Bamboo Bedding and the FTC

When is fabric made from bamboo NOT “bamboo fabric?”

ANSWER: When the Federal Trade Commission decrees that it must be called “rayon from bamboo.”

In recent years, bamboo has become a popular material in the world of greener materials, with its broad range of uses and multiple positive characteristics. As one of the world’s most sustainable plants, this amazing grass can grow up to 36 inches in a day! Bamboo matures quickly – in about 4 years – and does not need to be replanted after harvesting because its sprawling root system does the job naturally. When you consider how well bamboo thrives, without the need for heavy agricultural equipment or hazardous pesticides and fertilizers, it is almost the ideal low-maintenance crop.


There are two main methods for transforming bamboo into a useable fabric. The mechanical process is by literally crushing bamboo stalks and mixing the bamboo pulp with enzymes. This results in a mushy mass from which fibers are then mechanically combed out and spun into yarn. It’s very similar to how linen is made from hemp or flax, but hardly any so-called “bamboo linen” is made this way for clothing or bedding products – because it just isn’t economically feasible.

In the chemical or “viscose” process, the bamboo is dissolved in a strong solvent, resulting in a thick and viscous solution. The solution is then forced through a spinneret into another tank, where another “quenching” solution turns the strands into fiber. The process is also known as solution spinning because the fiber is “spun” in a chemical solution. Textiles created in this manner are known as “rayon made from bamboo.”

Chemically manufactured bamboo fiber is a regenerated cellulose fiber with a smooth, silky look and feel not unlike rayon. In fact, “rayon” is the term designated by the FTC to be used for any fabric made from cellulose raw material such as wood, paper, or cotton. The FTC does not allow the use of the term “bamboo fiber” or “bamboo fabric.” The intent behind the FTC ruling is to avoid misleading consumers, as many manufacturers make their “rayon” with a mix of bamboo and other cellulose products – so to call the result “bamboo fabric” would not be entirely accurate.

Of course, there are some companies whose “rayon” is made from 100% bamboo – no other wood or plant cellulose is used. Home Source International (HSI) was the first company to do so. It took them six years to perfect their “pure bamboo” textile manufacturing process – and the result is a fabric that’s about as soft and luxurious as any fabric – bamboo or not – can get!

HSI bamboo is carefully selected from the Yunnan and Siouan Provinces in China and has been cultivated without any fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides. The distilling and production process is a “green” process without any pollution – and in full compliance with OEKO-TEX, ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 quality standards.

The OEKO-TEX certification ensures that no harmful processing chemicals have been used. In other words, HSI rayon from 100% bamboo is a completely natural, eco-friendly fiber without any chemical additives that you can use with confidence – and pleasure. Even the AZO dyes used by Home Source International are considered to be a more environmentally responsible choice, as all reactions only require water, which is easy to obtain and filter.

Similar to cotton, HSI rayon from 100% bamboo contains millions of gaps and holes at the microscopic level, giving it a very comfortable porosity. In other words, this is a fabric that breathes, so it wicks away moisture from your body (even better than cotton!) to keep you cooler in the summer. HSI rayon sheets will also keep you warm and cozy during the cooler months, as the millions of micro air pockets help trap your body’s warmth. carries a full line of HSI rayon from 100% bamboo sheets