January 12, 2011 by staff
Kapok, “Kapok’’EST the name most common used for tree and can also refer to the fiber obtained from its pods. The tree is also known as the Java cotton, Java”kapok, ceiba cotton or silk. 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 larger branches are most often (but not always) full of very large, robust simple thorns. The leaves are made from May to September leaflets, each up to 20 cm (8 inches) and palm oil, etc. Mature trees produce several hundred 15 cm (6 inch) pods. The pods contain seeds surrounded by a fluffy, yellowish fiber that is a mixture of lignin and cellulose.
The fiber is lightweight, very dynamic, flexible and water resistant. The process of harvesting and separating the fiber is labor and employment. It is difficult to spin, but is used as an alternative to completing the mattresses, pillows, upholstery, zafus and stuffed toys like teddy bears, and for insulation. It has been widely used in life jackets and similar devices until synthetic materials largely replaced the fiber. The seeds produce oil used in soaps and locally that can be used as fertilizer.
Indian tribes along the Amazon River harvest the kapok”fibres to wrap around their blowgun darts. The fibers to create a seal that allows pressure to force the arrow through the tube.
The tree is the most widely grown in commercial forests of tropical Asia, especially in Java (hence his nickname), the Philippines, Malaysia, and the island of Hainan in China and in South America.
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