo Fabric

You’ve heard about the wonderful benefits of bamboo fabric. From its cushiony soft feel to its antimicrobial properties and sustainability, the bamboo fabric offers so many advantages over traditional fabrics. But there’s always a downside, and you’re wondering what it is for this incredible material.

What Are the Disadvantages of Bamboo Fabric

Well, believe it or not, the bamboo fabric does have one main disadvantage! The style and textures of this incredibly soft fabric that makes it popular with consumers are also the reason for its big shortcoming.

In this article, I’ll explain what that is and why it matters when considering if bamboo fabric is suitable for you. We’ll look at those disadvantages so you can decide whether it’s right for you.

1. Expensive

Bamboo fabric can be costly compared to polyester and cotton. This is because the raw materials required to make it are harder to come by than other fabric types, meaning production costs are higher.

Furthermore, it is a more sustainable material, so the production process tends to be slower and more labor-intensive than traditional fabrics, adding additional cost to the fabric.

2. Weakness after Washing

Bamboo fabric can lose some strength after washing, especially if made using a less durable manufacturing process. However, the specific degree of strength loss can vary depending on the quality of the bamboo fabric and the washing conditions.

So, it’s essential to follow the care instructions the manufacturer provides. Generally, it’s recommended to wash bamboo fabric in cool water on a gentle cycle and avoid using harsh detergents or bleach.

3. High Shrinkage Rate

Bamboo fabric may tend to shrink if it’s not pre-shrunk or if it’s exposed to high temperatures during washing or drying. However, the extent of shrinkage can vary depending on the specific product and the care instructions provided by the manufacturer.

So, you must ensure that any bamboo items you purchase can endure multiple washes without losing shape before committing your money.

4. Low-Temperature Tolerance

Because of its natural properties as a plant-based fiber material, bamboo fabrics have low-temperature tolerances when washing or drying them, which may cause irreparable damage if not properly cared for.

Therefore, it’s advisable to only be washed in cold water or air dry whenever possible and stored away during colder months to preserve their integrity and keep them looking great for extended periods.

5. Higher Carbon Footprint

While the bamboo fabric is considered eco-friendly since it requires no artificial pesticides or fungus treatments when growing, other types of plants used for textile manufacturing require it. But this does not necessarily mean it has a lower carbon footprint than other materials.

Processing raw bamboo fibers produce more emissions due to their slower growth rate than conventional fabrics such as cotton or nylon, which grow faster under similar conditions. Buyers should be aware of this when purchasing clothes made from this material.

6. Can Have Processing Agents

The process that turns raw bamboo into usable fibers requires chemicals called retting agents which aid in breaking down the cellulose layer of the plant into yarn that can be woven into cloth. This process does have an environmental impact.

Therefore if you feel strongly about avoiding harsh chemicals, look for organic labels for your garments made with bamboo fabric.

7. Carry Impurities from Soil

Bamboo fibers won’t carry any soil impurities if treated properly during agricultural practice. However, insufficient manure or pesticide use could leave traces on the end product of fabrics woven from this material.

Be sure only to purchase textiles produced following all safety regulations and under optimal conditions. Otherwise, small particles and contaminants could remain in the final product and cause skin irritation.

8. Resistant to Colorants

Like other unique fibers available today (such as hemp), extensive dyeing processes are challenging when looking for vibrant colors specifically requested by customers. These fibers retain color differently than fabrics from common artificial materials or synthetic fabrics like polyester.

As a result, manufacturers focusing solely on biodegradable/eco-friendly attire don’t offer bright colors but simply shades of varying white browns granted by natural dyes.

Video: What is Bamboo Fibers and Fabrics

One of my favorite YouTuber Beate Myburgh, has shared her thoughts on Bamboo Fabric, you can see here.


Overall, there is no denying that bamboo fabric is a much more sustainable alternative than traditional fabrics used in fashion today – remember that even at its highest quality, there may still be certain disadvantages associated with it. So, keep this in mind when making your next purchase!

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