all about sisal
Sisal is farmed in the sub tropical regions of Mexico, Brazil & East Africa. No pesticides or chemical fertilizers are used in sisal production, and most weeding is done by hand. The sisal (Agave) plant is typically around 250cm in height and can produce up to 250 leaves in its lifetime.
Course sisal fibres are extracted by an arduous process of crushing and scraping the leaves. The sisal fibres are then washed by hand or machine before being hung in the sun to dry. Next the sisal fibres are beaten to soften them and are then bailed, ready to be dyed and spun. These bales are then exported to countries around the world to be manufactured into a variety of products from sisal rugs to ropes.
Every 100kg of leaves yields just 5kg of sisal fibre. It takes about 800 leaves to make one bail of twine. The largest producer of sisal fibre is Brazil however the world's highest quality sisal comes from East Africa (Madagascar, Kenya and Tanzania) where the fibres are generally longer and finer than sisal fibres from other countries.
Sisal is not the same fibre as coir or jute. Sisal is stronger and more durable than these and other natural fibres.
Why Use Sisal For Making Rugs?
Sisal rugs have a stunning appearance and can add a wonderful natural feel to any room in the house. Covering a hard floor with a sisal rug adds warmth whilst giving a rustic feel to a country home and a stylish minimalist look to a modern city home. This is why sisal rugs have become a favourite of interior designers.
The different weaves and patterns available are unique to this fibre and come in many natural colours. The look of a genuine sisal rug is therefore difficult to replicated using other natural or synthetic fibres.
As well as its attractive appearance sisal is the most durable and hard wearing of all natural fibres making it an ideal material for making carpets and rugs. It has excellent durability for both residential and commercial applications. Sisal also has a natural resistance to water and don’t trap dust. They also don't build up static, are inherently insulating and are not easily flammable. Another interesting attribute of sisal is that it can absorb humidity helping to keep your room cool in the summer months.
No pesticides or chemical fertilisers are used in sisal production and is considered as one of the most environmentally friendly carpet / rug yarns as it is 100% natural and only takes just three to five years to re-grow.