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Sisal Carpet | Facts you should know.

Sisal has been used for thousands of years to make rugs and carpets.  It is a natural fiber made from the agave sisalana cactus plant which grows in semi-arid sections of Brazil, Mexico and Africa.  The crown of the plant is comprised of sword shaped leaves, and it is these leaves that are used to produce sisal fibers.  Sisal fibers are often used to make string or twine, and can also be used to produce carpets and rugs.

Sisal is stronger than most other natural fibers, which makes carpets and rugs made from sisal very durable and lasting.  They generally will outlast synthetic fiber carpeting, while withstanding heavy traffic.  Sisal is often combined with other natural fibers to make rugs, such as jute, hemp, sea grass (from China) and coir (coconut fibers.) Sisal will have a tendency to return to its natural color when exposed to prolonged or strong sunlight. In low humidity areas, sisal does not conduct static electricity as other carpeting does.

Sisal Carpet is made strictly for indoor use, although it is often found on enclosed patios.  It should never be used in areas where water or high humidity occurs, such as kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, or basements.  This is because sisal is not at all water tolerant. In fact, water based spills can permanently stain sisal because the sisal fibers will wick dirt up that is embedded in the carpeting and cause the dirt to rise to the water. Any moisture should be blotted up immediately with a dry cloth.

Although sisal is not easily damaged by sand and dirt, it should be vacuumed often so that the dirt does not become embedded in the fibers.  Vacuum Cleaners with beater bars are generally not as effective on sisal due to the weave.  A heavy suction vacuum works better.

Stain Removal on sisal is problematic.  Spills will make permanent stains if not removed immediately.  Staining liquids should be blotted, and then a solution of half vinegar and half water should be blotted onto the stain until it is removed.  Or a solution with carpet shampoo and water can be used.  Again, blot on and immediately blot up moisture.  Then dry the area with a hair dryer on the cool setting.

Carpet Cleaning is difficult with sisal. Steam Cleaning and Carpe Shampooing should never be used as sisal will stain, shrink, and mildew.  The recommended methods for cleaning sisal carpeting are dry extraction or dry cleaning.  Dry rug cleaning powders made for sisal are available.

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