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CHILI - Surprising Material Alert: The Black Bamboo

****Surprising Material Alert: The Black Bamboo
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Despite growing a little slower than the blond species, black bamboo presents an attractive range of dark tones that vary between dark coffee and black, depending on the species and its place of origin.

There are different theories that could explain the dark coloration of these species, but according to Arief Rabik, an expert in the management and production of bamboo forests and director of Indobamboo, could be due to a genetic mutation that would give an evolutionary advantage within forest systems, since black usually absorbs a greater amount of light. 

© José Tomás Franco

© José Tomás Franco

However, Rabik warns us that we should not be seduced by the young black bamboo because although it presents an even darker and aesthetically cleaner coloration, it is still not ready to be used in construction and will crack easily. "Young bamboo is sugar cane, not bamboo," he says.

© José Tomás Franco

Like its more traditional relatives, black bamboo grows mainly in tropical climates, but it can also be found in private collection gardens in South America and Australia, where even darker, jet-black species have been seen. 

In some cases, as it is more difficult to find, its value can double that of the blond bamboo species, but there are parallel darkening or dyeing techniques that deliver incredible results through the burning and application of oils. 

© José Tomás Franco

© Eduardo Souza

© José Tomás Franco