Hot Trend: Bamboo Towels and Textiles for the Kitchen

International Home and Housewares Show 2008

Bamboo has been used in sheets and other home textiles for a while now, but it's just making its way into the kitchen mainstream. We found these towels, above, in the Green Showcase at the Home and Housewares 2008 Show, and this was just the tip of bamboo textile iceberg at the show.

For our thoughts and reactions to bamboo in the kitchen, as well as some other bamboo towels, read on...

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Basic towels are one of our kitchen essentials. We mentioned in our earlier post on oven gloves how we generally just use them for a whole range of functions: cleaning, wiping, holding hot pan handles. We leave our pretty tea towels for teatime; when we look for kitchen towels we look for something hard-wearing, plain, and long-lasting. We get annoyed with towels that don't absorb spills well, but our towels quickly get stained and rough - they stop absorbing very quickly.

These bamboo towels, on the other hand, are frankly the softest towels we have ever felt. They have a lush softness that feels incredibly silky. There have been complaints about bamboo sheets quickly pilling so we're not sure about the life of these towels, but we'd like to try them out.

Bamboo is considered very environmentally friendly and sustainable, and it has some natural antibacterial properties as well. The fiber these towels are made out of is claimed to be 4 times as absorbent as cotton.

One note, which the helpful people at Tru Bamboo pointed out: Only the white or natural colored bamboo towels are 100% bamboo. The bamboo fiber does not absorb color well so any colored towels are probably made of at least 20% cotton or another alternate fiber.

Here are some of the bamboo towels we're eyeing:

• Above: Natural bamboo towels from Tru Bamboo
• Top of post: MuBamboo from MU Kitchen. These were the silkiest towels we touched at the show - really nice. You can see their list of retailers here.
Eco Kitchen Bamboo Dish Towels, $6.50 at Bibelot
Beige and cream bamboo towels, $7.95 at Broadway Panhandler

Have you tried bamboo towels or other kitchen textiles? What do you think?