Indian kapok

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Short, lightweight cellulosic fibers obtained from the seeds of the Indian kapok tree, Bombax malabaricum. Both Indian kapok and Java kapok are commonly known as kapok. Despite their different botanical sources, it is difficult to tell the fibers apart. Kapok fibers are soft, smooth and transparent. They are buoyant and will support up to 30 times their own weight. The fluffy fibers are too brittle to spin and are used for filling mattresses, upholstery and life jackets.

See also Bombax, and Kapok.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Bombax cotton; vegetable down; kapok (Esp.)

Other Properties

Fiber length = 20 - 32 mm (0.75-1.25 inches); Diameter = 20 micrometers; Cross section is oval or circular.

Hazards and Safety


Additional Information

M. Joseph, Introductory Textile Science, Holt Reinhold & Winston, Fort Worth, 1986.