Sisal Rugs

Sisal is the stylish and environmentally friendly flooring choice that more and more people are welcoming into their homes and businesses. Sisal rugs are durable and can last ten years or more with proper care. Sisal fibers can be blended with other natural fibers such as wool or hemp to create an even wider spectrum of eco-friendly flooring choices.

What Is a Sisal Rug?

Sisal rugs are floor coverings made from fibers harvested from the leaves of the Agave sisalana┬ácactus. The plant is indigenous to Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula however most commercial sisal today is grown in Brazil, Kenya and Tanzania. The fibrous cords are extracted from leaf pulp through a process known as decortication.

Traditionally, sisal fibers have been used to make rope, twine and cardboard-like materials like dartboards. Contemporary interest in eco-friendly household items, however, has spurred an interest in sisal carpets and other natural sisal rugs.

A sisal carpet is basically a rug woven from sisal twine. Since sisal is a coarse material, it’s often blended with the natural fiber wool to make softer wool sisal rugs. As sisal tends to be slippery, many sisal rugs are manufactured with latex backing or bindings made from wool, canvas, cotton and other materials to help them cling to the floor better. A thin rug pad will also help keep your sisal flooring in place.

What Are the Benefits of Buying Sisal Flooring?

Sisal flooring has many advantages. In most situations, sisal area rugs are extremely resilient, and won’t show compression marks from heavy patterns of use. You can see the pattern of the weave in sisal rugs, and this gives them beautiful, complex textures that make them look handmade even when they are machine-produced

Sisal fiber is naturally stain resistant, which means you will unlikely need to use chemical products on your flooring to keep it looking beautiful. This creates a much safer environment for children, pets and those household members with chemical sensitivities. The molecular properties of the sisal fiber make it an excellent acoustic insulator, and it is a very poor conductor of electrical impulses, which means it won’t build up static electricity on dry days the way carpets made from synthetic fibers do.

Sisal is an extremely eco-friendly and affordable material. The sisal agave cactus absorbs far more carbon dioxide than it generates over the course of its life cycle and can be cultivated without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Its production is also an increasingly important part of the economy for developing African nations.

Buying a sisal rug comes with some sagely advice. Sisal is a natural fiber made from organic plant matter, therefore we recommend you choose a different fiber rug for exterior use or for flooring used in high humidity areas like bathrooms and kitchens. When sisal fibers absorb water from the air, they expand. Damp sisal can also become a medium for mildew and bacterial growth.

As sisal can be slippery, if you’re going to use a sisal stair runner or a sisal runner in other parts of your home, make sure it has a backing or binding made from a material that gives it greater grip with the floor.

If you’re looking for high-quality, durable floor coverings that are an environmentally friendly alternative to synthetic carpets, think sisal.


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