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Bamboo silk - Test #1

From time to time, we get asked to clean a carpet, rug or piece of upholstery that contains one of the so-called problem fabrics. Generally, this will mean that there is something within the structure of the fibre type that will become unstable when treated with water.

While velvet, sisal, coir and viscose crop up fairly regularly, bamboo silk is relatively new to us. When an interior design company in Bath contacted us to treat some velvet curtains, we were given a sample of bamboo silk to play with...

Over the next few weeks, we'll upload more video footage of the various experiments we try.

Here is the first...

What is so special about  Bamboo Silk Rugs?

Wool and silk have been the materials most commonly used in rug (and carpet) making for centuries. As material science develops new and more exotic fabrics, so what the consumer can buy evolves.

What is Bamboo Silk?

Bamboo silk is derived from bamboo. Duh!

Photo of bamboo growing

Bamboo silk is like a natural viscose. Cellulose is extracted from the plant and formed into a sticky paste. After extraction, the cellulose is then left to dry. It is then extruded to a become a soft silky fiber.

area rug : bamboo rug

The resulting fibre feels like silk, and is soft and cool to the touch. It is durable, hypoallergenic and has antimicrobial properties.

What is The Difference Between Bamboo Silk and Traditional Silk?

Bamboo silk is extracted, dried, and then expelled, and traditional silk is made the same way, but by silk worms.

Silk worms secrete a liquid protein from their salivary glands. The secretion then dries while it is being extracted from their mouths.

Photo of silk worms feeding

Which is more durable - silk or bamboo silk?

It depends.

Bamboo silk rugs placed in high traffic areas will not mat or wear down, so long as they are not 100% bamboo silk.

Traditional silk rugs must be placed in low traffic areas to avoid damage. Because traditional silk fibres are more delicate, a traditional silk rug should be hung as a tapestry or in a very low traffic area. Refrain from placing heavy furniture on a traditional silk rug. This is because a constant weight will distort the traditional silk beyond repair.

Persian Rug Carpet

Bamboo silk can be placed anywhere in your home and can withstand heavy furniture and foot traffic.

With the proper maintenance tailored to the needs of each material, bamboo silk and traditional silk will both last 50+ years.


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