Kapok, Buckwheat Hull and Wool Bolus; The "Other" Organic Fibers

by LeeAnna Buis October 23, 2017 0 Comments

Kapok Tree

When it comes to organic materials for beds and bedding, most people think of cotton, linen and wool. Today we want to talk about a few others you may not know…but should.  They’re the not-so-secret ingredients to three of our most popular hand-crafted Soaring Heart pillows. 

Kapok Seed

If you’ve never met Kapok, allow us to introduce you to this incredible fiber. The kapok tree is a massive tropical of the silk-cotton family, bearing large seed pods containing silky kapok fibers. As fluffy as down, with the resilience of wool or cotton, kapok makes the perfect supporting, long lasting pillow.

Our favorite recipe combines organic kapok with an organic cotton case. Quick drying, buoyant and moisture resistant, you’ll often see kapok used for life preservers and sleeping bags as insulation. The fiber is too brittle for spinning, but weighs only 1/8 as much as cotton and can support as much as 30 times its own weight in water. 

Buckwheat Hull is another natural material Soaring Heart relies on for one of our top pillow designs; borrowing from a centuries-old Japanese practice and solving some of the most common issues with traditional pillows. 

Buckwheat Hull Pillow

Buckwheat hulls are the outer shells housing the seeds of the buckwheat grain. In pillow form, air flows freely around the hulls so they don’t retain heat, keeping the pillow cool through the night. They also don’t collapse or compress as you sleep, so no midnight pillow fluffing needed. Most importantly, the hulls shift within the pillow, molding perfectly to your shape, supporting your head and aligning the spine. This means less stress and strain on the muscles and a natural opening of the airways. They’re great for back sleepers. As a bonus, Soaring Heart’s small and mini buckwheat hull pillows can even be frozen or microwaved to add a little heat or cooling therapy to your sleep.

You probably own wool, in one form or another. But what do you know about Wool Bolus; pea-sized pellets of pre-felted wool?

Wool   Wool Bolus

Let’s start with felting. This process involves separating, tangling and then locking wool fibers, which dramatically changes their structure. Each individual fiber is lined with scales. Agitation separates the fibers and then they’re gently tangled using a variety of methods and tools including friction and needling.

At Soaring Heart, we use this wool bolus as a malleable and washable pillow filler. Back and stomach sleepers can scrunch and shape the pillow for optimal comfort without sacrificing support. And being washable, it’s great for kids.

These are just a few examples of mankind’s ability to work with nature to create earth-friendly, healthy, life-giving products. It's truly inspirational. We hope you’ll join us at Soaring Heart, as we continue our commitment to live in concert with our environment.

Soaring Heart Needle




LeeAnna Buis
LeeAnna Buis

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