Facts About Sisal Rugs
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Facts About Sisal Rugs

We are moving towards an era where eco-friendly alternatives in every sphere of our lives have become imperative. Sisal rugs are superb in terms of beauty, durability and affordability. Find out a little more about this wonderful natural fiber.

Sisal rugs are gaining prominence the word over for being beautiful as well as eco-friendly and affordable. Have you heard about these wonderful natural fibers rugs yet ? If you have not, this is a good time to gain some firsthand knowledge. This may perhaps inspire you to redecorate your home in a most enviable fashion without burning a hole in your bank balance.

The Source

The sisal rugs are made of fibers derived from the Sisal Cactus (Agave Sisalana). A native of Yucatan, this plant is commercially grown in Brazil and some  parts of Africa. Brazil is though the leading world producer of sisal fibers.

The sisal plant lives for about 7-10 years a span during which it produces about 200-250 commercially viable leaves. Each leaf produces about 1000 fibers which are used for rope making, rugs, low cost paper, buffing cloth, and dartboards among others. Only the high grade fiber is used by the carpet industry; the medium quality goes to the cordage industry for making ropes and related products while the low grade fiber is utilized by the paper industry.

Why Sisal Is A Good Choice For Rugs And Carpets

Sisal has become a hot favorite the world over as a material for rugs and carpets for its many inimitable qualities and properties:

1. Fire resistant - no need to be treated to make it safe

2. Water resistant – the sisal fibre rugs and carpets were first used to beautify ships interiors for their natural resistance to salt water (mist) exposure; they are equally useful in places where high humidity might be a regular feature.

3. Has ability to regulate humidity in the room – the sisal fibres have the amazing property of absorbing or releasing humidity depending on climatic conditions.

4. Possesses natural anti-static properties and does not trap dust, which makes it a superb material for nursery flooring (combined with wool the sisal rugs can become very soft).

5. Beautiful natural colors – yellow and cream – though it can be dyed in any color you like.

6. Combines well with wool to create extremely beautiful, soft to touch and durable rugs and carpets.

7. Wear & tear resistant – the sisal fibres are very tough and hence best used in high-traffic areas. They can stay as good as new for years even when used extensively such as in corridors or on staircases. 

8. Hugely versatile in usage –  sisal rugs can be used to cover floors in high traffic areas, bathrooms, bedrooms, etc. and match well in both contemporary and oriental ambiance and interior décor.

9. Requires least maintenance – all it needs is regular vacuuming to look bright and beautiful for years.

10. Affordable – for all its amazing properties and beauty, the sisal rugs are quite affordable. Additionally, these superb rugs lasts a real long, long time.

Downside Of Sisal Rugs

While it is true that this is one of the most wonderful eco-friendly textile fibers known today, there are a few downsides that you need to be aware of before you decide to use it in your home or office:

1. Stains are difficult to remove – though generally stain resistant, if there is a spill and it stains, this becomes difficult to remove. If the sisal rugs are placed in high-spillage risk areas, they need to be treated with fiber sealer. If you spill anything have dry cleaning powder at hand and act immediately. The rugs will stain even if water falls on it. Hence, should not be kept where water can come in direct contact. 

2. A little rough to sit upon – as most natural fibers, this is a little rough to sit down, but it makes a superb massaging tool for the soles of your feet. If you are a cat lover, these carpets are superb material for nail sharpening of your feline friends without any worry for its wear and tear. 

3. Contracts and expands – sisal flooring expand and contract as it absorbs or releases humidity as per climatic conditions. Hence, you will need a natural fiber specialist if you want wall-to-wall carpeting.

4. Cannot be washed with water - since water stains it, you can only dry clean these rugs or carpets. 

The Verdict

Sisal rugs are definitely great flooring material for any home, given that they are eco-friendly and biodegradable which is a great plus today. Besides, you will find sisal carpets a pleasure to use in any setting you choose.

Resources and useful sites:

1. What are sisal rugs - http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-sisal-rugs.htm

2. Rugology 101 - http://www.rugsdirectblog.com/

3. New Generation Sisal Goes Outdoors - http://www.doityourself.com/stry/ara_newgenerationofs

4. Important Nursery Rug Types and Fibers Information - http://www.creative-baby-nursery-rooms.com/nursery-rug-2.html

5. Natural Sisal Floor Covering – A Buyers Guide - http://www.tonymustoescarpets.co.uk/sisal.html

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