Bamboo is synonymous for its unmistakable look, Asian flair and high strength qualities, but do you know about its’ history and origins? Bamboo was first recorded in use about 5000 years ago in ancient China where it was often used to build tree houses. Dating back to the Han Dynasty in 206 to 221 B.C., bamboo was used to make paper and books while fast-forwarding to the Ming Dynasty (1386 to 1644), it was used for bedding and flooring. Bamboo has been put to use in a variety of ways and even has some practicality in Chinese medicine and cuisine.
Wherever you come across bamboo, it’s becoming a part of our lives more than you may think because there is a bamboo alternative in almost every industry from clothing to dishware to furniture. This versatile plant is technically considered a type of grass yet it has more strength and integrity than wood and even some steel alloys. It has a higher compressive strength than brick and concrete, too. Interestingly enough, bamboo grows faster than any other kind of wood plant in the world, making it one of the most sustainable plant species around. Certain species of the plant can grow up to 35 inches in a matter of 24 hours! Generally speaking, the plant can reach maturity in five years while some popular hardwoods can take up to 120 years to reach maturity.
It’s a given that bamboo is becoming more popular, as it has great eco-sustainability, which is why so many products are now made with the plant. Take for instance the Japanese martial art of kendo, bamboo is used to craft arrows, bows and swords for the practice. You may also find it in musical instruments such as panpipes and flutes in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador. A very trendy use the woody plant is used to construct bamboo fence rolls – this type of fencing material typically last longer and weathers better than traditional wood fences and is naturally termite resistant. Additionally, in 1979, a group formed the American Bamboo Society where it provides general information about the plant, research support for new species and more.
It’s quite obvious that bamboo has made its’ way around the world with many different uses. From bamboo fence rolls to bamboo wine to bamboo furniture, this versatile plant serves useful in a number of ways. Whether you are fencing in your property or are trying an exotic wine, bamboo is becoming more mainstream everyday!