Coir is a 100% natural fibre extracted from the husk of coconut and used in various building supply products – including entrance mats! Coir is the fibrous substance found between the hard internal shell and the outer coat of a coconut. The structure of coir fibre is narrow and hollow, with thick walls made of cellulose. Mature coir fibres contain more lignin (a complex woody chemical) and less cellulose than fibres like flax, or cotton; this makes coir stronger, albeit less flexible, than those fibres.
Brown coir (made from ripe coconut) is used in upholstery padding, sacking and horticulture. White coir, harvested from unripe coconuts, is used for making finer brushes, string, rope and fishing nets. Red coir is the variety used for tougher duty jobs, like entrance mats, brushes, mattresses, and even floor tiles! Pads of curled brown coir fibres are made by a machine technique that mats the fibres together called needle-felting. These pads are then moulded and cut to shape for their various uses.
Coir comes from the thick middle layer of coconuts (called mesocarp). The fibers are 100% organic and biodegradable. The fiber is impervious to rain and seawater, which is nature’s way of protecting the coconut seed. Because of these strong, durable coir fibers, a coconut can float in the sea for long periods of time and the fruit of the coconut will still be fresh. Harvesting of coir is based in rural India and Sri Lanka. The state of Kerala, also known as the ” land of coconuts”, is the largest producer of coir in India, yielding more than 75% of the total production. Other producers include West Africa, Central America, and South America.