Sisal Rugs

November 19, 2005

Sisal rugs and carpets are a sustainable option for the home and office. The sisal floor covering market is not big, but looking for your sisal area rug, matting or flooring is worthwhile if you want something different, biodegradable, and durable.

If you have no idea what sisal rugs and sisal carpet are, then you’re not alone. But interior designers are in on the secret of sisal, and so should you. A sisal floor covering is environmentally friendly because of its sustainable growth habits, and because it doesn’t off gas, it can’t pollute your home or office environment.

What Is Sisal?

Sisal is a plant that is grown in semi-arid regions of the globe. The most common locations to grow sisal are Brazil and Africa, due to adequate environment conditions. Sisal is a natural fiber that is derived from the agave sisalana cactus plant. The fibers, up to three feet long, can be harvested by hand from the plant, and are considered to be much stronger than jute or coir.

This strength allows it to be a great material for carpeting and rugs. So what pros do you find with sisal carpets? The pros of using sisal:

  • Durable
  • Anti-Static
  • Non-Toxic
  • Colorfast
  • Easy to Clean
  • Biodegradable

And the Cons are:

  • Can not be used outdoors
  • Is not comfortable for sitting on

The Benefits Of Using Sisal Rugs

When choosing natural fibers, you are choosing to provide a healthier environment for youself and your family. Sisal rugs and carpets allow those prone to allergies a lessened chance of sneezing and other reactions. And since they are not produced with carcinogenic chemicals and materials, you don’t have to worry about exposing your family and friends.


Because of the natural fibers, a sisal floor covering will provide natural humidity in the area that it is used. Static to build up is uncommon with sisal, or other natural fibers. In an office setting with computers, this can be a terrific addition.

Since there are no artificial colors used in sisal floor coverings, you don’t need to worry about the overall appearance fading. Any sunlight will only help to subtly change the color. Items sitting on sisal area rugs and carpets won’t stain.


Sisal Rug Upkeep

Caring for sisal flooring is quite simple as well. Although you should not introduce any moisture to the floor, you can vacuum it regularly. Steaming the sisal is not recommended. If you should have a spill, cleaning sisal rugs with a small bit of club soda should do the trick. Follow that up with a nice shot of hot air from a blowdryer or fan to dry the area.


Again, the introduction of moisture is not good for sisal rugs, so outdoor use is not recommended. Moisture can build up in the rug and damage the overall integrity, as well as lead to mold.


The natural fibers may not be the most comfortable surface for sitting, but your feet will love the instant massage as you walk over the surface. If you still want to use sisal, then sisal area rugs might be an option, having your guests in chairs instead of directly on the floor.


Sisal flooring is becoming a design element, as well as a sensible choice for a sustainable environment. Many retailers will send you a sample of the material so that you can be sure that it meets your needs, but with all that has been described, you’re sure to look into sisal rugs and carpeting.

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