Cellulose: The Strength of Bamboo

Image by raedon from Pixabay

Cellulose is not to be confused with cellulite.

Cellulite is that feared fat that appears on our legs and is a demon to rid ourselves of.  It seems no exercise regime or lifestyle change can help us out run it.  Cellulose and cellulite are not the same.  They are neither neighbours nor cousins.  

Cellulose is actually a carbohydrate.  It is extracted from the plant and regenerated into a material that can be turned into the widest range of clothes to make you look good.  And to cover up any imperfections we feel others may see.  This is the case with cotton to beechwood to bamboo and many more plants in between.

Like a 2 x 4 is to a house; somewhat like the skeleton is to the human body – cellulose is to a plant.  It is the strength that provides its service behind the scenes.  And that is what we use.  That is what is extracted to manufacture toothbrushes and textiles.  

Through innovation and research it has been revealed we can rely on bamboo to provide us with a strong fibre for woody materials and flexible clothing designs.  This is what we have learned:

Cellulose [(C6H10O5)n] is a natural organic compound that is the most abundant biopolymer on the planet. It is a polysaccharide or complex carbohydrate made up of hundreds to thousands of glucose molecules linked together to form a chain. Plants, algae, bacteria, and other microorganisms produce cellulose, whereas animals do not. Cellulose is the primary structural molecule in plant and algae cell walls.  (https://byjus.com/chemistry/cellulose-a-carbohydrate/)

Cellulose is one of the many reasons why we love bamboo.  Other reasons are the range of its earthy colours, the soothing feeling of seeing a stand of bamboo swaying in the wind, and the sense of strength you feel when working with it.

Cultivating bamboo for commercialization is a great idea especially in light of the current degree with which we pollute the planet to make ‘a living’.  Yet converting the theory of bamboo as a clean raw material into sustainable practice is not that simple.

The journey from living plant to fashionable shirt is a story of finding and preserving value.  Our challenge is to preserve the value of working with bamboo that we have highlighted will benefit us while reducing negative impact on the planet.

This is part of the discussion nowadays as many people will misrepresent the nature and properties of bamboo or its regenerated elements.  A fabulous source of clarity on seeing the natural world for what it is before it gets contorted into service of profit is from the enlightened folks at Organic Clothing.  Please read their article:   Organic_Clothing: Bamboo Sprouting Green Myths

A great way to educate yourself is to find a local producer of bamboo clothing and have a chat.  Local in many cases may mean that communication is online but it can help to inform the consumer and hopefully grow a bamboo business.

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