Non Conventional Fibres Association


Botanical information

  • The fibres obtained from the coconut husk are known as Coconut fibre or Coir fibres.
  • It is also called Golden fibre due to its appearance after cleaning the coconut husk.
  • The scientific name of this seed is Cocos Nucifera, which belongs to the Arecaceae.
  • India and Sri Lanka are the major producers and exporters of this fibre, followed by Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

Agroclimatic Conditions for Cultivation

  • The natural habitat soil for coir is on the coastal belt of the tropical regions where sandy and red sandy loamy soils are predominant. Besides, it can grow well in all types of soils including sandy, laterite, swampy, alluvial, black, and saline soils.
  • The ideal soil conditions for better growth and yield irrespective of the type of soil it should possess proper drainage, good water holding capacity, unrestricted root development, aeration, and absence of rock or hard layer within 2 meters of the surface.
  • The coconut palm tree proliferates well up to an elevation of 600m above mean sea level. Although, near the equator, productive plantations of coconut can be achieved at 1000m above mean sea level.
  • A well-distributed rainfall of around 2000 mm/year is ideal for proper growth and maximum yield.
  • It requires a spacious area and adequate sunlight of about 2000 hrs/year is necessary for healthy growth.
  • For the growth and yield of coconut palm tree, the relative humidity should be more than 60% and the ideal mean temperature is 27±5OC.
  • All over the world, the total coir production is around 2,50,000 tonnes of which 60% is produced in Kerala, India. 
  • Out of the total production India tends to consume over 50% of the coir fibre produced annually .

Table 1. Proceedings Geosynthetics Asia 2000-GA2000 (May 2000), Vol 2, Pg. 207-212)

Physical & Mechanical Properties



Density (g/cc)


Tenacity (g/tex)


Rigidity of Modulus (dyne/cm2)


Diameter in μm


Breaking Elongation


Swelling in H2O(diameter)


Moisture at 65%RH


Chemical Properties







Pectin’s and related compound


Water soluble matter




Features of fibres

  • Coir fibres are naturally water-resistant and resistant to seawater.
  • It is unaffected by moisture and dampness.
  • They are elastic, possess good twisting capacity, and can retain their shape easily.
  • Coir is resistant to pests, fungi, and rot and provides insulation against temperature and sound.
  • It is tough, durable, and easy to clean.
  • It is entirely static-free.
  • It is a highly flammable fibre due to its cellulose content.
  • There are two main types of coir fibres: brown coir fibres and white coir fibres.
  • Brown fibres are extracted from mature coconuts and are thicker, stronger, and more abrasion resistant. On the other hand, white fibres are extracted from immature coconuts and are smoother and finer, but weaker.

Typical uses

  • These golden fibres are mostly used for flooring and outdoor mats, aquarium filters, garden manure, ropes, and cordages[1].
  • The white coir is used to spun into yarn and used in the manufacturing of ropes.
  • Whereas brown coir is used to make doormats, carpets, and mattresses.
  • Coir bricks are used for different construction purposes. 
  • It is also used as a reinforcement material in composites. 
  • Home décor, idols, sofas, toys, brushes, etc., use Coir fibres for the making.