From coconuts to mats – How & Where coir mats are made for
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It begins with the coconut....

Coir fibre is
100% natural
and originates in the outer husk of coconuts – it comes from part of the seedpod of the coconut palm.

When you see coconuts on sale in the shops, what you are offered is only the inner and edible parts of the seed pod.

But back on the tree, there are also outer layers – on the outside a smooth green or brown skin; then a fibrous layer that surrounds and protects the familiar hard dark-brown shell that you can buy in the supermarket.

click for closer look

Coconut trees are tall – commonly 25 metres high – and this fibrous layer around the seedpod is a strong water-resistant and shock-absorbing mesh that protects the seed from damage when it falls from that great height. Coir fibre comes from this part of the coconut.
The structure of coir fibre cells is narrow and hollow, with thick walls made of cellulose.

Mature coir fibres contain more lignin, a complex woody chemical, but less cellulose than fibres such as flax or cotton.

This makes coir much stronger, although more coarse and less flexible.

Coir fibre is relatively water-proof.

The process

After removal from the tree, the fibrous husks are soaked (retted) then beaten to separate out the long fibres. Originally done by hand, nowadays a machine provides the hard labour necessary for this process.

Next comes spinning the fibre into fine yarn, then further twisting of that yarn to make the long and very strong coir strings that are loaded onto big handlooms ready for weaving. Spinning is often still done by hand.


All our coir comes from the state of Kerala, at India's south-west Malabar coast.

The very name «Kerala» means «the land of coconuts».

The coastal areas of Kerala are a lush combination of sea, greenery, and inland waterways.

Handloom weaving always requires a combination of skill and energy, and a close eye for detail. These qualities are extra evident when weaving such a tough and robust yarn as coir.

Very large heavy-duty handlooms are used.

For our wide 3x2M coir carpets, two weavers must work together side by side on the same rug.

A cooperative product

Our One Village Coir producer partner for more than 30 years is the first cooperative society of its kind to be founded in the state of Kerala.

Some coir products have been made in Kerala for centuries, but there is a history of exploitation of workers.

Today, most coir is still made in factories that remain in private ownership, but our cooperative partner is wholly owned and controlled by those who work in it.

Our society was previously a private business before it was bought out by the artisan workers when they formed their cooperative in 1958.

Partly as a result of the introduction of synthetics, the global market for coir is less than in former times. But One Village stands in solidarity with this cooperative and its eco-friendly natural products.

Please click HERE to product information, and to order online

This society represents a big step forward for coir workers who had for many years suffered a terrible struggle for their basic human rights.
To read
more historical background please click: HERE.   [goes to external site].

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One Village Resources, Charlbury
One Village Resources, Charlbury