Environmentally Friendly Products: Bamboo Yarn and Bamboo Needles

I love how my interests outside of environmentalism can lead me to interesting new environmentally-friendly products. What are these amazing products? Bamboo yarn and bamboo knitting needles!

Source: themissiah (Creative Commons License)

Taking up the art of knitting has been no easy task...I have been combing downtown Toronto for the perfect wool and the perfect needles. It was in one of the first stores I stepped in that I encountered bamboo yarn beyond a simple hank. I found it beside well-organized cubbies of skeins; a scarf made out of bamboo yarn in three differen colors. As I stroked the garment I was absolutely shocked to discover that it was smooth and cool to the touch, nothing at all like the stereotypically itchy woolen garments. You know...the ones grandmothers would knit with good intentions and grandkids begrudgingly put on, all the while complaining about a possible rash? This was nothing like it...this was actually rather luxurious in comparison.

I wondered if this bamboo yarn would be an inexpensive (but very comfortable) alternative to the $10 hanks that I was recommended to use with my chosen pattern. At present I am not sure however my research has come up with the following facts quoted from About.com:
  • 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 is often 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.
Make sure to read the article for more information on bamboo yarn.

When it comes to bamboo needles however, although they share many benefits as bamboo yarn they are also great for the following:
  • Warm feeling, does not hurt your hands like metal needles
  • Oils from your hands naturally lubricate wooden needles
  • Inexpensive in comparison to regular wooden or metal needles
  • Strong and durable, although tip sharpness may vary and it is possible that some needles will require sanding if used frequently
  • Tends to avoid splitting yarn (bamboo needles are likely best for bamboo yarn, which splits depending on the cohesiveness of yarn)
So if you're like me and you're a bit crafty, bamboo yarn and its needle counterpart may be your best bet for your next knitting/crocheting project.

No comments: