At last a complete natural plant fiber sleep system crowned by a pillow that is hypo-allergenic, comfortable and soft yet supportive. KapoK is a wonderful mould & chemical free vegan alternative to toxic petrochemical micro fibers, foam, gels and synthetics, unforgiving latex, crunchy buckwheat husks and animal byproducts.
We spend up to a third of our lives in our beds so it makes sense to surround ourselves with as few chemicals as possible in our beds. Many of us are questioning the impact of our bedding systems on our health. We are seeking solutions that are healthy as well as ethical, sustainable and beneficial on multiple levels. Pillows, Mattresses & Doona's filled with KapoK is our answer.
KapoK is making a comeback!
Pillows filled with KapoK have been handed down between generations in Asian countries where it has been used as fill for mattress, bolsters and pillows for centuries.
Over time KapoK has been used for its warmth, in thermal padded suits in the Arctic, as life vests because of its water resistant hollow fibres, as bullet proof vests (in the days of shot guns), as wadding in sleeping bags, a company in Germany spins KapoK with cotton to make thermal underwear. KapoK has even been used to fill bustles of ladies dresses in the 1800's, and more recently as padding for Hobbit costumes in the recent movies [care of our stores] and by jungle tribes on poison tipped arrows and darts for hunting.
Historically revered by gurus, saints and masters KapoK represented a prized possession and they marveled at its unique characteristics. Such as its ability to shape to the body then rebound to its original fluffy shape and were pleased when they discovered that KapoK has the ability to puff back up when placed in sunlight and because of its fibrous air-filled tubes it even floats on water and resists mould!
In Mayan myths the KapoK tree was sacred. They believed that the souls of the dead would climb into the branches which reached up and delivered them to heaven.
Hollow-fil, Dacron and other micro fibers were made to mimic some of the magical properties of KapoK; however they are all created from coal & petroleum. Coal & petroleum are the base products of plastic and take hundreds of years to break down. KapoK is compostable.
Some of my clients have a recollection of lumpy KapoK pillows from their childhood. What we often did not know is that, being a natural fiber there is slight compaction over time however; KapoK possesses the unique ability to ‘puff back up’ when placed in direct sunlight.
Therefore regular airing/refreshing [monthly is preferable but not crucial] is super good for you and your pillow.
Also we have invented a unique 'blowing' technique that creates an even lofty spread of KapoK fiber throughout your pillow. This adds an extra dimension of comfort to our already Heavenly Head pillows. Hand packed pillows tend to have clumps of KapoK fiber that take a bit to smooth out.
KapoK properties and benefits
KapoK, a pale silky fibre, is almost magical. It is soft, smooth, hygienic, non-toxic, hypoallergenic, chemical free and environmentally friendly. One of the few sustainable rainforest crops, KapoK breathes allowing air circulation and can be reused for generations without developing mould or decaying.
Today we are looking to surround ourselves with more healthful things. We are demanding products that have integrity. We are interested in eco fibers that are nontoxic, sustainable and well suited to the purpose they are intended. KapoK fulfils all these criterion.
The world’s best ECO FIBER KapoK soft yet supportive, naturally anti-bacterial so dust mites cannot live in it, moisture resistant therefore will not soak up your sweat or mould and is chemical free. KapoK lasts for decades and you can put it on the garden when you are finished with it!
KapoK, Ceiba pentandra (Bombacaceae), is a tree as tall as 150ft in its native environment (pictured below). The fibre itself comes from the seed pod of the majestic tree. Much of the world’s KapoK is wild harvested from the fallen seed pods by locals. Chemicals are not needed nor is the ground tilled or the tree cut down in order to harvest its bounty, this helps keep the forest alive and healthy and provides low impact, capacity building, sustainable jobs within the forests.
With a density of only 0.35 gr/cm³ Kapok is the lightest eco fibre in the world and is also called vegetal down, vegetal silk or vegetal cashmere.
Kapok fibre is moisture resistant. It has its own anti-bacterial properties given by nature which gives Kapok its hypo-allergenic status. Kapok is firmer than sponge yet soft because of its hollow fibres and even floats!
Find out more about detoxing your home in this Featured Article
Consider Kapok: Help reduce your environmental footprint & create balanced alignment while you sleep, during pregnancy, in your yoga practice, meditation & support for breast feeding. Kapok has long been used throughout Asia, South America and in Japan as filling for bolsters & cushions, sitting, sleeping & Zen Thai Shiatsu massage mats.
Images below Left and right top - the olde Mae West Life Vest
Below left - Mattress before sunning. Below right - Mattress after sunning