WHAT IS KAPOK?
One of the few sustainable rainforest crops, Kapok Fiber comes from the seed pod of the majestic kapok tree. Kapok, an ancient treasure, has for centuries represented a prized possession and historically was used by gurus, saints and spiritual masters who marveled at its unique characteristics such as its ability to shape to the body with rebounding instantly to its original fluffy shape.
Kapok is soft, smooth, hygienic, non-toxic, hypoallergenic, and environmentally friendly. It is breathable, allows air circulation and has healthful benefits. It can be reused for generations, without developing mold or decaying. It even floats!
The Kapok tree (Ceiba pentandra) is a tropical tree of the order Malvales and the family Malvaceae (previously separated in the family Bombacaceae), native to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, northern South America, and (as the variety C. pentandra var. guineensis) to tropical west Africa. The word is also used for the fiber obtained from its seed pods. The tree is also known as the Java cotton, Java kapok, or ceiba. It is a sacred symbol in Maya mythology.
The tree grows to 60-70 m (200-230 ft) tall and has a very substantial trunk up to 3 m (10 ft) in diameter with buttresses. The trunk and many of the larger branches are densely crowded with very large, robust simple thorns. The leaves are compound of 5 to 9 leaflets, each up to 20 cm (8 in) and palm like. Adult trees produce several hundred 15 cm (6 in) seed pods. The pods contain seeds surrounded by a fluffy, yellowish fiber that is a mix of lignin and cellulose.