Denim Insulation: What is it and how effective is it

Denim insulation is made from post-industrial and post-consumer denim waste and cotton, which is then recycled for use in insulation.

Denim insulation is a combination of recycled jeans and post-industrial denim as well as other cotton. The fabric is shredded and treated with boric acid to make it flame retardant, and insect, pest, and mildew resistant.

Made from scraps and clippings of denim clothing, this insulation is suitable for both residential and commercial use. Construction workers use it in the same places as fiberglass or mineral wool. 

An eco-friendly and non-toxic form of insulation, denim insulation contains no formaldehyde, and does not irritate the skin or the respiratory tract like fiberglass can. Denim insulation can be twice as expensive as fiberglass, but you can create your own denim insulation at home as a DIY project using recycled jeans and scraps of cotton.

Denim insulation is sustainable because it is made out of 85% recycled content. The natural cotton fibres are 100% recyclable at the end of the insulation life, making it one of the most eco-friendly insulation products. Fiberglass insulation on the other hand can’t be reused and has to be disposed of in landfill.

Denim insulation is available in batts, which are dense matts, for walls and loose fill for blowing into attics and crawl spaces. The average R-value [a measure of how well it resists the conductive flow of heat] of denim insulation is 3.5 per inch. Denim insulation can however be more difficult to cut than fiberglass insulation, which is more malleable.

Denim insulation has higher R-value compared to fiberglass, resulting in better thermal performance, and lower energy bills. It is also known for delivering better indoor acoustics and noise reduction, rating 30% better than traditional insulation.

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living

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