Zero Toxics Knowledge Base
Kapok is the fluff around a seed that grows in a protected pod on the majestic kapok tree. Fibers are pulled from the seeds pods, then air cleaned by spinning at high speed, resulting in a soft, puffy, resilient material that has no dust or pod debris.
Kapok is one of those old materials that used to be used a lot, but got displaced by plastic fillings and foam.
Kapok is a fiber taken from the seed pod of the kapok tree, which grows in the rainforest. The trees are laden with pods, which contain round seeds. After the leaves have fallen during the dry summer season, the pods burst open while still on the tree. Inside, a whitish cotton-like fiber surrounds the brown seeds, which carries the seed off in the wind. This fiber is called “kapok silk.”
The majestic trees are not cut down during harvesting, only the seed pods are removed, at the end of their natural cycle. Fibers are pulled from the seeds pods, then air cleaned by spinning at high speed, resulting in a soft, puffy, resilient material that has no dust or pod debris.
Kapok is soft, smooth, hygienic, hypoallergenic, sustainable, and free of toxic chemicals.
Kapok gives the feel of down, but holds it’s shape does not compress, and maintains it’s buoyancy for years. It has a unique ability to shape to the body and rebound instantly to its original fluffiness. It can be reused for decades without decaying. Because it is water-resistant, it doesn’t mold.
The fluffy white covering of the kapok seed traditionally has been used by indigenous rainforest peoples to fill pillows and mattresses and is again being offered today for these purposes, particularly for pillows.
Look for kapok that has been harvested in a way that protects the lifeways and ecosystems of indigenous people.
Organic kapok is also available.
ZERO TOXICS IS LIKE A PUZZLE
In this Knowledge Base, i'm gathering together bits and pieces of information about materials used to make products, and bringing some order to them so we can all better understand what's in our products. So many pages will be incomplete as I go through this process. When I feel I've put together a fairly complete picture of the material, I'll take down this notice from this page.
ZERO TOXICS is rooted in my forty years of research and experience living toxic-free. I'm gathering and organizing the data I have to make this knowledge available to everyone. Feel free to ask questions, share data, and join in the discussion in the comments section below.
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