Sisal Rugs Buyer’s Guide
Overview | Benefits | Selecting Sisal | Gallery
To the eye, sisal rugs are very decorative, but to the touch, it’s not nearly as pleasant. They are typically found in dining rooms and living rooms, where you usually aren’t barefoot or laying on it. These rugs are recommended for high-traffic areas, such as entryways and stairs because of the durability. If you have a scratching cat, a fire place (fire sparks bounce right off), or chairs moving back and forth, these are for you! Along with being durable, they hold up well over time and are actually easy to clean up . We have found that the thicker and chunkier the sisal weave, the softer it feels on the feet. The two chunkiest 100% sisal weaves are the Sun Sisal and Mali Sisal. Mali Sisal is the largest of the looped weaves and the Sun Sisal is a close second. One complaint people have about sisals is their “wiry” feel. One way to soften these rugs is with a dense pad underneath. This will also add to the longevity of the rug itself. A good cushion acts as a shock absorber, keeping the rug looking new after many years of wear.
Real sisal carpets are made out of fibers extracted from the leaves of the agave plant which is a form of cactus. This material is produced all over the world, most commonly in Belgium, China, South America, South Africa, and Mexico. The highest quality sisal is produced in Belgium. Because it is the highest quality, it is also the most expensive. Other natural fibers that are sometimes categorized with sisals are jute, abaca, sea grass, and coir. When you choose a sustainable area rug, you are not simply buying a home accessory. You are making a meaningful statement about what you believe in. You are helping to create a world where quality, beauty, and a sustainable way of life are essential. Here are some advantages of sisal fibers:
- 100% natural and biodegradable.
- Made from infinitely replenishable resources.
- Non-toxic, antistatic, and antibacterial.
- Contain tannins which repel dust mites.
- Absorbs moisture from the air when it’s humid and releases it when humidity drops which stabilizes the smell for sensitive noses.
- Makes for hard-wearing, rustic, yet elegant rugs and carpet.
- Moth and rot resistant.
- Good insulator and noise reducer.
The quality of sisals are dictated by the types of fibers used, the weight of the yarn, as well as the weight at which it is woven. Almost all of them are backed with latex in order to stabilize the shape and texture. This also helps with cleaning. The latex backing itself stops a large majority of dirt and liquid from filtering to your floor. This makes it easier for you to remove dirt with a good quality beater brush type vacuum. We have heard that because of its solid construction, you can easily bring the rug outside to sweep, hose off, or beat with any solid object. One thing to remember when choosing a sisal rug is that they should not be used in areas where the rug will be exposed to direct moisture. Moisture can cause the sisal to become wavy and water stained. One quick home remedy for spills are simply coat the stain with salt, let it dry, and then pick the stain out with a fork.
The best way to finish a sisal rug is with a wide cotton binding. Because of the latex backing and the sheer thickness of the fiber, standard thin binding won’t work. A 3” or 5” binding will not only keep your rug from fraying, but will add accent colors that will dress up the look of the rug. The color Sunlight has been one of the most popular colors. Sisal rugs are perfect for layering. One complaint people have about sisals is their “wiry” feel. One way to soften these rugs is with a dense pad underneath. This will also add to the longevity of the rug itself. A good cushion acts as a shock absorber, keeping the rug looking new after many years of wear. If you still don’t like the feel, there are many manufacturers that use wool and synthetic products to imitate the look of sisal. Wool sisals are the most expensive, but are the most decorative and comfortable. Polypropylene sisals are growing in popularity because of their inexpensive price and durability.
At The Carpet Workroom, we have a wide selection of sisal remnants in our workroom as well as many other options for order. Please stop in to check them out!