AbstractThe potential use of kapok fiber for pulping and papermaking has been investigated. The kapok fibers were cooked using the optimal dosage of sodium hydroxide determined from the experiments. Then, the pulp was refined with two passes using a disc refiner and mixed with commercial hardwood pulp and/or softwood pulp at different blend ratios to make papers. It was found that addition of the kapok pulp to the mixed pulps improved the tensile and burst strengths of the sheets but decreased the tear resistance and elongation. Water repellency of the sheets prepared from the kapok pulp mixed with the commercial pulps was also improved. These results indicate that kapok fiber can be a quality pulp source for papermaking, especially for packaging paper requiring strength and water repellency.