Woven magnificence is what you see in a coir product. The efforts behind manufacturing the raw materials are huge and involve several processes. Coir is a totally natural, eco-friendly and exceptionally tensile fiber extracted from the nuts of coconut palms.
This natural wonder is available in abundance and finds various applications. A natural product, coir being biodegradable, environment friendly and echo proof makes it a high quality product from an eternally renewable source.
List of Coir Craft
- Tribes and occupation of the region
- Craft tradition
- Raw material
- Changes in the recent years
- Product and their uses
Tribes and occupation of the region
There are various castes and tribes in the village of Siriapur in Patnaika situated in Puri District such as Vaishya, Khandayak, Silcot, Dhobi, and Brahmins. These people are mainly farmers who do farming in the seasons suitable for farming.
The coconut palm has been eulogizedas ‘Kalpvriksha’ the all giving tree in the classics of India. The use of coconut throughout India makes it a symbol of national unity. Woven magnificence is what you see in a coir product. Coir or coconut fibre is used very artistically to make a wide range of eco-friendly toys, wall hangings, key rings, Christmas hangings, pen stands and other home decorative. Coir products are 100% natural. This craft is unique as it is produced only in Orissa and not in any other coconut rich states of India.
Raw material required for making coir toys and other coir products are very few and basic.
Coir is traditionally processed from coconut husks cured in saline or freshwater for eight to ten months by process called “Retting” for increasing the flexibility, strength and durability of fiber.
Earlier coir used to be transported from Kerela. At that time it was cheap. Nowadays, it is available in the local markets of Orissa.
The Wonders of Coir Fibre
•Resistant to fungi and rot
•Provides excellent insulation against temperature and sound.
•Not easily combustible
•Unaffected by moisture and dampness
•Tough and durable
•Easy to clean
•Totally static free
Fevicol is diluted with water and then used for pasting the fibre on the main body. After the completion of the product it is to be dipped in diluted fevicol for durability and stiffness.
Coloured wool is used for surface ornamentation of coir products.
This is used to provide proper shape and stiffness. The card board is cut into required shapes then fibreis stuck over the board.
Cotton thread is used to wrap the forms or products made of coir fibre. This helps the product to take a definite and a stable form.
Simple hand operated tools are used for making coir toys.
Two sizes of scissors are used for different purposes. Small scissors are used for cutting thread and other small things. Big scissors are used for cutting the coir fibre.
It is used while stitching; it is used for plucking out the needle from the coir toy.
It is used for stitching. The size of the needle depends on the type of work.
It is used for measurements.
Cello tape (adhesive tape)
Workers use cello tape to wrap it on their fingers so as to prevent them from being cut by the stiff coir or by thread while tying the toys.
•The coir fibre is first sorted out and separated on the basis of their colour and other similarities. For making a toy, firstly, the design is to be finalized and made on the paper.
•Then according to the design they work on the proportion of the toys.
•For simple and small products, the coir is simply tied with the thread to make desired products. Sometimes if the product is quite small for instance, a leaf, then cardboard is cut into that shape and then coir is tied on it with thread and fevicol.
A big toy or product is worked out in different parts. Different parts are made by different people and then all the parts are assembled together with the help of thread, needle and fevicol.
For example, if a monkey had to be made in coir, its legs, hands, nose, face, and tail all are made separately by different people.
•Coloured wool is used for surface ornamentation like for eyes, clothes etc., depending on the design. Use of colour wool also enhances the look of the toy. For value addition, wooden beads and metal bells are also used.
•After the completion of the toy or product, it is dipped into diluted fevicol. This is done, so that the thread stiffens up and does not open up. Fevicol solution provides better durability and stability to the product or toy. The final product may take two days to six months to complete depending upon the size of the product.
Both domestic and international markets are favorable for coir products. Coir products are appreciated all over the world. Within India, their work is being appreciated in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Kanpur and Chennai. The products are reasonably priced; therefore, it is liked by the local customers. The working process is so easy and flexible that it can easily adapt to the changes according to the changes in the demand. They also take orders and designs from the customer. It is an eco friendly product so it is easily exported to various countries like Japan, China, America and Great Britain.
Changes in the recent years
Earlier raw coir fibre was separated with the hands and the price of raw material was high but now they have machine made coir which is cheap and easily available. Keeping in mind the eco-friendly norms, chemical colours are not used or dyed coir is not used. Instead coloured thread or wool is used.
Due to the growing competition from industries, a shift from coir mats to utility and decorative products is made.
Now the business is expanding from local markets to international markets because of attractive designs and reasonable prices. Earlier this craft was only used for domestic purposes such as doormats for self use ropes etc. But now this area has been explored and addition to the existing products is made rapidly.
Product and their uses
Products made out of coir fibre are mainly decorative products. The toys made of coir are very popular as Educational products, used for teaching children in nursery and kindergarten schools. Some utility products have come into existence during recent times.
The product range consists of:
Niramani Sahoo is a lady working with coir for the past 45 years. The society she works for is “Batamangla Mahila Coir Industrial Co-Operative Society Limited’. This society provides women and girls of the village with employment along with education. The women of the village can either work in the space provided for work or can take the work home and finish a prescribed amount of work and they are then paid accordingly.
The craftsmen are happy with their socio economic status. They are getting orders from in and around Orissa. They also export their products to various countries like Japan, America etc. Due to timely design intervention the coir products are able to keep up with the growing competition.