Coir has traditionally been made in Kerala from the fibre of coconut husk. Women from poorer class and caste backgrounds in the coastal villages of Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha and Koyilandy (near Kozhikode) work in this sector. But a scarcity of fibre has affected this industry. The material is now brought across from neighbouring states.Over time, the techniques and technologies of coir production have also changed significantly, and moved from manual to mechanical. All this has impacted the industry.
PHOTO • V. Sasikumar