What’s Better for Your Child, Bamboo or Organic Cotton?

It is time to settle the debate of which is better for children, rayon made with bamboo or organic cotton fabrics.
If you have children or have shopped for someone else’s child, I am sure you have noticed the plethora of baby products made with bamboo and organic cotton. These products often cost more but are of higher quality. Most bamboo and organic cotton products feel soft, cozy and claim to be hypoallergenic, which is important because babies have sensitive skin. But at the end of the day, when it comes to babies and children, organic cotton is still the safest choice. 
Read more to find out why!

The pros and cons of baby products made of bamboo and organic cotton.

Baby items made of Bamboo

Supporters of baby items made of bamboo will rave about the qualities, which include the fact that bamboo fabric is extremely soft and comparable to fabrics such as cashmere. Regenerated Bamboo fiber is touted for its antimicrobial properties. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim. Bamboo fabric is also breathable and said to be more absorbent and stronger than cotton.

Baby items made of Organic Cotton

You may be wondering if purchasing organic cotton sleepwear is worth the added expense. The answer to that is yes, especially when the item is for a baby. Organic cotton fabrics are superior to conventionally grown cotton fabrics because they are grown without synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or fungicides. This produces healthier products for consumers while protecting our valuable ecosystems. Fabrics made from organic cotton are also more durable because the fibers have not been exposed to harsh synthetic chemicals which can break down natural fibers. 

The ugly truth about producing Bamboo fabrics.

close up image of green Bamboo leaves

Growing Bamboo

At a glance, bamboo seems like a very good choice for a sustainable crop, it’s fast-growing, requires no fertilizers and self-regenerates from its own roots. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is being grown sustainably. The majority of bamboo is being grown in China and there is no information on how intensively bamboo is being harvested. Just because bamboo does not need pesticides there is no guarantee that they are not being used to maximize outputs. 

Producing Bamboo Fabrics

There are a few ways to turn bamboo into fabric. The first process involves combing out the bamboo fibers and spinning them into thread, much like how hemp is made into thread. This method creates a linen-type fabric that is processed as bast. This process is labor-intensive and expensive and the result is not suitable for soft, stretchy clothing or sleepwear for babies and children. 

The Viscose Process

The second and more popular method is the process that is used to make the soft and silky baby clothing and sleepwear that so many brands sell today. Making bamboo viscose is a highly intensive chemical process, similar to the process used to turn wood chips into rayon. In this process, the bamboo is dissolved in a strong solvent which makes a thick viscous solution that is then forced through fine holes, called a spinnerette. Forcing the solution through the spinnerette forms the strands of fiber but it’s a chemical bath of sulfuric acid that hardens the strands and when washed and bleached, these strands become rayon fabric.  This process is called hydrolysis alkalization or solution spinning because the fiber is “spun” in a chemical solution. The solvent used for this process is carbon disulfide, a toxic chemical that is a known human reproductive hazard. It can endanger factory workers and pollute the environment via air emissions and wastewater. The recovery of this solvent in most viscose factories is around 50%, which means the other half goes into the environment.

Producing Organic Cotton fabrics:
standing up to the test of time.

image of white cotton bolls in the field

Producing Organic Cotton

Organic cotton doesn’t require industrial processing to convert it to fabric and for that reason, it reigns supreme over bamboo. The only downside to organic cotton is that it is quite difficult to grow without chemicals. As a result, the process for organic growing is more labor-intensive than conventional methods (using synthetic pesticides and fertilizers). This is why organic cotton is a bit pricer than both conventional cotton and rayon made with bamboo products.

When it comes to babies and children, organic cotton is still the safest choice. Comfortable, breathable and environmentally-friendly, cotton has held up to the test of time. It is for these reasons that we at CastleWare Baby have chosen to use pure organic cotton for all of our pajamasone piece footsie pajamaswearable blankets for walkers and sleeper bags. All of our fabrics (baby rib knit, fleece and velour) are made in the US from certified 100% organic cotton yarn. All of our fabrics are preshrunk using only hot water so you don’t have to worry about how the garment will fit after you take it out of the dryer or your child’s chemical exposure from the pajamas they wear to bed. 

What makes CastleWare different?

At CastleWare Baby our love for the earth is deeply connected to our passion for creating the cleanest sleep and play wear for your little person. And we make business decisions that center on both. We are committed to be a force for good, from supporting sustainable agriculture to producing our garments in the USA for a smaller footprint.

What sets us apart?

From fiber to finish, all CastleWare fabrics and garments are made in the USA; GOTS certified organic cotton fabrics that are free from harsh chemical finishes. Fabric that is shrunk with hot water only. Water base inks and low impact, fiber reactive dyes. Compostable garment packaging.



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