Bamboo is an amazing material. Used to make everything from musical instruments to buildings to clothing to paper, you can eat it, put it in medicine, wear it, and machine it into beautiful products (like bamboo sunglasses!). Bamboo has a higher compressive strength than wood, brick or concrete and a tensile strength comparable to steel!
Technically a grass, it can grow up to 35 inches PER DAY! That's what makes it so useful as a sustainable material. Since it grows so fast, it can quickly and cheaply be replaced, unlike many woods that require many years to grow back once used.
So where can you buy bamboo for home projects?
Bamboo plywood is really useful for making coasters, signs, and all kinds of crafts. Try Inventables to get pre-cut bamboo plywood squares for all kinds of home projects. Their prices are reasonable, especially since you don't have to buy full-sized plywood sheets.
For larger jobs that require full-sized plywood sheets, ranging in thickness from 1/4" to 3/4" in a range of different styles and looks, check out San Diego-based CaliBamboo. You'll have to order a minimum of 2 full sheets, but for large jobs these guys have reasonable prices. And they're a great company with a ton of awards for being a fast-growing, environmentally friendly company.
Bamboo fabric comes in lots of forms, from fleece and terry to woven-style fabrics, making it a great option for sewing and clothing projects. You can get a variety of bamboo fabrics at Nature'sFabrics.com.
Have a supplier you'd like to recommend? Let us know in the comments...