Coconut fiber (Coir Fiber and extracts) usage has become very common among professionals in various industries due to its versatility. In the horticultural industry, agricultural industry, or erosion control industry, coir has established a remarkable reputation for its superiority to other available natural materials. Coir fiber is found between the husk and the outer shell of a coconut. The individual fiber cells are narrow and hollow, with thick walls made of cellulose. They are pale when immature but later become hardened and yellowed as a layer of lignin is deposited on their walls. The high lignin content (46% by weight) of coco fibers makes it naturally resistant to mold and rot and requires no chemical treatment.
There are two varieties of coir. Brown coir is harvested from fully ripened coconuts. It is thick, strong and has high abrasion resistance. Mature brown coir fibers contain more lignin and less cellulose than fibers such as Flax and cotton and so are stronger but less flexible.
White coir fibers are harvested from the coconuts before they are ripe. These fibers are white or light brown in color and are smoother and finer, but also weaker.
The coir fiber is relatively water-proof and is one of the few natural fibers resistant to damage by salt water. Fresh water is used to process brown coir, while sea water and fresh water are both used in the production of white coir.