is obtained from the fibre padding of coconuts. The fibres of mature and fully mature fruits contain a higher proportion of wood and are used as filling material for mattresses and upholstery. Before processing the fibres are cleaned, stored in sea water (this causes the pectin to rot – a process also known as roasting) and then dried in the sun. The fibres are traditionally loosened by tapping and are sorted according to colour and fineness. They consist of approx 45% lignin and 44% cellulose. This makes the fibres very stretchy and firm. They are non-susceptible to fungal or bacterial infestations and can endure moisture over months without starting to rot. Coconut fibres are also insulating, sound-absorbing, anti-static and difficult to inflame.
The coir core of a mattress is permeable to air and can balance moisture. The mattresses are comfortably firm yet flexible.
is a tropical tree from the palm family. The coconut tree does not grown crowns but instead develops a tuft of approx. 30 large, pinnate leaves each 3 to 7 metres long. These leaves are divided into numerous segments so that they do not offer too much wind resistance.
The tree can withstand permanently strong sea breezes and can even survive storms. Coconut trees are completely branchless. Mature trees are between 20 and 25 metres high. It thrives particularly well in sandy clays soils around shorelines and estuaries and also fares well on all fresh, non-compacted, deep and nutrient rich soils. The coconut tree needs plenty of water and is susceptible to frost.
The tree mainly grows between the 15 degree latitude south and 15 degree latitude north in an area of a average annual temperatures of 27 degrees Celsius. The average temperature of the coolest months does not go below 20 degrees. The tree needs large amounts of water and thrives in areas that experience rainfall of 1,000 to 5,000 mm per year. Coconut trees need light and only young trees can withstand semi shady positions. When cultivating young trees shading is consciously provided and they are watered in times of draught.
Coconut trees are grown all over the tropical belt. The centre of the coconut fibre industry is Sri Lanka. Coconut fibres are a renewable natural raw material and there are sufficient resources available. The name is derived from the Spanish and Portuguese word coco (meaning nut or seed). Coconut fibres are traded and referred to as coir.