Ever heard of Kapok?

In times of ever present exotic food you might assume to find Kapok next to Goji, Chia or Açaí.

As a matter of fact, kapok is a fiber that can be woven into fabric! At least to some content. There is no such thing as 100% kapok since the fibre is not suitable for that.

But let’s start in the beginning:

The Kapok fiber originates from the fruit of the tropic, wildly growing Kapok tree and is one of the lightest hollow fiber. This feature is the reason why Kapok has been very popular for the usage of fillings. For the longest time there has been no other application because the fiber couldn’t be spun. Only since 2006 it has been possible to process the fibres for using it in fabric blends with e.g. cotton. It adds to the handfeel of cotton, making it even more soft and subtle and comfortable to wear.

A cracked kapok pod with fluffy fiber content and a closed one. The size is approximately 20cm in length. Below: Fabric swatches from the fabric supplier FLOCUS

A cracked kapok pod with fluffy fiber content and a closed one. The size is approximately 20cm in length. Below: Fabric swatches from the fabric supplier FLOCUS

Facts:

  • as the trees grow wildly, they are neither fertilized nor treated with pesticides; therefore Kapok fibers are per se organic and don’t need extra water
  • the light hollow fibers are very suitable as filling material and are therefore a vegan alternative to down or wool
  • kapok main usage was for fillings in mattresses, life vests and cushions; now it can be spun and is popular for upgrading cotton or lyocell fabric when blended since the fabric becomes even silkier and on top more sustainable
  • the fabric supplier FLOCUS  specialized on kapok blends. They offer jersey for T-shirts, woven fabrics for shirts and blouses or pants, but also voluminous paddings for warm jackets

Please make sure, that when you buy clothes with a kapok content, that the fiber it is blended with is organic cotton or Tencel®.

Many eco-fair labels such as Hess Natur or ThokkThokk offer kapok products:

Sweatshirt, pants and a comforter made of a cotton/ kapok blend by Hess Nature:

Sweatshirt aus Bio-Baumwolle mit Kapok

Hose aus Bio-Baumwolle mit Kapok

Sommerdecke Leicht mit Kapok und Bio-Baumwolle

Jacket with kapok filling from ThokkThokk:

ThokkThokk Kapok Anorak Man

And: For those who are looking for nice, vegan wool we recommend to opt for the fluffy, soft cotton/ kapok blend by MYBOSHI:

Wolle myboshi

Curious about the exotic fiber?

In our workshops you are welcome to experiment with all of this. Not only kapok, but also cotton, flax, wool and much more:

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