Our Cotton & Cushions
Given that I wanted The Itihāas Company to be a brand inspired by history, I wanted the pieces to feel as if they were from a different era in time. Additionally, when I had to test the materials I would use as my cushion filler, I was sure that I did not want to use anything synthetic or artificially manufactured. Safe to say, a lot of commonly used materials were a no-go for me.
Through multiple experiments, sifting through an array of fabrics and keeping sustainability my utmost priority, I turned to White Gold also known as Cotton.
I read through everything India had to offer when it comes to cotton; the varieties and the places I could find them. Ultimately, I came across an article on Semal or Indian Kapok cotton. I tried to source this species officially known as Bombax Malabarica and compared it to regular cotton samples that I had and it was love at first fiber’.
Kapok was quite commonly used in mattresses and upholstery in the olden days, but due to the development of synthetic fibers, its importance and great qualities were overshadowed.
Often referred to as Silk Cotton, Kapok is a brownish-yellow fiber that is lightweight and lustrous. It is harvested only from the months of February to April in India and has always been native to the tropics. The fiber is known to be too brittle for spinning, and it was used in life preservers and other water safety equipment since it only weighs 1/8th as much as cotton, and supports as much as 30 times its own weight in water. Buoyant and light, it was the perfect match to give my customers a luxurious experience and a long-lasting product made with intention, through handpicked raw materials.
Kapok felt so incredibly organic in comparison to even the uncommon species of cotton; it was lighter yet firmer. The best part about the Kapok for me was when compressed for a while, it bounced back to its original form almost immediately. A little fluff here and light ‘karate chop’ there, made the cushion look plump and luxe in an instant.
I was committed to finding a farm in India that grew Indian Kapok sustainably, where no extra hands and companies would be involved in the production and harvesting to taint it with chemicals or synthetic materials. I eventually landed on an incredibly sustainable farm in the South of India that did exactly that.
Fluffing cushions can be a cathartic process for many, and we don’t believe there is a wrong way to plump or fluff your cushions. However, our short video clip will show you how to remove the kapok filling when the time comes to distribute it after use, how to fluff the insert and how best to make your velvet Itihāas cushion continue looking rotund in the long term