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Q: How is bamboo made into textile fiber? What is "viscose from bamboo"?

A: The stalk of bamboo is pulped and extracted into fiber. This is a patented process which is similar to that of viscose/rayon. Rayon and viscose are generic terms that are recognized by the Federal Trade Commission for fibers such as bamboo. There are two methods of producing bamboo fiber: mechanically and chemically. The mechanical way does not produce the same quality fiber and is not widely used at all. The main chemical used in the processing of bamboo fiber is sodium hydroxide (caustic soda). According to Wikipedia, "If used in a responsible manner sodium hydroxide has absolutely no effect on the environment and health of workers. Sodium hydroxide does not remain as a residue on clothing as it easily washes away and can be neutralised to harmless and non-toxic sodium sulphate salt." Caustic soda is in fact one of the most widely used chemicals in the world. It is also used in the production of organic cotton, and is approved under the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and the Soil Association (Soil Association Organic Standards January 2007 60 Textiles).

Q: Why are your bed sheets only 300 thread count? Are they really soft?

A: Simply using thread count to judge the quality of linen is a common misconception. Thread count is only one of the indicators of sheet quality. Additional factors include yarn size, construction, as well as fiber material quality and composition. All these factors affect softness and durability. At 300 thread count, Midori Linen bamboo bed sheets can rival 800 thread count bed sheets with all the superb qualities of bamboo fiber you will truly appreciate once you try.

Q: Is special care needed for your bamboo fiber products?

A: Caring for your bamboo products is simple and easy: Wash in cold water in gentle cycle, and tumble dry on low heat. No bleach. No fabric softener. Also due to the inherent softness of the bamboo fiber, some loose strands may appear on the towels. This is a normal occurrence. Simply cut them off with a scissor, and NEVER pull them. A little care and love is all you need to enjoy your bamboo linens for years to come.

Q: Do you abide by any Fair Labor practice in the manufacturing process?

A: Yes, we do. Our products are manufactured in a sweatshop free environment. In fact, all the workers are protected by Labor Contract Law, which stipulates insurance coverage, minimum wages, maximum work hours, & overtime pay. At Midori Linen, you can rest assured that the products you are buying are benefiting the employees and their families.

Q: What should I be looking for when buying viscose from bamboo products?

A: One of the most important things you should look for is the bamboo fabric composition in the product you are buying. Due to the popularity of bamboo fabric in recent years, more viscose from bamboo products have emerged in the market. Some only offer a small percentage of bamboo fiber, and others make no mention of the bamboo content. These products are often priced significantly lower than others made of higher bamboo fiber content. So be sure to check the material composition and know what you are buying.

Q: Your products have the best feel! But I want to know more about how your products are made.

A: First, we start with Oeko-Tex certified viscose from bamboo, to meet the strictest environmental standards in the world. Additionally, you should be aware of the dyeing process, as it is not required to be disclosed on textile labels. At Midori Linen, we use azo-free low impact dyes. Azo compounds refer to the synthetic and inorganic chemical compounds that contain metallic elements and are toxic and hazardous to health. Some of the textile products contain azo or other chemical compounds that produce the vibrant colors but are also carcinogenic. Last but not least, waste water management is taken seriously at our mills. Solvents used in our bamboo production process are continually recycled and reused in a closed-loop system (without multi-stage bleaching), so that we can reduce discharges to the aquatic environment.

Q: Are viscose from bamboo textile products depriving pandas of their foods?

A: Definitely not! Our bamboo products are panda-safe. Giant pandas and red pandas eat over 30 species of bamboo. We use moso (phyllostachys pubescens) to produce our textile products. Moso is NOT among the list of foods that pandas consume. It is the largest temperate bamboo species and is too big for panda bears to eat.