Ekowool is made of silica fibers, it is rather different than the Chinese made Silica wick. One of the huge advantages of ekowool is the fact that it is braided. This leaves a hollow tube through the center. Though you can buy braided silica wick, it is not the same. Utilizing the hollow center allows you to stick a paper clip down the center. This stabilizes the wick while you wrap your coil; which is great for beginners. Much like cotton, ekowool wicks up e-juice faster and offers faster wicking. Though you can purchase ekowool with cotton within the center, a lot of vapers thread their own cotton yarn through regular ekowool for the same effect. Compared to silica wick, ekowool provides better wicking, better flavor, and is easier to work with.