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Short, soft, lightweight fibers produced from trees in the silk cotton tree family, Bombaceae. Some of these are:

- simal or red silk cotton (India): Bombax ceiba

- pochote fiber (El Salvador): Ceiba aesculifolia

- balsa fiber (Central America): Ochroma velutina

- akund (East Indies): Calotropis procera

- Mexican kapok (Mexico): Bombax palmeri

- kapok (Java, India, Africa, Central America): Ceiba pentandra

- Indian kapok (India): Bombax malabaricum

Synonyms and Related Terms

silk cotton tree; ceiba; samauma; Illiani silk; Java cotton; Bombax cotton; vegetable down; tree cotton; simal; red silk cotton; pochote; akund;kapok(Esp.)

Hazards and Safety


Additional Information

G.Cook, Handbook of Textile Fibres:I. Natural Fibres, 5th edition, Merrow Publishing Co., Durham, England, 1984.

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Marjory L. Joseph, Introductory Textile Science, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Fort Worth, TX, 1986
  • Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • J.Gordon Cook, Handbook of Textile Fibres:I Natural Fibres, Merrow Publishing Co. , Durham, England, 1984
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998