Wood Wool

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Wood Wool or "Excelsior".
Close-up of wood wool board made with cement as a binder.
Wood wool panel.


Wood Wool, also known as "Excelsior", is a multifunctional material made of fine wood fibers. It has been produced with the use of machines since about the middle of the 19th century. Properties can be quite variable depending on feedstock.


  • wood wool boards (see section below)
  • insulation
  • evaporative cooler systems ("swamp coolers")
  • packaging material (cushioning, e.g. in poultry, for fruits, for glassware).
  • bedding for animals
  • filler for mattresses
  • growing medium for hydroponics
  • garden mulches
  • mats and blankets for erosion control
  • filter (e.g. water purification, air purification); see biofilter

Wood Wool Boards

Wood wool boards are a cheap and effective building material. They provide an excellent background for lime or clay plasters and eliminate thermal bridges. They provide acoustic insulation of walls, insulation from floor noise and insulation of flat and sloping roofs, as well as fire resistant coverings. Typical materials to mineralize the wood wool are cement, lime or magnesia binder. The board is breathable "vapor permeable", rot resistant and durable. Due to its high timber content, there is no problem with disposal and it gives off no harmful gases or vapors when burnt.

Open Source Hardware Needs

  • wood wool machine: cutting slivers
  • pressing machines for boards/panels
  • weaving machine

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Non-Timber Forest Products