Coconut fiber

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Coconut fiber
Fiber type

Natural fiber




whitish to brown

Fiber length 500 µm (fiber bundle: 15-20 cm)
Fiber diameter 100-450 µm
density 1.15 g / cm 3
tensile strenght 131 to 220 MPa
modulus of elasticity 4-6 GPa
Elongation at break up to 40%
Products z. B. Brushes, mats, car interior trim, cords, geotextiles

As coconut fibers , also known as coir , the fibers are referred to that of the outer envelope of the coconut , the mesocarp , and recovered as natural fibers are used. Fibers from unripe fruits can be processed into yarns and thus into fabrics. Fibers of ripe fruits, on the other hand, cannot be spun due to their higher proportion of wood.


Fibers are obtained from the core coating of unripe fruits, which can be processed into yarn. These are fiber bundles that are separated from the surrounding tissue by pectin breakdown by microorganisms. The fiber content is between 32% and 44%. To do this, the mesocarp is first loosened from the stone core and then stored in water for several months to rot the pectin (called "roasting"). The brackish waters of lagoons have proven their worth for this purpose, but today tanks are often used. After this "roasting process", the fibers are traditionally loosened by tapping (today by machine) and sorted by color and fineness while still moist. Coconut fibers are traded under the name Coir. The name "coir" is derived from the two words "kayar" for rope or leash and "kayaru", which means twisted.


Coconut fibers consist of 45% lignin and 44% cellulose . As a result, the fibers are very elastic, strong and durable. In addition to their high resistance to abrasion, the fibers are also insensitive to fungal and bacterial attack and can withstand moisture for months without decomposing. Coconut fibers are also insulating, sound-absorbing, antistatic and difficult to ignite. The fibers have a density of approx. 1.15 g / cm 3 and a diameter of approx. 100 to 450 μm. With an average length of around 500 μm, the fibers are relatively short. The cell walls are thick-walled and the lumen is irregularly shaped. The tensile strength of 130 to 175 MPa and the stiffness of 4 to 6 GPa are relatively low compared to other natural fibers such as flax or ramie , but they have an extremely high elongation of up to 40%.

Coconut fiber products

Coconut fibers are used to make ropes , mats, carpets and wall coverings. Traditionally, thin strings made of coconut fiber were and are used to connect wooden parts together, especially when building canoes and houses.

Fibers from ripe and fully ripe fruit have a higher proportion of wood, so they cannot be spun and are used as filling material for mattresses and upholstery or for thermal insulation. The fibers are also used in vehicle construction , for floor mats, acupressure mats , hats, baskets, carpets and handicrafts. Due to their moisture resistance, coconut fibers are also used as geotextiles for erosion protection and as a peat-free plant substrate in horticulture, especially in hydroponics , as is coconut peat produced from fiber dust waste . More recently, coconut fibers have also been used as reinforcement elements for natural fiber-reinforced plastics .

Coconut fibers are also used to make coconut soil. The coconut soil consists of 100% organic coconut humus. It is created by using the fibers of the coconut shell. For a young plant , this soil is the perfect substitute for conventional potting soil . Thanks to thermal sterilization, the coconut fibers are free from seeds and organisms. Due to its special cell structure, coconut soil can absorb a lot of water and nutrients. In addition, it cannot be attacked by mold and offers a good supply of oxygen thanks to its loose structure.

The center of the coconut fiber industry is Sri Lanka. Other large production facilities can be found along the coastal regions of the humid tropical regions of Asia, such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and India.

Web links

supporting documents

  1. a b c d e f g A. Bismarck, S. Mishra, T. Lampke: Plant Fibers as Reinforcement for Green Composites. In: Amar K. Mohanty, Manjusri Misra, Lawrence T. Drzal, (Eds.): Natural fibers, biopolymers, and biocomposites. , Taylor & Francis Group, Boca Ranton FL 2005, ISBN 0-8493-1741-X .
  2. z. B. with greenhouse tomatoes , Katja Stückemann, There is energy in it , Agricultural weekly paper Westphalia-Lippe 43/2014, p. 43, 44.
  3. Michael Carus et al. a .: Study on the market and competitive situation for natural fibers and natural fiber materials (Germany and EU). Gülzower Expert Discussions 26, Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe eV (Ed.), Gülzow 2008, p. 126, download (PDF; 3.9 MB).


  • Amar K. Mohanty, Manjusri Misra, Lawrence T. Drzal (Eds.): Natural fibers, biopolymers, and biocomposites. Taylor & Francis Group, Boca Ranton FL 2005, ISBN 0-8493-1741-X .
  • SK Batra: Other Long Vegetable Fibers, Abaca, Banana, Sisal, Henequen, Ramie, Hemp, Sunn, Coir. In: Menachem Lewin (Ed.): Handbook of Fiber Chemistry. CRC Press, 2007, ISBN 978-0-8247-2565-5 .