Sri Lankan bristle fiber is in high demand everywhere on the planet for its long pure fibers, extracted exclusively using the Ceylon drum system. The increasing interest in using natural fiber in technologically advanced manufacturing processes is additionally driving a replacement surge within the Sri Lankan coir industry.
Among the country’s most wanted coir, exports are coco peat, which is getting used worldwide as a natural and eco-friendly growing medium in greenhouses, farms, homes, and gardens.
Coco peat is available in blocks, bails, discs, and grow bags, and has high water retention qualities and air porosity, which allows for the faster development of plants.
There is also another Sri Lankan coir product that is high in demand in China, even in European countries, and that is the coir net or geotextile and bio-log, which is employed to regulate erosion in fields, gardens, and riverbanks.
Mainly exported to China, the U.S.A., and Europe, coir nets, and bio-logs manufactured in Sir Lanka have a mounting demand, which the Sri Lankan exporters are failing to satisfy.
The use of coir fiber pith as a soil conditioner and organic compost is an emerging trend in horticulture and agriculture. Rubberized coir fiber pith molded into pots is employed widely as a planting base for home plants also for orchids in flower cultivation.
However, the foremost exciting development for Sri Lankan coir exporters comes from the worldwide vehicle industry. The utilization of natural coir fiber as many vehicle parts have been under investigation for the last decade. Sri Lankan coir is already used in the manufacturing of seat tops in high-end Mercedes Benz models.
Two other major vehicle manufacturers, the Ford Motor Company and Scotts Miracle Grow, are also researching the utilization of coconut fiber as reinforcement for modeled plastic parts to scale back the usage of petroleum. A mixture of coconut coir with plastic makes the fabric lighter in weight and reduces the dependency on petroleum, making the combined product more natural-looking and flame retardant.
Coir’s growing use within the industry stands as a grand prospect of growth for Sri Lankan coir manufacturers, who would be ready to seize the growing new market with the proper technological assistance. Yet, the appropriate technical support is that the most missing ingredient among Sri Lankan coir manufacturers. Although Sri Lankan coir product exporters earn nearly US$147 million in export revenue on average, their chief exports include raw fiber and coco peat with little or no value addition. Despite its favorite position within the global coir market, Sri Lankan coir exporters tend to bring home comparatively less revenue against their competitors in India thanks to a scarcity of useful addition in their export items.
For the nearly 35,000 workforce coir industry, employing equivalent traditions and technologies used almost 100 years ago, training, and technological advancements would come as a breath of life at the proper moment.