Firstly, what is rayon from bamboo? Is it synthetic or natural? Rayon is a regenerated cellulose fibre, meaning that the raw natural material is dissolved into cellulose by adding an alkaline solution which is run under high pressure through a nozzle to make a fibre. Rayon can be made from a variety of natural materials such as wood, paper, cotton fibre or bamboo. The chart below shows how you go from bamboo to bamboo socks in 4 simplified steps.
Benefits of Rayon from Bamboo
Bamboo in comparison to other fabrics
People often ask us which material is the best at wicking and where does bamboo fit in that hierarchy. Wicking is the ability of fabrics to move moisture like sweat from the skin to the outer part of the fabric though tiny capillaries where it then evaporates. While merino wool, polyester and polypropylene sit at the top of most '10 best wicking materials' lists online, bamboo ranks somewhere in the middle. It has similar wicking abilities to nylon, and modal but more than acrylic, spandex or cotton. The more a fabric can wick, the drier your foot will stay leading to less blisters and bacteria growth which means less odour. Check out our viral video that we made at our office about how to not have stinky feet at work.
Rayon from bamboo is cooler to the touch than cotton and merino wool. Athough it is not as breathable as cotton, it is more breathable than many other synthetics due to its smooth rounded fibres that create gaps between them for air to flow. Because of its ability to wick moisture, in the process of evaporation a cooling effect is achieved. So the more you sweat, the more evaporataion is occurring in turn cooling your foot. This makes bamboo an ideal fabric for summer weather.
Bamboo is more elastic/ stretchy than other fabrics like cotton and merino wool. It therefore has a nice snug fit on your foot and keeps its shape even after multiple washes.
Although bamboo grows very quickly (upto 3 feet a day) and easily with little human intervention of pesticides, fertilisers or water, the chemical viscose process of turning it into rayon is not eco-friendly and has made this topic of its sustainability heavily debated. Although cotton and merino wool require more cultivation and resources, the process of turning the raw material into a fiber is much more sustainable.
How to choose bamboo socks?
If you shop our bamboo collection be sure to use the side filters such as size, type, weight (cushioning), length, colour, and brand to find exactly what you are looking for.