Bamboo yarn is made with bamboo grass that is harvested and distilled into cellulose that is then spun into the yarn.
Bamboo knitting yarn is a relatively new entry in the knitting world, but it has become quite popular very quickly and with good reason. Bamboo is a beautiful natural fiber that wears well and is often considered naturally antibacterial.
Positive Things About Bamboo Yarn
- Bamboo is a renewable resource. Bamboo can be harvested without killing the plant, and it only takes a few months before the plant is ready to be harvested again. That makes it an environmentally friendly choice.
- Bamboo yarn, when not mixed with unnatural fibers, is biodegradable.
- Bamboo yarn often is dyed with more natural dyes that are safer for the environment.
- Bamboo fabric is naturally antibacterial.
- Bamboo also has ultra violet-protective properties.
- Fabric knitted with bamboo is quite breathable and cool and has great drape.
- Bamboo has a good luster, similar to mercerized cotton.
- Bamboo is strong, flexible, and can be softer than silk when spun into yarn.
Potential Bamboo Negatives
- Bamboo yarn loses strength when it is wet and swells considerably in water.
- The yarn may not be very cohesive. Some brands split much more than others.
- Bamboo needs to be hand-washed, so it isn't a great choice for things that need to be washed frequently.
Tips for Working with Bamboo Yarn
- If the antibacterial property is something you are looking for, stick with a 100% bamboo yarn or choose one that has at least 70% bamboo for best results.
- Use blunt-ended needles to cut down on the splitting (perhaps bamboo needles?).
- Knit slowly at first to avoid splitting.
- If you're looking for strength in the fabric but are using a fine bamboo yarn, try knitting with two strands held together.
Places to Buy Bamboo Yarn
Many knitting manufacturers now have bamboo yarns and bamboo blends in their lines.
Here are a few to check out:
Bamboo is a wonderful choice for an item that is a little bit of luxury and brings beauty and antibacterial strength to your projects.