Coir Fiber is one of the oldest natural fibers found in the world today. It has been in use for more a millennium though various coastal regions. Many household and industrial products are being made from this fiber. Coir is obtained from the fruit of the coconut tree. Strong water resistant fibers cover the inner fruit of the coconut. The inner white flesh of the fruit inside is covered by brown hard kernel. The fibrous layer forms a strong, shock-absorbing mesh which protects the seed from mechanical damage and is water-resistant. The individual fiber cells are narrow and hollow, with thick walls made of cellulose. They are pale when immature but later they become hardened and yellowed when a layer of lignin, a complex woody chemical, is deposited on their walls. Mature brown coir fibers contain more lignin and less cellulose than fibers such as flax and cotton and so are stronger but less flexible. White fiber is smoother and finer than the harder brown fiber but is also weaker. The coir fiber is reliably water-proof and is the only natural fiber resistant to damage by salt water.
Coconut trees are found throughout the coastal regions of different parts of the world. Some of the main regions include the Indo-Malaysian region, on the Ivory Coast, Dahomey and Togo, West Africa and in Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania and Central and South America. Coconut palms are among the most useful plants grown by people, providing valuable commodities in the form of copra (dried coconut flesh) and oil, as well as building material, thatch, food, drink and ornament. Total world coir fiber production is 250,000 tonnes. The coir fiber industry is particularly important in some areas of the developing world. India, mainly the coastal region of Kerala State, produces 60% of the total world supply of white coir fiber. Sri Lanka produces 36% of the total world brown fiber output. Over 50% of the coir fiber produced annually through the world is consumed in the countries of origin, mainly India.
Source by Christopher Mantford