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What Is Bamboo Underwear?

By Anna B. Smith
Updated May 21, 2024
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Bamboo underwear can refer to any type of garment worn under clothing that is made from the pulp of bamboo plants. The soft inner core of this hard, reedy plant is the primary ingredient used in creating this type of clothing. This material's beneficial properties include its ability to wick moisture away from skin, its natural intolerance of fungus, and its smooth and silky texture.

The bamboo underwear is made from viscose of bamboo. The leaves of the plant and soft inner core are treated in a series of soaking and steaming solutions that produce a pulp like material. The pulp is then hardened and spun into fibers that can be used in the weaving of fabric. These fibers are often combined with a small amount of organic cotton to increase the durability of the material. Usually cotton comprises less than 30% of the total fiber content in such blends.

A wide variety of sizes and styles are available in bamboo underwear. Women may choose between standard briefs, low rise bikinis, or thongs, as well as undershirts and tank top style camisoles. Men can also purchase undershirts, a boxer or brief style of underwear, or a bamboo jockstrap when ordering from an athletic distributor. This type of clothing must typically be ordered online or purchased from a specialty boutique.

This material is soft in feel, similar to a blend of cashmere, silk, or model. It promotes air circulation between the fibers, making it naturally moisture wicking. Perspiration is carried away from the body and air is allowed to flow around and dry the skin. In addition to bamboo underwear, these woven plant fibers are found in bed sheets, socks, undershirts, T-shirts, pants, and shorts. Some sport performance clothing pieces are woven entirely from bamboo to aid athletes in maintaining a lower body temperature while exercising.

Using bamboo for clothing fibers is thought by environmentalists to have a positive impact on the Earth. Bamboo forests grow quickly, and can reach maturity in a shorter time span than most other types of wood, making it a popular choice for furniture and flooring materials, as well. Once established, this plant spreads outward and typically does not require replanting following a harvest. Unlike other materials used in the production of clothing, such as cotton, bamboo forests do not need insecticides or herbicides to thrive, and do not contribute to local land and water toxin pollutions as a result.

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Discussion Comments

By anon330784 — On Apr 18, 2013

Well, I found this company out of Canada that makes the funkiest underwear in bamboo. I could not believe it. They are the most comfortable pair I own.

It is super durable, I've washed it and dried it many times and it still retains its form. You barely sweat in it and it's apparently hypoallergenic.

Anyway, you guys should check em out, their called Bia Boro Bamboo Underwear. They call them Junk Trunks for men and Luv your Booty for ladies.

By ceilingcat — On Nov 12, 2011

@JessicaLynn - Good tip. Another thing to keep in mind about bamboo is that it's environmentally friendly, to a point. Yes, it is a more sustainable resource than cotton, and it is fairly easy to grow.

However, making bamboo into fiber is still fairly labor intensive. In fact, I read someone it takes more energy to make bamboo into fiber than it does cotton. So while the growing and harvesting may be more environmentally friendly, bamboo fiber factories are still using gas, electricity, and producing waste.

I think it's fine to purchase bamboo if that's what you like. But if you're only looking to buy it because it's eco-friendly, I would look elsewhere.

By JessicaLynn — On Nov 12, 2011

One thing to keep in mind when looking for mens bamboo underwear is to definitely buy a pair that's made of a blend of bamboo and cotton.

I'm a knitter, so I'm pretty familiar with how a lot of different fibers behave. I've actually used bamboo yarn before. One thing about bamboo fiber is that it usually doesn't hold its shape very well. It stretches and sags.

Needless to say, these qualities would not be very desirable in a pair of underwear. So make sure your bamboo undies have some cotton in them too!

By Sara007 — On Nov 11, 2011

Can anyone recommend a good place to buy bamboo underwear for men?

I am looking for a unique gift for my husband and he can be a tough one to buy for. He only likes to receive practical things, which can make it hard to find something he doesn't have.

I am hoping some new men's underwear for him, made of a unique material, will be a nice stocking stuffer for him come Christmas time. He already has a lot of hemp clothing, as he is on a bit of a green product kick. Actually that is a good question, are bamboo fabrics considered green? If not, I may have to figure something else out for a gift.

By manykitties2 — On Nov 10, 2011

If you are normally a fan of cotton underwear you should really try bamboo fiber clothing. I find that the bamboo underwear for women keeps me really dry, especially in the summer heat. Usually I find myself getting a bit uncomfortable in the humidity, but the airy nature of bamboo apparel makes it really comfortable to wear.

Another thing that is great is bamboo socks, they really help keep your feet from getting moist in your shoes. Nothing is worse than getting a blister just because your feet tend to sweat a bit. Ever since I tried bamboo clothing I haven't gone back to regular cotton.

By cardsfan27 — On Nov 09, 2011

I have never worn bamboo underwear but people have told me that it is actually fairly comfortable and reminds them of wearing silk clothing.

I would have never thought of it being comfortable or if they could ever make clothes out of bamboo, but this is obviously the case and it seems like there is a good market for it.

I have to wonder though if bamboo underwear is more on the market than people think and that it is just not advertised heavily enough. Maybe it is in a lot of different articles of clothing and is simply such a commonly used component that there is little need for companies to heavily advertise it as a special type of product.

By Emilski — On Nov 08, 2011

@Izzy78 - I agree I would think that if this was so environmentally coercive and that it can have an incredible rate of production there is something fishy about it not being used to the degree that cotton is to make clothes.

It is not like bamboo is not something that is hard to find. It is concentrated in one part of the world, but where it is there is a lot of it and the people of those areas could greatly benefit off of using their bamboo forests to help their economies.

I just cannot see why an area so poor that can profit off of something that they have a lot of not utilize it especially when it is used to create something that is in such demand. There has got to be a reason behind it and I feel like it could be business related. I bet cotton is a lot cheaper to manufacture than bamboo and this could be the cause for it.

By Izzy78 — On Nov 08, 2011

@kentuckycat - I would like to think that it may be entirely safe for the environment, but I also have to think of why there is not a reason given for why a giant market has not been made for bamboo type clothing.

If bamboo is able to grow so quickly and it is as good an article of clothing as the article describes, then how come it has not caught on and become the main source of clothing? Most bamboo is grown in Southeast Asia, which is a very poor area in the world and I would think that they would jump on this venture and create a market for it.

I feel like there has to be some reason why it has not caught on, whether it be the comfort of the clothes or possibly even the lose of cotton interests in other parts of the world. Could also be business reasons, but I have absolutely no idea and just the fact that bamboo clothing has not taken over the market brings questions as to how good it actually is.

By kentuckycat — On Nov 07, 2011

I would have never thought that something like bamboo could be used to create something that is supposed to be soft and comfortable like clothes.

Whenever I think of bamboo I usually think of how hard of a plant it is and I associate it with being more like a sturdy wood as opposed to being used for clothing. Apparently though looks can be deceiving and it seems like bamboo clothing has virtually no flaws to it. It also seems like it is very good for the environment, simply due to the way the bamboo plant is and how easy it is to grow. Maybe bigger markets can be created for this product and we can thrive as a society as a whole.

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