September 29, 2022
Coir: Coconut Fibre

Coir: Coconut Fibre

Coir fibers can be extracted from fruit coconut. It is found between the coconut’s outer shell and the husk. This fiber’s color is called “Golden Fiber” because it has a golden hue. They are however not of golden color at first, but they become pale. Later, when fibers become harder, they turn yellowish-golden due to the lignin on their walls. It has a narrow, hollow structure.

Coir fibers are water-proof by nature and also to seawater, which is an enviable property. There are two main types of coir: brown coir or white coir. White coir can be processed with fresh or salt water, while brown coir requires fresh water.

Coir properties

It is a poor conductor of heat. It acts as a cushion against high temperatures and noise.

They are easy to clean and wash, making them durable and virtually maintenance-free.

It is not affected by fungi, molds, or other moths. It is immune to moisture, which makes it inhospitable to micro-organisms.

It will not lose its shape even after being used for many years.

There are many types of coir

Coir types – brown coir, white coir, are classified based on the stage of the fruit at the time they are extracted. It is important to know whether the coir was extracted from an immature or fully ripe coconut. The husks are not fully ripened, so white coir is less strong and softer. The husks are 100% ripened to extract brown coir.

– White coir

These husks are submerged for approximately ten months in water, as they gizmobolt are derived from immature shells. The chemical reactions of micro-organisms cause the plant tissues that cover the coir fibers to be destroyed. After that, the husks can be hand beat to separate the long fibers. The fibers are then dried in the sun and cleaned before being sent to be spun into yarn. These yarns can be used to make ropes, mats, and other useful items.

Brown coir

The husks are placed in the slow-moving water. As a result, the fibers become soft. The longer and shorter fibers can be separated. The bristle fibers are longer and the shorter fibers are called mattress fibers. First, they are cleaned and sun dried before being packed. Coir fibers have a wavy structure and high elasticity. These fibers are twisted to make ropes. The fibers are then washed with water and dried in the sun before being made into bundles. The fibers are then straightened by steel combs, and then dyed with the desired color.

How to obtain coir

Harvesting the fiber

Coconuts can be obtained from trees by climbing with a bamboo pole and a knife. The two types of coconut coir, which are different stages of the coconuts, are separated. The unripe coconuts are left to dry in the sun for approximately a month. The fully ripened coconuts can be husked immediately after being removed from the tree. After that, the seed is separated from its fruit. This work used to be done manually, but nowadays, husking machines can do it at many locations.

Retaining the fiber

Retting involves the process of husks being decomposed in salt or fresh water. This encourages the growth micro-organisms. This is when the coir fibers are separated from the husk, leaving behind a residue known as coir pieth. For unripe coconut shells, you can use salt water to retill and for fresh coconut husks.

Salt water retting calls for the unripe greenhusks to soak in saline. They are usually soaked in pits close to the ocean. This process takes between 8-10 months. This process will take less time if microbes are artificially added to the water.

Freshwater retting involves soaking fully ripened husks in pits that are filled with water at the banks of the rivers. You can also add weight to the net so that they are submerged in riverwater. This process takes approximately 6 months. Modern technology has allowed for the use of mechanical machines to ret. Unripe coconut shells are dried milled and then crushed in crushing machines. They are then required to soak in water for approximately 1-2 days before being dried again. If the husks are ripe, they can be crushed in crushing machines and then undergo the retting process for a maximum of 10 days.

Defibering process

Both manually and mechanically, defibering can be done. The manual process involves beating the retted shells with a wooden hammer to separate the fiber from the residue. They are then sorted by hand. The husks from the retted are then placed in steel drums that have beaters. These machines work with the assistance of a motor. Further, the fibers are separated by rotating drums equipped with steel spikes.

To make mattress fiber, the residue is either manually or automatically washed. The fiber is allowed to dry in sunlight.

Finalization of the fiber

Both bristle fibers and mattress fibers can be compressed using a hydraulic press. For mattress fibers, they need to be combed and rolled into loosely coiled yarns. Bristle fibers don’t require this. These yarn bundles can now be spun into the desired products by their manufacturer.

Its uses…

Coir is a natural fiber that has no salt water effect. Coir is used to make marine ropes and fish nets. Coir in white is used primarily to make ropes and mats. Brown coir can be used for doormats, mattresses, brushes, sacks and mattresses. The pads can also be used to cushion upholstery made by certain automotive companies and as an erosion control tool.