What is Coir?

Coir is a product of the coconut tree, Cocos nucifera, and it is sometimes known as coco fiber. The substance is extracted from the hairy husk of coconuts, and used to create a variety of products such as mats, carpets, upholstery stuffing, and brushes. Coir, pronounced KOY-er, is a very coarse, stiff fiber, and it is also extremely resistant to rot and salt water, making it an ideal material for situations in which other fibers would decay.

The word comes from a Malayalam word, kayar, which is derived from kayaru, which means “to be twisted.” The Malayalam language is spoken in Southern India, particularly in the state of Kerala. The language is related to Tamil, Kota, and Tulu, among many other languages spoken in that region. For English speakers interested in trivia, “Malayalam” is among the longest palindromes in the English language, meaning that it reads the same backwards and forwards.