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Coir Products

Introduction
Environment concerns and biodegradability have boosted the demand for coir products. Coir is a commercial grade processed coconut husk that is used for the manufacture of a wide range of products.

Bygone is the era when coir was linked with ropes to tie cattle or stiffen the clothesline or use as the humble foot mats, with the ubiquitous `WELCOME' sign. Coir today has attained class. Today it is most wanted to furnish rooms and offices with trendy look. Coir carpets decorate floors and walls all owing to its sophistication and ethnic chic.
 
Definition
Coir is stiff coarse fiber that has been obtained from the outer husk of the coconut. The fibers range from sturdy strands suitable for brush bristles to filaments that can be spun into coarse, durable yarn. Coir has been traditionally used in the making of ropes and mats.

Coir is a flexible natural yarn that is hauled out from mesocarp tissue, or husk of the coconut fruit. Generally coir is of rich yellow in color once it has been cleaned after the removal of the coconut husk; and hence it is often called " The Golden Fibre".
Coir is the rubbery husk of the coconut shell. Being tough and naturally defiant to seawater, the coir guards the fruit sufficiently to endure months of floating on ocean currents to be washed up on a sandy shore where it may bud and mature into a tree, condition it has adequate fresh water, since all the extra nutrients it requires have been passed along with the seed. This uniqueness makes the thread fairly functional in floor and outdoor mats, aquarium filters, cordage and rope, and garden mulch.
 

The physical and chemical propeties of coir fibre are given below.

  • Physical Properties of Coir Fibre
    • Ultimate length - 0.6 mm
    • Diameter/width - 16 micron
    • Length - 6 to 8 inches
    • Density - 1.4 g/cc
    • Tenacity - 10 g/ tex
    • Breaking Elongation - 30%
    • Moisture regain at 65% RH - 10.5%
    • Swelling in water - 5% in diameter

  • Chemical Properties (Composition) of Coir Fibre
    • Water solubles - 5.25%
    • Pectin & related compounds - 3.30%
    • Hemi-Cellulose - 0.25%
    • Cellulose - 43.44%
    • Lignin - 45.84%
    • Ash - 2.22%.
 
Etymological Background
The word 'coir' has been derived from the Malayalam word 'kayar' or 'kayaru', which means the traditional entwined rope.

Uses and Applications

Coir is used in brushes, doormats, mattresses and sacking. A small amount is also made into twine. Pads of curled brown coir fibre, made by needle-felting (a machine technique that mats the fibres together) are shaped and cut to fill mattresses and for use in erosion control on river banks and hillsides. A major proportion of coir pads are sprayed with rubber latex which bonds the fibres together (rubberized coir) to be used as upholstery padding for the automobile industry. The material is also used for insulation and packaging. The major use of coir is in rope manufacture. Mats of woven coir fibre are made from the finer grades of bristle and white fibre using hand or mechanical looms. Coir is recommended as substitute for milled peat moss because it is free of bacteria and fungal spores.

Some Coir Products

Traditional uses for the resilient and durable coir fiber include rope and twine, brooms and brushes, doormats, rugs, mattresses and other upholstery, often in the form of rubberized coir pads.
  • Coir Bhoovastra Coir Bhoovastra is regarded as the complete geo textile to prevent soil erosion and promote vegetation cover. Naturally resistant to rot, moulds, and moisture, and needing no chemical treatment, coir Bhoovastra is hard and strong, and can not only protect the soil from erosion but can even be used as a protection against sea erosion, dispensing with the unsightly rocks that line sea shores and affording better protection against the onslaught of the raging sea in the monsoons. It is resistant to saline water and has longevity in high coastal regions.
  • Mulch Door Mat - A traditional coir door mat beautifies the entrance to one's home or office and help one to keep the floors clean. It facilitate to keep the dirt, grime and moisture from coming indoor.
  • Mattress - This popular, natural fibre filled mattress is carefully made from coconut husk fibres which are bound together with natural latex. The coir pad is layered between foam and polyester wadding. It offers comfort & resilience & is available in any size or shape.
  • Coir Blanket - Coir fibre stitched with PP or Jute between two netting either PP or Jute or a combination. Used in control of soil erosion.
Characteristic/Features of Coir Products
  • Moth-proof; resistant to fungi and rot
  • Provides excellent insulation against temperature and sound
  • Not easily combustible
  • Flame-retardant
  • Unaffected by moisture and dampness
  • Tough and durable
  • Resilient; springs back to shape even after constant use
  • Totally static free
  • Easy to clean.
Trade in Coir Products
Currently, the worldwide yearly manufacture of coir fiber is about 350,000 metric tons (MT). At present India and Sri Lanka jointly account for about 90% of international coir fiber production. Other main coconut growing countries, include Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

In the 1980s and 90s, international exports of coir fiber was cut down by approximately half, as Western customers moved to artificial foam and fibers. Since 1990, speedily rising domestic demand in India doubled promoting solely the Indian coir industry. As a final point, since 2001, a increasing Chinese demand for coir, a growing market for coir-based erosion control products, and the extension of coir pith as a peat moss alternate in horticulture has advanced global production and prices.

Traditionally, Sri Lanka has been the world’s largest exporter of various fiber grades, whereas India has largely exported value added products – yarn, mats, and rugs. Global trade volume for coir fiber, value added products – yarn, mats, rugs – and coir pith now stands at about $140 million per year with India and Sri Lanka respectively accounting for about $70 and $60 million of that amount.
 
 
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