This section is from the "A Complete Dictionary of Dry Goods" book, by George S. Cole. Also available from Amazon: A complete dictionary of dry goods and history of silk, cotton, linen, wool and other fibrous substances,: Including a full explanation of the modern processes ... together with various useful tables.
Cocoa Fibre. Cocoa matting and cocoa carpeting are made of what
is. technically called "coir," which is the thick, fibrous husk surrounding the cocoa-nut when first plucked from the tree. This husk is spun into a small cord and the matting or carpet is woven thick and heavy and rather open in texture to permit the dust and dirt to sift through it; especially used where much rough wear is expected. These husks, which are largely imported from India and Ceylon, were formerly considered useless, but are now commercially more valuable than the nuts which they cover. Coir is particularly esteemed for ship ropes on account of its peculiar property of resisting the action of salt water, whereas fresh water makes it rotten.