Garnetted vs. Blown Fiber Pillows — What's the Difference?

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For every living room, bedroom, patio, RV and boat cabin, there’s a pillow. With so many options out there, how do you know where to start? Let’s begin with the foundation of every pillow — the stuffing. Synthetic pillows are available in two varieties: garnetted and blown. When we mention the words garnetted and blown, we’re talking about the manner in which material (generally polyester) is processed and stuffed inside the pillow. This blog will explain the distinctions between garnetted fiber pillows and blown fiber pillows and what this means for your next project.

With garnetted fibers, the polyester pillow filling is inserted into the pillow in folded form. This is accomplished using a series of special machines. The original raw polyester fibers are crimped tightly together and must be combed through with large steel spikes to help lengthen the fibers so they can be more easily layered on top of each other.

The fibers are run through a machine that coats the fibers in a slick conjugate that reduces static electricity. After that, they are then processed through a variety of other machines until they’re smoother, straighter and fluffier than before. Then they’re processed yet again, passing over one of two rollers to form a fluffy, flat sheet called a web. The two webs are then merged together to create one thicker web. This web is then lapped back and forth over itself to create the final, thickest web. The width of the pillow is determined by the width of this lapping.

At the end of the process, another machine cuts the continuous web into rolled pieces called a bat. The characteristics of the pillow are determined by the thickness of these bats. For example, thicker bats are heavier and create a firmer pillow. These bats are then inserted into their corresponding pillow forms and sealed. While garnetted fiber pillows might be more expensive, they are generally fluffier, higher quality and have more body. They will keep their original shape longer and stay fluffier compared to blown fiber pillows because 100% of the polyester fibers have been opened up.

Before they’re processed in any way, raw polyester fibers are often tightly bunched together and considerably less fluffy. That’s why the garnetting process creates a considerably fluffier pillow. Instead of being processed in a variety of machines, blown fibers are simply the raw polyester fibers that are blown into the pillow shell and sealed. These fibers only go through one opening process. Because they’re not processed the way that garnetted fibers are, only about 75% of the polyester fibers are opened. A positive feature of blown fibers is that this system is much faster, making these types of pillows less expensive than ones with garnetted fibers. But it also makes the pillows more easily prone to compression and lumpiness over time because the fibers have not been carefully expanded and layered to create more body. You may notice that pillows made from blown fibers appear lumpier, feel less full or do not retain their body as long as garnetted pillows.

Here at Sailrite, our selection of pillow inserts is sure to satisfy your DIY goals. In order to offer you only the highest quality products and to ensure their longevity, all of the pillow forms available storewide are made using garnetted polyester fibers. These superior products will give you the best foundation for your next pillow project. Browse our selection of indoor and indoor/outdoor pillows, the latter of which possess notable weather-resistant properties to help keep them looking great on your patio, in your boat or just about anywhere else!

We hope this blog has helped you make your decision on which pillow is ideal for your next project. If you still have questions, feel free to contact our knowledgeable customer support team via phone, email or the chat function on our website.