Ropes made from coconut husk are incredibly durable and can be used in the same manner as any other type of rope. Making coir ropes requires strength and patience as it can take several weeks to complete. For this reason, be sure to plan ahead if you need the rope within a certain time line. In this article, Tropicoco Vietnam will cover everything you need to know about coir ropes and their making. Therefore, make sure to read until the final end of this post!
Before learning more about coir ropes, Tropicoco will first introduce you to the main material used to compose them. Coco coir, also known as coconut fiber, is a natural fibrous material found between the hard, internal shell and the outer coat of a coconut. The fiber can be extracted from the husk of either ripe or unripe coconuts. Because of this, coco coir is divided into two primary types: brown and white fiber.
While brown coir is extracted from mature coconuts, white coir comes from unripened coconuts that must be soaked for up to 10 months. These two fibres are also different in terms of strength and flexibility. Even though the brown coir is thick and strong, its flexibility is limited. On the other hand, because white fiber is smoother and finer, the material has better flexibility. However, it can never be as strong as the brown one.
Coco coir ropes are traditionally made from white coir, which comes from the coconut husks harvested shortly before becoming fully ripe. Because white coir is softer than brown one, the fiber is ideal for spinning into yarn. As a result, it can be twisted into twine or rope, known as coir ropes.
Coco coir is the only natural fiber that is highly resistant to abrasion as well as saltwater. For this reason, it is an ideal material for manufacturing ropes that can be used in a marine environment. As a matter of fact, in the Maldives, coconut coir is the primary source of material used to make durable ropes for boat and house construction.
Making coir ropes is a lengthy process as it can take more than two months to produce a single batch of products. For this reason, manufacturers have to plan ahead to allow themselves time to gather and prepare the coconut husks. Also, they have to check the weather report to ensure there will be enough sunlight for the production. Without further ado, Tropicoco Vietnam will show you in detail how coir ropes are made nowadays:
The first step to make coir ropes is to collect the primary material. Coconuts that have fallen from the tree can be picked up from the ground easily. Meanwhile, those still attached to the tree need to be picked by hand or with specialized tools. While ripe coconuts are husked immediately, unripe ones need to be seasoned for a month. Because coir ropes are extracted from immature coconuts, it explains why the manufacturing process is lengthy and requires patience.
Retting refers to a curing process whereby the coconut husks are kept in an environment that encourages the natural occurrence of microbes. This action helps to decompose the husk’s pulp, allowing it to be separated into coir fibers and a residue called coir pith. While freshwater retting is used for fully ripe coconut husks to produce brown coir, saltwater retting is used for green husks to make white coir for rope-making.
Typically, workers will beat the retted pulp with wooden mallets to separate the fibers from the pith and outer skin. This separation is then completed by washing the residue from the defibering process and combing through it by hand or tumbling it in either a perforated drum or sieve. After that, the clean fibers are spread loosely on the ground to dry in the sun.
Once the fibers are completely dry, they are ready to be spun into ropes. To begin, workers separate strands of coir from the fibres by pulling a handful of coir at both ends. Then, these strands are loosely twisted into a thick yarn (wick) and wound into bundles. Based on the standard of each manufacturer, the wick can be re-spun into a finer yarn. Later, these yarns are twisted into twine, which is in turn braided into coir ropes.
This article has just delivered all the information you need to know about the making of coir ropes. Even though the process takes a long time to complete, its final products are absolutely worth the wait. If you want to read more articles like this, make sure to visit Tropicoco’s blog every day. Still have questions? Contact Tropicoco Vietnam down below to get help right away!
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