Before we moved, whenever I needed something like batting or thread or pillow stuffing, I would go to JoAnn Fabric in Glens Falls. It was about a 45 minute ride, pretty close when you live in Hebron NY. From our new farm, it takes over an hour to get to Glens Falls. Since there are no other fabric stores in the area, when I ran out of pillow stuffing last week, I decided to shop online. I already get my insulate batting for my potholders from Fabrics Unlimited, a quilt shop in Nevada. And about a month ago I came across Connecting Threads (I found them through a Google ad on my website, and clicked on it even though I’m not supposed to click on my own ads) and have just ordered some cotton batting and thread that’s on sale.
But neither of these companies had pillow stuffing so my online search began. Now, I do try to shop local or buy from companies that I feel good about. After hearing about the poor working conditions in the Amazon warehouses, I only use Amazon as a last resort. But I looked on Amazon, I looked lots of places including Walmart, another place I don’t like to shop because of the poor working conditions (I’ve worked in enough jobs, where I had to practically beg for a quarter or fifty cent raise, to still be a bit pissed off about it). I noticed most of the online store prices for polyfill were comparable, about $8 for a pound bag. Until I came across Morning Glory polyfill sold at Walmart which was $11 for 5 pounds. Something has to be wrong, I thought, for this polyfill to be so cheap. And suddenly, I was off on a mission, a crusade to find out the dirt on Morning Glory polyfill and the evil store that would sell it. I was getting angrier by the minute, imaging what I would find. But my search didn’t come up with stories of tortured factory workers in China or child labor, or the deadly effects of breathing in Morning Glory polyfill, just a few bad reviews saying the product wasn’t as good as it used to be. I won’t say I was disappointed, but I was kinda worked up, all ready to fight the good fight and….. What exactly was I going to do anyway? Feel really good about myself for not buying Morning Glory polyfill from Walmart?
But, luckily, I didn’t have to think about it for too long , because at the end of one of the reviews someone recommended using Kapok instead. So I shifted my search and found out that Kapok is a natural fiber from the Ceiba Tree which grows in the rain forest. So by using Kapok I get a natural pillow stuffing at a good price (5 pounds for $33 including shipping from White Lotus Home) and help provide jobs for the indigenous people who harvest the fiber and preserve the rain forest.
The next day I got an email from White Lotus Home confirming my order and saying I could expect my Kapok in 2 to 4 weeks. 2 to 4 weeks! But what about my pillows!? I have one already sold, waiting to be stuffed. And what about all the other ones, itching to be made. Can I really wait 2 to 4 weeks to make another pillow?
That same day, Jon and I went to Bennington Vermont to see the movie Lincoln. I searched the internet to find out where I could get pillow stuffing in Bennington. There was only one store that sold it.
So, before the movie, I found myself in Walmart, asking the woman standing next to a case of rifles in the hunting section where the polyfill was. We chatted for a while about sewing then she pointed me to aisle 5 at the other end of the store. I thanked her grateful for the polyfill and Walmart.
So much for me and my noble ambitions. Seems, I’m just like most of my fellow Americans after all, I don’t want to wait for a month to get what I want, when I can have right now.
21 thoughts on “When My Kapok Comes In”
love this post — you are so wise 🙂
I just love this story,Maria. Nothing but the truth. And I adore the pink back to the pillow, too!
Funny….I have done the same thing with the research, etc. Wanted to mention that I love Connecting Threads and have found many a good deal there for quilt backs. I also love “Thousands of Bolts One Nut” for unusual and reasonably priced fabrics. Recycling as you do, is still the best way, and I do that when I can. There is a lot to be said for “lived in fabrics”….the pillows are beautiful and the dragonfly backing is very special.
Thanks for the tip and the compliment Marcia
The pillow is FABULOUS!!! It was calling out my name, but I saw you’d sold it in the comments while I was reading them. Maybe next time I’ll be faster. I particularly like the pink back. You have found a whole new metier, Maria! Wow wow wow!!
I have bought Morning Glory polyfill for my catnip mice that I make and I think it works really well. I also use the Polyfil brand. I like them both. That is all that is available in our town. I hope the brand you bought worked out ok for you. Will be interesting to see how the other mail order brand is. Please post an update when it arrives.
I will Pat. I just heard from someone that it’s messy and sticks to everything and you need to really stuff a pillow because it settles alot.
‘When my Kapok comes in”…I love this..I think “Kapok” is a great word and should be used often. Makes me think of how honest and real you seem, and now your pillows “insides” will be as real as the woman who creates them. Everyone should strive to have the kapok that you have!
It is fun to say isn’t it Tess
This is a terrific post Maria! I love your comments about looking for terrible things and feeling self righteous ~ influenced by media I guess. It made me laugh to hear you put it so well! I don’t shop at Wal Mart by choice and for many reasons. But I am glad they had your stuffing! I am sure you will like the Kapok once it arrives ~ you’ll just have to order it early to keep it on hand if you like it.
Your pillow looks great ~ the appliques are a nice addition. Using so many so effectively is a gift you have!
I think there is a JoAnn’s store in Saratoga Springs, NY ~ and a Michael’s and A.C. Moore as well. They are box stores, but not as large as some at least.
I laughed through this whole post, Maria, because I saw myself in your writing: building myself into rage and indignation over what certain people do to other people, etc. I get myself worked up with a full scenario of my own making and am more than ready to “show THEM…I won’t BUY from their terrible place!”….only to find out that sometimes ‘THEY’ are the only game in town.
You wrote this so well! I’m laughing all over again!
Being that you are a reseller you can order wholesale. The best polyfil you can get comes from American Down & Feather in Colorado. Small family owned company. Wonderful fibers and they carry a recyled green poly fill that is really inexpensive and nice. I like the Polysilk, feels like down and doesnt compress like the cheap fill does. you can order any size premade inner or poly in bulk. Give them a ring or email. (720)254-5824 http://www.americandownandfeather.com Tell Eric Kate says HI.
Another place for variouse sewing materials and supplies is http://www.wawak.com/atlantathread/ wierd name but they supply tailors and other sewing stuff. There arent that many advantages to being self employed but getting goods at wholesale is one of them. Cheers!
Great Thanks Kate!
Maria, is reusing stuffing from pillows at thrift stores an option?
Nice idea Gaye.
There are beautiful specimens of Kapoks in Miami and throughout Florida , in case you ever return to the area. I didn’t about harvesting its fiber. Enjoyed your story and learned something new
I”m going to look them up Leslie to see what they look like.
I’ve heard that Kapok messes with allergies, and is a common reservior for mold. I’ve never used it for anything. I don’t have a problem shopping at Wallyworld. I like saving money, so I shop there.
I enjoy your creativity with your fiber art. As an old farm girl, nothing went to waste when garments became to small or worn out. I have a lot of buttons ,zippers etc, that always seem to find a place of honor!
I live in Florida and 25 years ago my dad planted 2 Kapok trees in my backyard. Lets just say they are huge and very messy. I just found out this week people use the kapoc fiber. I went out and started collecting the pods. Now I just have to figure out how to sell it.
Seems like your Dad knew what he was doing Heather!