'Funeral pillow' big hit in Europe

Alappuzha (Kerala), Feb 6 (IANS) A 'funeral pillow', made in Kerala from coir and placed under the head of the departed prior to the burial, has sold nine million units in Europe, a company official said here Wednesday.

The product, launched in Europe three months ago, is also useful for the sick for the comfort it provides and the fragrance it releases to keep bad odours away from the body

"We launched the product in Europe three months ago. Since then we have sold around three million pieces per month in Europe alone. Each pillow, with a white cover, is priced at 35-40 Euros (Rs.2,100-2,800)," said T. Vijayaraj of Kollam-based Sai International Trading Company (SITCO), which displayed its product range at Coir Kerala 2013 here.

"In the West, before a coffin is put in the ground, people show their love and respect to the departed soul by placing a pillow under their head," said Gopakumar of SITCO.

The pillow, called FUNEX with a size measuring 20x30x2 cm and weighing around 200 gm, has been put up on display at the coir expo.

Based on German technology, the pillow is made of 70 per cent coconut fibres and 30 per cent natural latex, 400 gm cotton and synthetic jasmine fragrance. The perfume seeps out through a micro-capsule kept inside the pillow.

The company has forged a joint venture with a Belgian company, FX-Diffusion for the production and marketing of the product, Vijayaraj said.

Joel Lemaitre, director, FX-Diffusion, Belgium, says the pillow, which is very comfortable, can also be used by the sick.

"It is also helpful for bed-ridden people and also removes bad odour from the body," said Lemaitre.

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