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Cover Story | May 2018

Bamboo fibres use less water: Kishan Kashiwala

Established in 1990 as a textile consultant to the textile industry by providing total services for textile projects, pre-feasibility studies, project reports and market survey, Spinning King (India) Limited now offers innovative fibres and value-added yarns. Their Tanboocel bamboo fibre is made from bamboo and is biodegradable, and has naturally anti-bacterial properties.

The company’s Chairman, Kishan Kashiwala, and Vaishali from the Fibre and New Product Development Division, speak on the distinguishing characteristics of Tanboocel bamboo fibre, and what makes bamboo fibre better than other sustainable fibres in the market.
Excerpts...

As a sustainable fibre, what are the distinguishing characteristics of Tanboocel bamboo fibre?
Bamboo fibre uses less water and has no pesticides. About 98 per cent of Tanboocel bamboo fibre is biodegraded within 45 days.

Some properties of bamboo fibre include:
  • Smooth, soft and luxurious feel: It has a basic round surface, which makes it very smooth and to sit perfectly next to the skin. Bamboo apparel is softer than the softest cotton, and it has a natural sheen like silk or cashmere. Bamboo drapes like silk or satin, yet it is less expensive and more durable. Bamboo or organic cotton blends are also softer but heavier in weight.
  • Allergy reduced: Bamboo’s organic and naturally smooth fibre properties are non-irritating to the skin, making it ideal for people with skin sensitivities or other allergies and dermatitis.
  • Good absorption ability: Bamboo fibre absorbs and evaporates sweat very quickly. Its ultimate breathability keeps the wearer comfortable and dry for a very longer period.
  • Temperature adaptability: Fabrics made from bamboo fibre are highly breathable in not weather and also keep the wearer in cold season. Bamboo is naturally cool to the touch. The cross-section of the bamboo fibre is filled with various micro-gaps and micro-holes leading to much better moisture absorption and ventilation. It is also very warm in cold weather, because of the same micro structure as the warm air trapped next to the skin.
  • Antibacterial: Bamboo is naturally antibacterial, antifungal and anti-static. Bamboo has a unique anti-bacteria and bacteriostatic bio-agent named bamboo kun, which bonds tightly with bamboo cellulose molecules during the normal process of bamboo fibre growth. This feature gets retained in bamboo fabrics too. It makes bamboo fabrics healthier, germ free and odour free.
  • Thermal regulating: Bamboo fabrics are warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Bamboo clothing’s excellent wicking properties also make it ideal for warm summer days.
  • UV protection: Bamboo naturally provides added protection against the harmful UV rays.
  • Antistatic: Due to its high moisture absorption property, bamboo fabric results in the enhancement of anti-static property.
  • Green and bio-degradable: As a regenerated cellulose fibre, bamboo fibre was 100 per cent made, from bamboo through high-tech process. They are all three-four year old new bamboo, of good character and ideal temper. The whole distilling and producing process in our plant is green process without any pollution. It produces natural and eco-friendly fibre without any chemical additive. As a natural cellulose fibre, it can be 100 per cent bio-degraded cellulose in soil by micro-organism and sunshine. The decomposition process doesn’t cause any pollution environment.
  • Breathable and cool: Bamboo fibre gives human skin a chance to breathe free. Because the cross-section of the bamboo fibre is filled with various micro-gaps and micro-holes, it has much better moisture absorption and ventilation. With this unparalleled micro-structure, bamboo fibre apparel can absorb and evaporate sweat in a split of second.

According to authoritative testing figures, apparels made from bamboo fibres are one to two degrees lower than normal apparel in hot summer. Apparel made from bamboo fibre is crowned as air conditioning dress.
Apart from above characteristics, bamboo fabric is light and strong, has the ability to take coolers well, is anti-fungal and hypoallergenic – even after 50 washes, dries quickly – about twice as fast as most other fabrics, and is half the price as compared to cashmere.

Yes. I can say that bamboo is superior then other cellulosic fibres due to its unique properties. And at the same time, Tanboocel fibre’s production, availability and quality are consistent since beginning with our best services to our Tanboocel users’ alliance. And thus, it creates a good rapport with each other.

What progress have bamboo fibres made in India? Can you give a brief comparison of its use in some countries that are using it widely?
Bamboo fibre can be converted to finished products like towels, bath robes, bath mats, socks, undergarments, t-shirts, hoodies, carpets, shawls, etc. All these products are exported. There is complete value addition within the country, except import of bamboo fibres.

India, Pakistan, Turkey, Indonesia, Italy and Iran are fibre importers; whereas Australia, Brazil, US, Canada, Egypt and Europe are importers of finished products.

Tanboocel is imported. What about other competitors in India and also the desi versions of bamboo fibres? With rich bamboo regions in India, can India produce indigenously?
Tanboocel is a fibre brand. Our principal—Hebei Jigao Chemical Fibre Co Ltd—has the patent rights for bamboo pulp and bamboo fibres. India’s bamboo species are different from that of China’s bamboo species.

What is the company's contribution in R&D towards making sustainable fibres more popular in India?
Spinning King (India) Limited has been providing dedicated services to the Indian textile Industry.
It started its operations in the year 1975 as a consultant to textile industry by providing total services for textile projects, pre-feasibility studies, project reports and market survey.

Today, Spinning King India Limited and its veteran promoters are exclusively providing services and working for value-added textiles for the Indian textiles industry.

The company si indulged into Tanboocel - Jigao Bamboo Fibre in the Indian market since 2003. I can proudly say that we are the pioneer in market for this.

Our reputed buyers include: Vardhman Group, Pallava Group, Nahar Group, RSWM, BSL, PKPN, PK Laxmi, Laksmi Mills (LMW Group), Loyal Group, SEL, Garg Acrylics, WearIt, Winsome Group, Gokak, to name a few Spinning King is the pioneer to introduce Tanboocel bamboo fibre in the Indian market. We have received a lot of certificates for ecology and sustainability aspects. These top certificates include: OEKOTEX, FSC, OCIA, NOP with ECOCERT, ISO 14000 and ISO 8000.
Our new inception is Speciality Weavecoats LLP at Dhamatvan, Ahmedabad, which is a fabric weaving plant.

What are the various end-products out of bamboo fibres that are being produced globally and in India?
Main products for exports from India are 100 per cent bamboo yarn and its blended yarns (70:30 / 60:40 / 50:50 / 95:5 spandex). It can be blended with cotton, polyester, tencel or silk. Finished products of Tanboocel fibres are bamboo towels, bamboo undergarments, bamboo knitted garments, and bamboo home furnishings like bedsheets, bathmats, carpets, socks, scarfs, shawls, to name a few.

How has the domestic and export markets responded to this new wave of bamboo fibres? Give details of Spinning King's experiences and reach?
Out of our total production, about 70 per cent of bamboo fibre is consumed by the Chinese market and the rest 30 per cent is exported. In overseas, Turkey and India are our biggest markets, having a 50 per cent share each in our fibre exported. Otherwise, India and China are almost parallel when it comes to bamboo fibre’s consumption globally.
Percentage wise, may be China has little more share but India is the second largest consumer of bamboo fibre. We are associated with bamboo fibre since 2003. Price-wise, bamboo is cheaper and feasible when compared to other special fibre available in the market. Bamboo is a faster growing plant, so uniformity is more in bamboo compared to others along with better hand feel.

The natural fibres like bamboo are staging a comeback. Do you see prospects for any other fibres like this in the future?
Yes, it’s a good sign that now more focus is on environment-friendly and sustainable fibres and textiles.

What are the strategies and plans of your company to promote this kind of fibres in the near future and on long-term basis?
Advertisements, participation in exhibitions, personal visits, presentation and press conferences and promotional strategies are our strength. We are planning to open offices and bamboo finished products showroom in the US and Canada. We have participated in various exhibitions around the world, including Premier Vision (Paris), Fibers and Yarns expo (India), Shanghai Expo, among others. We have also promoting bamboo fibre market in Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Iran and Turkey.

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