Coir

Coir fibre is extracted from the husk of coconut fibres. It is of two types: brown fibre, which is obtained from mature coconuts, and finer white fibre, which is extracted from immature green coconuts after soaking for a period of 10 months. Coir is the fibrous material found between the hard, internal shell and the outer coat of a coconut. The fibre measures up to 35 cm in length and has a diameter of 12 – 25 microns. Coir has a high concentration of lignin which contributes to its strength thereby making it lesser flexible than cotton and unfit for dyeing. It is mainly produced in India, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

Red coir is used in floor mats and doormats, brushes, mattresses, floor tiles and sacking. It is also used in making twine. White coir is used in the manufacturing of rope. Brown coir is used in sacking, brushes, doormats, rugs, mattresses, Insulation panels and packaging. In Europe, the automobile industry upholsters cars with pads of brown coir bonded with rubber latex. Geotextiles made from coir mesh are durable, absorb water, resist sunlight, facilitate seed germination, and are 100% biodegradable. Coir is a strongly recommended substitute for sphagnum moss because it is free of bacteria and fungal spores, and produces good results without the environmental damage caused by peat mining. Coir is also useful to deter snails from delicate plantings, and as a growing medium in intensive glasshouse (greenhouse) horticulture.

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