This 1931 mattress was internally divided into sections or channels that were stuffed with exotic kapok imported from the South Pacific. Kapok was used in bedding until polyurethane foam became a less expensive and more springy substitute.
Curled hair, husks, palm leaves, and excelsior (wood shavings) were all natural materials used and belded together in various 19th century mattresses.
Kapok was imported from the Pacific region into the United States and became a popular ingedient in mattress stuffing beginning in the late 19th century.
Mattresses and cushions have been stuffed with cotton, wool, and other plant fibers; animal hairs and feathers have usually been the premium materials.