Do you prefer a Kapok Pillow or a Cotton Pillow?
You may have a hard time answering this question because there are so many of us who have never heard of this word before.
So, what is Kapok anyways?
Kapok is a fiber taken from the seed- pod of the tropical kapok tree, also called the silk-cotton tree. Kapok tree blooms uncommonly, typically every 5-10 years. It is productive tree, normally with 4000 fruits growing at any one-time when it does bloom.
Harvesting kapok is labor concentrated. Usually, people knock the ripe unopened pods off the tree. However, they can also cut the pods from the tree or harvest it when it falls to the ground. Soon after harvest the fruits are hulled and seeded, the fiber is removed from the pods by hand. Then they are stirred in a basket till the seeds fall and the fiber rises.
When the pods get to maturity, if it isn’t harvested, it will break and expose the cotton-like fibers and seed to the wind. The word kapok means both to the tree and to the fiber it produces. It is also known as silk cotton or Java cotton.
What is the silk cotton?
Silk Cotton is a soft white fibrous substance that surrounds the seeds of a tropical and subtropical plant and is used as a textile fiber. Cotton fiber consists of virtually pure cellulose and is produced from plants of the genus Gossypium of the mallow family, Malvacae. The cotton plant produces large showy, white, creamy or yellow flowers that fall off to leave a large capsule, or cotton boll that contains both the seeds and a mass of white, downy cotton fiber.
Cotton, http://www.wildfibres.co.uk/html/cotton.html, July 1, 2013
Kapok, http://www.wildfibres.co.uk/html/kapok.html, July 1, 2013.Cotton Fibers, http://www.engr.utk.edu/mse/Textiles/Cotton%20fibers.htm, July 1, 2013