The Ultimate Guide to Sisal Rugs

The Ultimate Guide to Sisal Rugs

Sisal is one of the most popular materials for rugs. So popular, in fact, that we named our company after it! But what is it about sisal that has made it one of the most produced fibers in the world? 

Let’s find out.


Sisal is… a plant!

Sisal is a type of flowering cactus native to southern Mexico. These days, sisal is cultivated for commercial use mostly in other areas of the world such as Brazil, Vietnam, and Kenya. The sisal fibers used to make our rugs are woven from fibers taken from sisal’s long leaves. These fibers are stronger and more durable than other natural fibers like jute or coir. And because sisal is a plant, it can be sustainably grown and harvested. 

Sisal is… related to tequila!

Just when you thought you couldn’t like sisal rugs any more! The scientific name for the sisal plant is Agave Sisalana, which you may recognize as very similar to Agave Azul, aka the plant from which tequila is distilled. While we don’t recommend attempting to make spirits from your rug, the sisal plant can be distilled into a liquor similar to tequila, though it is mostly used to make things like rugs, rope, and even paper.   

Sisal is… eco-friendly!

Sisal’s eco-friendliness goes beyond the fact that it’s a plant and can therefore be grown and regrown again and again. Sisal is hardier than most plants, which means it can be grown year round in very dry and very hot locations. This means it’s not only a reliable source of natural fibers, but it does not require massive amounts of water in order to grow. 

But the fibers plied from the sisal leaf are not the only useful part of the plant. The remnants of the plant are used to feed animals, to produce electricity, and as fertilizer. Any waste not used for another purpose is biodegradable, which makes sisal one of the greenest and most sustainable materials available. 

Sisal is… very durable! 

On top of their sustainability and eco-friendliness, sisal rugs are very durable. This makes them ideal for high traffic areas like an entryway or a hallway. This also makes them well suited to any home with pets. And because sisal rugs are made from natural fibers, not only will your pet’s paws not tear up the rug, if your pet leaves a little gift on your sisal rug, it is quite easy to clean

Sisal is… very soft! 

The main selling point of sisal is its durability. However, it can’t be counted out when considering softness. While a sisal rug won’t be as soft as a jute rug—an unfair comparison, considering jute is one of the softest natural fibers—it’s still very soft, especially with a thicker and chunkier weave, like a Mali Sisal rug.

If sisal’s natural softness still isn’t enough for you, our wool sisal rugs blend sisal fibers with naturally soft wool fibers for an unbeatable combination of toughness and softness. 

Sisal is… dyeable! 

Many natural fiber rugs, like seagrass rugs, can’t be dyed. Their nonporous fibers make them resistant to dirt and staining, but that also means the color they are is the color you get. Sisal rugs, on the other hand, can be dyed to just about any color you’d like, which makes them a great option for adding a bit of custom color to match a favorite feature in whatever room you’re decorating. However, this does mean sisal rugs can stain if not cleaned promptly after a spill, so be careful! 

Sisal is… treatable! 

If staining from spills and general wear are a concern, you can treat your sisal rug with Sisal Life Protector. This treatment will seal your sisal rug to make it less absorbent, meaning spills are much less likely to turn into stains. This also makes it water resistant, which will help mitigate any risk of mold. 

Sisal is… great for cat posts!

The remnants of the sisal plant aren’t the only remnants that are great for repurposing. Once a sisal rug is cut to size, the leftover pieces are a great option for building a cat scratching post. The rug pieces can easily be cut to size with a pair of scissors, and the durable fibers mean the scratching post will last a long time. 

Sisal is… an ideal rug for any home! 

There’s a lot to love about sisal rugs. They’re sustainable, durable, and they look great just about anywhere. If you’re ready to get one of your own, check out our wide selection of custom sisal rugs


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