Published on June 22nd, 2011 | by Becky Striepe13
4 Polyfill Alternatives for Sustainable Stuffing
Conventional polyfill is petroleum based, so what’s a green crafter to do? Here are some eco-friendlier options for stuffing that pillow or plushie!
We talked yesterday about how to make a pillow without buying petroleum-based polyfill. Bits of thread and tiny fabric scraps are great for some projects, but like I mentioned in that tutorial, they can leave things on the lumpy side. A few lumps are fine if you’re making something just for you or a friend, but there are times that you want your finished project to come out a bit more evenly.
1. Stuff with Scraps
One solution is to combine your scraps with another stuffing material, maybe one part scraps to two parts other stuffing. The problem is: what other stuffing? Sure, you could pick up a bag of the conventional stuff at the fabric store, but it’s essentially fluffy plastic, and what green crafter wants to buy plastic, right? Here are a couple of polyfill alternatives, along with their pros and cons.
2 & 3 Corn or Soy Fiber Fill
You can find corn- or soy-based polyfill alternatives online, and these are slightly better than their petroleum-based cousin. There are still a lot of chemicals involved in turning plants into stuffing, but at least you’re starting out with a natural material.
The other issue with corn and soy is that unless they’re organic, they are most likely genetically modified. If you feel strongly about not supporting big biotech firms like Monsanto, corn and soy products are not the greenest choice.
4. Organic Cotton Stuffing
Organic cotton stuffing is a bit pricier than corn and soy fiber fills, but it’s by far the greenest option out there. I’ve ordered organic cotton stuffing from Near Sea Naturals before and was very happy with it! It’s a bit denser than more processed fiber fills, so your project will have a bit more weight to it when it’s finished. They sell their stuffing by the pound, and a one pound box stuffed two smallish throw pillows. For one standard-sized pillow, they recommend two pounds of stuffing.
Have you found petroleum-free fiber fills that you like? I’d love to hear about other options in the comments!