Coir-Coconuts

How is coconut fabric made?

Coir fabric is made from the activated carbon from recycled coconut shell. Activated carbon has been used for centuries to purify drinking water and to absorb toxins.

Coconut manufacture

To make coir fabric the coconut husk waste that is usually discarded during the food production process is used. This is then burnt down to create charcoal and combined with polyester. It is spun in such a way that increases its surface area meaning that the warmth retention and moisture wicking are increased.

The husk is ground up by the workers to extract the fibre. From this, two types of coir fibres can be produced; white and brown. To make white coir, the fibres from the husk go through a process called ‘Retting.’ This is where the immature husks are soaked in water for 8-10 months. The water softens and loosens the fibres from the actual shell of the coconut. It is then beaten by hand to extract the longer fibres. These fibres can then be spun into yarns on a spinning wheel. White coir fibres are used mainly in ropes and door mats.

Brown Coir is produced in the same way as white coir, only it is soaked for a shorter period of time; only a few days. The fibres are stronger and more bristly and are used generally in hairbrushes. This process uses a relatively low amount of energy, meaning that it is very environmentally friendly.

Coir fabrics can be treated with surface treatments. These do not wash off or wear out like ordinary surface treatments do on regular fabrics.

Properties of Coconut

  • Good moisture absorption. 50% faster drying than polyester
  • Naturally absorbs odours without adding chemicals or treatments
  • Durable and hard wearing
  • Resistant to Salt water
  • SPF 50 UV protection
  • Vegan friendly
  • Hardest Natural fibre
  • Eco friendly and biodegradable
  • From a renewable resource
  • Lightweight
  • Machine washable
  • Naturally fit for comfort
  • Resists creases
  • Water resistant
  • Good quality
  • Performance fabric
  • Replenishes itself when washed
  • Anti-static
  • Easy-care

End uses of Coconut

  • Bedding
  • Sportswear clothing because of its ability to absorb sweat
  • Insulating Clothing
  • Ropes
  • Rugs
  • Clothes


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Kelly Mitchell

Written by Kelly Mitchell

Kelly Mitchell, extremely competent and reliable, she is currently in her third year at the University of Lincoln UK, studying Fashion. Kelly is responsible for the Fabrics, Fibers and Leathers sections of our Dictionary


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