Why Bamboo is the Best Material for Swaddle Blankets- A Deep Dive into the Superior Fabric
If you’ve ever spent time with a newborn baby, you know the magic powers of swaddling. The tight embrace of a well-made swaddle reminds the baby of being coiled up in the womb, which calms the baby and helps him or her to sleep. For the first several months of a baby’s life, the swaddle is arguably the most-used item for a new parent.
If you’ve ever spent time swaddling a newborn, however, you also know that not all swaddle blankets are created equally. Some swaddle blankets are difficult to use, some are made from materials that start to pill after a couple of washes, and some make the baby too warm, which is both uncomfortable and dangerous.
So how do you choose a high-quality swaddle that brings all of the magic with none of the problems? You choose Bamboo. Here’s why:
What is Bamboo?
Bamboo is technically a grass, though it looks nothing like the grass that grows in our backyards. The Bamboo plant is tall – anywhere from 15-39 ft. high - hard, and hollow.
Bamboo is also an evergreen plant, which means that it grows and can be harvested throughout the year rather than just in one season. This feature, combined with the fact that Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing pants in the world, makes Bamboo an excellent, sustainable material for everything from blankets to flooring to utensils.
How is Bamboo Turned into Fabric?
The Bamboo material used for items like swaddle blankets of course looks very different from the Bamboo that you see Pandas chewing on. At a high level, the process to turn the plant into a versatile textile is as follows:
- Harvest the plant and chop it into small, usable strips and chips
- Pressurize the plant into a pulp-like substance
- Pour this pulp-dense liquid through a filter to create fibers
- Treat fibers with solutions to make them soften and more pliable
- Weave Bamboo fibers into fabric
Why are Bamboo Swaddles a Better Choice Than Cotton?
At first glance, a piece of Bamboo fabric may not seem all that different to a piece of Cotton fabric. However, the Bamboo fabric is superior in four key ways:
The fabrics made from Bamboo are ultra-soft, and tend to get softer with each wash. The reason for this is Bamboo’s long, smooth fibers that have rounded edges. Other fabrics, such as Cotton or Wool, use fibers that are more jagged and rough. Since these rougher fibers are shorter, the final product has more abrasive edges. Though the fibers in all fabrics are tiny, the overall effect of the long, smooth Bamboo fibers is a softer final product.
While there are very expensive, ultrahigh-end cotton products that are comparable, the average Bamboo textile is softer to the touch than most Cotton options, at a much more affordable price.
- Cooler (or Warmer)
When it comes to materials used for sleep, whether it’s baby swaddles or adult bed sheets, temperature regulation is key.
Bamboo’s distinctively long, smooth fibers, as described above, allow for optimum airflow through the material and are therefore incredibly breathable and moisture-wicking. Bamboo material is able to thermoregulate, meaning that it can keep you warm if you’re in cold weather and cool if the room is too hot.
In the case of being too warm, Bamboo’s unique weave also soaks up water (or sweat) form the body and pulls it to the surface of the fabric, allowing for speedy evaporation which keeps your baby cool.
Bamboo fabric is much more durable than Cotton, again due in large part to the long, smooth fibers used to create it. Bamboo is also more able to keep its shape wear after wear and wash after wash.
This durability is particularly important for swaddles since the material will often be pulled and tugged in different directions to achieve just the right amount of tightness for your baby.
One of the main reasons people choose Bamboo over Cotton for things like sleepwear, baby products, and even athletic wear, is the material’s inherent resistance to bacteria. The hypoallergenic material is the clear best choice for sensitive skin, but is also a great option for anyone looking for a material that will resist odors and mold-growth.
In the case of a newborn baby swaddle, this means that anything from blowouts to drool will easily wash out of the fabric without leaving a lingering odor or stain.
What about the Environmental Impact?
As mentioned above, Bamboo grows quickly and year-round, so that alone makes it a wonderfully sustainable material. If you look a level deeper, Bamboo also requires less water, chemicals, and labor to grow, harvest, and develop, so it is overall a more environmentally friendly option than Cotton.
One thing to note, however, is that some Bamboo is manufactured and processed in way that is harsh on environmental resources and introduces toxic chemicals to the material. To avoid these products, choose brands that have Bamboo fabrics with the OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certification. This is a third-party certification that ensures the material has been tested for harmful substances and upholds the highest level of product safety.
What Does the Final Product Look Like?
One of the wonderful features of Bamboo fabric is that it looks as smooth as it feels and soaks up dyes and natural coloring agents beautifully. For example, Baby Want Design’s Bamboo Swaddles come in a variety of gorgeous colors with everything from neutral tones like Stone to a deep Mustard and a striking Sea Foam.
The truth is, there are many, many options out there when it comes to choosing a swaddle for your baby. You want something that will feel good against his or her sensitive skin, will be warm and comforting but not allow for overheating, and will stand up to the many messes that new babies make.
Your baby deserves the best, and when it comes to swaddle blankets, the best is Bamboo.
Oh yah……We have Bamboo Bows too! ☺️