What the Heck is Kapok? And what is it used for? 0
I love trees, the bigger the better. I grew up in the Northeast where I climbed maple trees in our yard and napped under the old oak tree in the field. Ever since I acquired Northern Naturals, I have had a fascination with the Kapok tree and its kapok fiber that stuffs the pillows that are sold by Northern Naturals. I have a strong desire to travel to the rain forest to experience a Kapok tree up close and personal. Short of a plane ticket, I was able to view these giants online.
At 150-200 feet tall and 9-10 feet in diameter, the kapok tree towers over the canopy of the rainforest. Its buttress planks stabilize the tree and spread out about 30ft. It is quite a sight to behold. They house all sorts of birds and mammals use the branches as a highway. Even frogs cuddle up to this tree where the water collects between the folds of the side bark.
Not only is it a majestic giant in these tropical climates, the trees are providing sustainable economics for the indigenous people. Consciously I really align with kapok as a renewable resource that supports the ecology of the forest and people that live there. As a renewable resource, the seedpods of this tree are filled with luxurious, fluffy white fibers. It was most interesting to find out that this fiber is 8x lighter than cotton and several times more buoyant than cork.
I knew kapok was employed to stuff pillows, mattresses and cushions, but being more buoyant than cork really grabbed my attention. Kapok is still used in some life preservers. And, not only that, Kapok is also used as acoustic and thermal insulation.
There are so many amazing benefits to Kapok. Not only is an important tree in the ecosystem, Kapok’s naturally harvested fiber is non-toxic and hypoallergenic making it a perfect fill for pillows for people who have allergies, and is a healthy alternative for those with sensitivities to down filled pillows. It is also moisture resistant and deters mold and dust mites.
Here is a product I can stand behind from the tree’s place in the ecology of the rain forests to the superb benefits Kapok’s silky fiber has for those who desire an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional pillows.