How To Make Cotton Fiber Insulation

If you are looking to add insulation to your home you may want to know how to make cotton fiber insulation. Cotton fiber is a renewable resource, and is increasing in popularity. It is also often the insulation of choice in Habitat for Humanity homes as it is made from recycled materials. Here's how the process works.

  1. Collection.  Cotton batt insulation is defined as insulation made from "post-industrial denim and cotton fibers". But a great deal of cotton insulation is made from recycled jeans. Jeans are collected across the country in drives organized locally and through many organizations.
  2. Tear it up.  The next step in making cotton insulation (out of jeans or post industrial denim)  is to chop it up and pull the scraps apart on carding machines.  These machines break the denim down into individual fibers.
  3. Mix it up. The fibers are then saturated with flame retardants, as well as chemicals that help it resist molds and pests. Depending on the intended use, it may be backed with aluminum and formed into a thin sheet, or it may be pressed into a mat, or backed with other materials and "friction fit" into cavities in a home, such as in the attic or walls.

Cotton insulation is a great alternative to fiberglass for several reasons. It's environmentally friendly, uses recycled materials, and can be handled with bare hands. So if you are looking for a "green" alternative when insulating your home, cotton batt insulation is a good choice.

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