Bamboo Running Clothes
Approaching everything with a balanced point of view, Bamboo Running Clothes are no exception. I test a lot of fabrics. Firstly because it helps to identify where they are best used. And secondly, you wouldn’t build a bridge from jelly (jello in the US).
What does fabric for running have to do ?
Fabric used for high intensity activities must perform highly. I treat running as a top tier activity demanding highest levels of performance over a long time. Importantly this makes running our go to activity when it comes to initial testing. When fabrics pass the running test it means they are good for almost anything.
Bamboo is what I would class as a nearly there fabric. The features that make bamboo great are…
- Very strong.
- Incredibly durable.
- Super soft.
- Retains heat when wet
- Regulates temperature
- Antibacterial (Open to debate)
- Odour resistant
- Moisture wicking
There is one attribute that prevents me from using this fabric for running. It does not dry fast enough. When real world testing products, t-shirts made of bamboo tend to absorb sweat and not let go. This means as you run and sweat the t-shirt gets heavier. With a t-shirt covering a huge surface area, its job is to remove heat and sweat. Furthermore when running, lighter is better. However, I am not finished with bamboo for t-shirts forever, when time permits there will be more testing around bamboo-cotton blends.
Lastly the industry standard for running t-shirts is Polyester. As a business I can not make an inferior product which has this setback. There are other brands who are happy to sell bamboo running t-shirts but I don’t believe it is the optimal use for this fabric.
What is the optimal use for Bamboo in Running clothes ?
When used to create underwear, all of the positives of bamboo really come into play. The softness and smoothness reduces friction, they hold their shape really well. They give support. Boxer shorts made of bamboo are so good for running you forget you’re wearing them !
Finally, you may wonder why the drying issue isn’t a problem here. Using a lighter weight of fabric prevents as much sweat being absorbed. The main job of the underwear is to provide comfort and support rather than transitioning the heat and sweat away.
Underwear made of polyester is far less comfortable than bamboo. The fabric is rougher and not as comfortable over a longer duration. Cotton tends to lose its shape and not spring back like bamboo does. Meaning Polyester and Cotton can lead to uncomfortable chafing. Bamboo does not chafe even when wet and after hours of running, retains its shape as if fresh out of the washing machine.
Will there be more Bamboo Running Clothes ?
Yes. I will keep testing blends of bamboo to find the best solutions. Already looking towards shorts. Still searching for an optimal blend for t-shirts.
As I said earlier Bamboo is a great fabric. In addition it is eco friendly and sustainable. It is part of the longer term Grizzly Wears plan. Using a range of fabrics over the entire catalogue is how I will balance sustainability. As time goes on I will update this blog with my findings.
Help support me to do more research into alternative and sustainable solutions for sportswear by buying some of my current products.
T-Shirt sales do help and the money goes towards research into new and exciting sustainable materials and how to use them best in the future. To see some of these great, innovative fabrics created by hard working, clever people who think outside the box become mainstream would be fantastic.
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