Non Conventional Fibres Association

Bamboo Fibres

Botanical information

  • Bamboo (Bambusa vulgaris) belongs to the true grass family of Poaceae.
  • It is characterized as woody perennial plants that can be evergreen or deciduous.
  • Bamboo predominantly thrives in Africa, America, and Asia but can also readily flourish in Europe.
  • The cylindrical stems, called culms, usually have hollow spaces between their rings, forming branching clusters from a sturdy rhizome (underground stem).

Habitat and fibre production

  • India owns the largest area and is the second-largest reserve of bamboo in the world.
  • It is a tropical plant which grows mainly in tropical and sub-tropical regions and is one of the fastest-growing plants in the world.
  • Most bamboo species can grow and thrive in a wide range of soil types, except for rocky soils, and they tend to prefer well-drained soils, specifically sandy loamy, to clay loamy soils.
  • The minimum annual rainfall required for bamboo is 775 mm and a rainfall of maximum of eight consecutive months with less than 40 mm.
  • The most suitable pH range for healthy growth of plants is 5.0pH-6.5pH, but some species can also grow in highly acidic soils(3.5pH).
  • Every bamboo plant can achieve a daily growth of up to 120cm, and this speedy development characterises it as a readily available, renewable resource in nature.
  • Currently, the bamboo production around the world is about 3,00,000 tons.


Table 1. Physical & mechanical properties and chemical composition of areca nut fibres

Physical and Mechanical properties




14-27 μm

Tensile strength




Chemical composition







Minor Components


Features of the fibre

  • It possesses biodegradable qualities, is cost-effective and eco-friendly, and exhibits natural antibacterial properties.
  • It gives a soft, smooth feel and is easy to wash.
  • It can take in diverse odours, dust, and other harmful substances, effectively purify the air, and regulate humidity.
  • These natural fibres closely resemble ramie but are more delicate and have shorter lengths.
  • Due to its hollow cross-section, it imparts breathability to bamboo fibre-based fabrics.
  • The fabrics are easy to dye and apply finishes due to the fibre’s hygroscopicity and are also cool and comfortable to wear.
  • Natural bamboo fibres possesses a significant moisture-absorbing capacity and prone to corrosion thus limiting the engineering applications.
  • These fibres possess thermo-regulating properties and show less shrinkage, better wrinkle resistance, and higher dye affinity and lustre.
  • It depicts better abrasion and pilling resistance in both wet and dry conditions.


  • In textile applications, bamboo fibres are primarily sourced from the tallest bamboo species, which is commonly referred to as “Moso” and scientifically known as Phyllostachys edulis.
  • Earlier, Chinese medicine used bamboo due to its antibacterial properties.
  • Presently, bamboo finds extensive use among local artisans for crafting handicrafts, furniture, and kitchen utensils, as a material in the food and paper industries, in the production of laminated wood, and in various composite applications.
  • Bamboo-based construction of houses and industrial buildings follows a path of sustainability.