Kapok (Ceiba pentandra) has been available for many years growing throughout the tropics where it is cultivated for its fibres. Kapok is a moisture-resistant, quick-drying, resilient, and buoyant fibre. It weighs only one-eighth as much as cotton. Kapok has been used in life jackets and life boats, supporting as much as 30 times its own weight in water.
Traditionally Kapok is very difficult to dye, however, the team at Semperfli have been working with computer based dying machinery which has enabled it to bulk dye Kapok with repeatable colours every time.
Individual Kapok fibres are on average 1.8cm/0.7”, with diameters of 30 to 36 micrometres (a micrometre is about 0.00004 inch) making it finer than even the smallest superfine dubbing.
Thank you to Eugene O'Dell for kindly providing images of flies he tied up with this material.