Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. ~Philippians 4:8~

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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Kapok Fiber

I got my shipment of kapok (ceiba) fiber I ordered. A whopping 2 lbs, which is lightweight and airy, and above all so very, very soft!



I just need to make some time to play with it and find out if it can be spun into yarn. From what I briefly tested, it doesn't look like it can. Maybe with a spinning wheel?



But that's ok, because there are still many things I can do with it, such as use as filling for decorative pillows. I read somewhere that kapok fiber is used in flotation devices. The only little problem is that the fiber arrived with quite a few seeds still embedded. Which can also be a good thing, since I can try and see if I can get those seeds to sprout. Kapok seedlings grow fairly fast. Seeing as how I live in a hot almost tropical zone, I already have two kapok trees growin in our front yard. It will be a while before they produce the flowers and then this fiber that I love, but the trees in and of themselves are quite a beautiful sight. Their trunk is covered with big thick spiny needles, which look so unusual. I should say that only one of them has that characteristic. The other one doesn't. My Sister was told by the folks who sold her the trees in the Rio Grande Valley that one is a 'male' and the other a 'female'. I suppose that is possible, because one of my friends also has a kapok tree with spiny needles and it has never flowered- possibly a male specimen?

I also have some soft silk fiber as well as more mohair fiber I ordered over a month ago from an Etsy vendor. I am really looking forward to working with that. I'll have plenty of things to do.

8 comments:

Gloria said...

yaya, what are you going to do with that? I don't remember ever seeing that and it looks so soft. Baby pillows, maybe? How fun. You have such great ideas always flowing. I want to see what you make with that Kapok. I also wanted to ask you, when is a good time to plant the epazote seeds? I'm already excited about Spring and here we are still in Winter.
I like that you are preparing yourself for the month ahead. You are a determined person. Have a great week. Great post!

Gloria said...

Oh I forgot, go pick up the new badge on my sidebar for 2010 and also at the lower bottom, I have a new badge called chicana blogging. Take that one too. Take care.

YayaOrchid said...

Hey, Gloria! I was thinking pillows too. I'm going to plant them around late Feb-early March. If you've got a greenhouse, probably you can get them off to an early start. I'll save some for you if you want.

Gloria said...

(Kapok has a smooth texture, but because of being weak, it is not spun into yarn. The fiber is mostly used for manufacturing mattress, cushions, upholstered furniture, pillows, life jackets etc. The fiber is also used for sound proofing and insulation.)

My curiousity on Kapok was aroused and so I looked it up and unfortunately it can not be spun. It sure can be used for a lot of things though. Just thought you'd like to know and okey dokey on the epazote planting. Thanks

YayaOrchid said...

I think you're right. I tried stretching a small amount, but it's weak and falls apart. It has no stretch like other spinnable fibers.

Tea Time and Roses said...

Hello Idalia,

The kapok is indeed beautiful and looks so silky soft. I am afraid I am not familiar with it but I bet a pillow filled with it has to be one of the softest ever.:o) How wonderful to be planting the seeds! Enjoy working with this beautiful kapok and cannot wait to see how you use it.:o) Enjoy a lovely week.

Smiles...

Bevely

YayaOrchid said...

thank you Beverly! I just like experimenting with different fibers for fun. Hope you have a great week too!

Anonymous said...

Hey, I came across this forum....
My friend has two of these Kapok Trees both right next to eachother.. Both are spiny and they just released the
cotton fiber with seeds... I'm trying to grow the seeds, I have one that already has leaves... Also you mentioned the Rio Grand Valley... That's where I'm from, to be exact, Harlingen. If you have gotten it to grow or how I can get these seeds started please let me know at anf0469@yahoo.com

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