Bamboo is super thirsty and commonly found in modern cloth nappies in Australia. It can absorb many times it’s weight in liquid. All bamboo isn’t created equal though so how can you tell what is going to be the most absorbent fabric?
The most common composition of bamboo is either 80/20 (80% bamboo 20% cotton) or 70/30 (70% bamboo and 30% cotton) The more bamboo in the fabric the more absorbent it is, it’s mixed with cotton for durability as bamboo fibre is weak on it’s own so whilst a 100% bamboo fibre cloth nappy would be very absorbent it would be very weak and not last very long. Aside from the composition of bamboo in your nappies you need to look for the weight as well. If you see terms like 260gsm or 420gsm this means how many grams per square metre the fabric weighs so something weighing 420gsm is more absorbent than a 260gsm fabric because it has more fibres in it making it thicker and heavier. We use 420-460gsm in our modern cloth nappies at Bubblebubs.
The bamboo fabric used in modern cloth nappies is usually either a fleece, jersey, velour or terry. This is simply a reference to the finish of the fabric and how it is made.
Bamboo terry has loops just like towels and is great for nappies that close with a snappi.
Bamboo velour is incredibly soft as it’s loops is cut after it’s knitted giving it an incredibly soft feel.
Bamboo fleece is similar to tracksuit material with 1 side being brushed and the other side having a flat feel
Bamboo jersey is a knitted fabric similar to t-shirt material and has a flat pile on both sides.
In my recent trip to China I visited the factory that makes our bambams, bamboo delights and prefolds. This factory makes their own bamboo fabrics and they gave me a tour which was so cool! They even let me take a video of the machines that knit the fabric. It’s all knitted in a tube and quite mesmerising to watch and so dusty! Anyone who’s ever cut and sewn bamboo can imagine just how much fluff there is.