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Important HolidayShipping Updates

Your long time loyalty with Sivana continues to drive us to delight you with our unique assortment that we take great pride in curating for you. Setting your expectations and delivering to our high standard of exceptional customer service, is paramount to our team.

Over the last year and a half, we have navigated through unusual times that continue to bring challenges to how we operate. In recent months, we have been faced with unexpected supply chain hurdles, which inevitably result in product delays. Now with the added tension on global logistics as we move into the holiday season, we will only be able to guarantee Christmas delivery if orders are placed before December 1st. For that reason, we are offering everyone 25% off their order with code: THANKYOU25, as a thank you for shopping and supporting us early on as we continue to navigate through these challenges.

We will continue to release new arrivals throughout the month, but will not be restocking as we move into November. As always thank you for your loyalty.

Warm regards,

Sivana Team

SIVANA BLOG

Rayon vs Bamboo Fabrics: Eco-Friendly Textile Guide

When it comes to cozy and comfortable clothes that don't fall under the category of fast fashion, now more than ever, we are becoming attuned to the concept that material matters. Two materials that make it big on the eco-friendly scene are bamboo and rayon. These two different fabrics are often confused with each other as bamboo rayon fabric is also a thing, as is bamboo viscose fabric and bamboo lyocell fabric.  Knowing the difference between these fabrics and understanding a little more about the manufacturing process can help you make an informed decision about which fabrics you want to welcome into your life. From bedding to clothes and everything in between, we take a look at the difference between bamboo and rayon fabrics and iron out the pros and cons so you can pick the perfect textile for you. 

What is Rayon?

The Basics of Rayon

Rayon is a semi-synthetic fiber that is made from regenerated cellulose. It straddles the line between being a not completely natural fabric but also not solely a man-made one either. A lot of rayon fabric is made from bamboo or tree pulp - the inner reeds or cell walls of the plant. As you can see, bamboo fiber is technically a textile, and rayon is the process of turning the plant cellulose into something. Rayon can also come from trees like spruce, pine, eucalyptus trees or beech trees. 

Production Process of Rayon

Taking rayon from tree to textile is a lengthy process and has some chemical infiltration, which is why it's considered to be a man-made fibre, along with being a gift from Mother Nature. Here's a simple explanation that takes you through the technical aspect of turning tree fibers and plant cellulose into cozy clothing. 

Harvesting cellulose - the first step is to gather the cellulose from the wood pulp or wood chips from the plant or tree. 

Dissolving cellulose - the next step is to transform the wood pulp by breaking it down into a liquid-like substance. This is often done by a series of chemical steps, including crushing the cellulose until the fibers have broken down, purifying it, and then using chemical solvents that turn it into a substance that can then be spun into threads. 

Spinning the threads - the pulpy liquid-like substance is turned into threads by pushing it through syringe-like holes, after which it solidifies or by putting it through a high-speed spinning machine. These threads are then put into sulphuric acid, which makes them into filaments. Now, they are ready to be woven and further spun into a yarn that can then be used to make beautiful, silky, soft garments and bedding.

Understanding Bamboo as a Textile

Bamboo Fabric: An Overview

Bamboo fabric is fast becoming one of the top materials in the world thanks to its eco-friendly credentials. As one of the fastest growing plants in the world, bamboo clothing can wear its sustainable status with ease as it doesn't need replanting, takes less amounts of water than cotton and doesn't require the use of pesticides. Bamboo is breathable, beautiful, and has the added benefit of being a less labor intensive alternative to silk and wins out when it comes to bamboo vs cotton

From Plant to Fabric: The Making of Bamboo Textiles

Turning towering bamboo plants into bamboo fibres all starts with harvesting the bamboo. Bamboo forests grow fast and don't require a lot of time to flourish. As they don't use pesticides, can grow on challenging landscapes, and don't need replanting, they are also one of the most environmentally conscious plants you can find. Here's how you get fabric from bamboo plants.  

There are a couple of different ways to approach turning bamboo into fabric, as there are different kinds of bamboo fabric that go through different processes (some considered more organic than others). 

In all methods, the bamboo cellulose fibers first need to be pulped into wood chips. To get viscose from bamboo, these chips would then go through a chemical process similar to rayon production in order to turn them into something that can be woven into threads and turned into fabric. 

Bamboo lyocell takes a slightly different approach despite being made in a similar way. The difference with bamboo lyocell is that it doesn't use harsh chemicals in production, which makes it a more eco-friendly option. 

Rayon vs Bamboo: Key Differences

Rayon and bamboo may have a lot in common, but there are also key differences that help you understand which way to go when choosing the right material for you. 

Material Source and Environmental Impact

Rayon comes from the cellulose fibers of wood pulp taken from trees like beech, pine, or spruce. You can also get bamboo rayon which comes from the bamboo plant. Rayon undergoes an intense chemical technique, often involving sodium hydroxide and carbon disulfide, to turn it into a usable textile. This means that it is not as eco-friendly as materials made in a more organic fashion (such as bamboo linen). Rayon has come under fire for its environmental impact, as it can contribute to land and water pollution, deforestation, and the destruction of natural habitats.

Bamboo is made from the pulp of the bamboo plant, which is known to be one of the fastest-growing and most sustainable plants in the world. As it requires less water and no pesticides, the environmental impact is minimal in comparison to other textiles. However, bamboo does require some chemical treatments in the manufacturing process, especially during a bamboo viscose process, which can have an impact on the environment. 

Texture, Durability, and Use

Rayon has a smooth and silky texture, which makes it very comfortable and breathable in a similar way to silk itself. It's common in the modern world to see rayon used in clothing and bedding as it brings a soft touch feel and a gorgeous drape. However, rayon can be prone to wrinkles and doesn’t hold its durability as well as some other materials.

Bamboo is a soft and cozy material that also has a similar texture to silk. It is considered to be a material with a luxurious feel and is of a higher quality and more durable when compared to rayon. Its resilience, breathable element, and the fact that it also has natural antibacterial properties and is good at moisture wicking makes it a good material to be used across a range of spectrums. It’s not uncommon to see bamboo clothing, bamboo bedding, and

The Sustainability Factor

Eco-Friendly Aspects of Bamboo

Bamboo is often considered to be one of the best eco-friendly textiles out there and for many reasons. Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants on the planet and requires less water, and is less labour intensive than the likes of the cotton plant. It also needs minimal to no pesticide use, so therefore doesn't contribute to runoff land and water pollution. Bamboo can actually help regenerate poor soil and grow in a wide range of conditions and environments. 

Rayon's Environmental Considerations

Rayon comes with pros and cons when dealing with its environmental impact. Rayon can be a sustainable option in comparison to cheaper more synthetic fabrics as it does have a natural element in it. While the processing of rayon from plant to textile may involve harmful chemicals, there are efforts being made to mitigate this issue and to find chemical solutions and manufacturing processes that are less harmful.

Choosing Between Rayon and Bamboo

So, should you choose rayon or bamboo? The decision of which fabric to bring into your world really depends on a few factors, such as considering the manufacturing process, your budget, product durability, personal style, and comfort, and checking for transparency when it comes to different companies.

One of the top tips for picking fabrics is to check the labels and understand the language used when talking about fabric content. For example, you may see bamboo rayon or bamboo fabric specified on the label, or you may see the term rayon or viscose if the garment uses a different tree or plant in its process. If you can find companies that use the closed-loop process in their manufacturing, this is also a more sustainable route to choose.

Brands that are transparent about their chemical processing and whether they use raw materials can also help you make the right choice. Try and scour websites for this information; don't be afraid to ask for clarity. 

Whether you choose bamboo or rayon also depends on the product itself. If you are looking for something more durable - like bedding or activewear, maybe bamboo is a better choice thanks to the fact it is a strong material and also has natural moisture-wicking properties. Whatever fabric choice you make, always do your best to support sustainable brands that care about the planet. 

FAQs

Is bamboo fabric the same as bamboo rayon?

Bamboo is the fabric, and rayon can be considered to be a process of turning the plant into a fabric. Bamboo rayon will be made from the bamboo plant but you can also make rayon from other plants and trees like eucalyptus, beech, pine, and more. 

Can rayon be considered an eco-friendly material?

Rayon can be a recyclable resource, which adds to its eco-friendly status, but the rayon process is not so environmentally friendly as it requires using chemicals to turn the wood pulp into a fabric. 

What are the best uses for bamboo and rayon fabrics?

Bamboo and rayon fabrics are both cozy and comfortable and can feel soft against the skin. Bamboo is also breathable, moisture wicking, and has natural antimicrobial properties which makes it good for bedding and activewear. Rayon can also be used for clothing and bedding. 

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