Need a natural looking floor covering that is durable, neutral in color and rich in texture? Consider handsome natural fiber offerings from vendors and price ranges from Ikea and Target to Pottery Barn, West Elm all the way up to exquisite high-end producers such as Stark Carpets. And now the usually monochromatic rugs are getting even more texture in the form of historic and bold diamond patterns.
Sisal (pronounced “sigh-sal”) is a very popular natural fiber for area rugs and carpets. Along with similar fibers made from jute, hemp and coir, sisal fibers start out naturally as the tough leaves of plants grown in places like Africa, Mexico and South America.
Sisal originates from the agave plant, which is also used to produce tequila and high-fructose sweeteners. The fibers are produced by spinning the processed plant leaves into a thick but flexible yarn.
Resource Partners, a noted rug and carpet trade source for interior designers and decorators, wrote an article about sisal, its history and introducing a classic and formerly exclusive diamond pattern that is newly available. A great way to introduce another layer of pattern into an already richly textural and earthy rug, the diamond pattern in a sisal rug adds a bold graphic touch to both traditional or modern environments.
Excerpted from their article:
“Sisal rugs have a very rich cultural history. An Egyptian sisal rug is the one with the longest history and goes back all the way to the start of civilization.
Sisal is a very durable and soft material whose fibers are spun into a thick and supple yarn that is woven into complex patterns used to create area rugs and broadloom.
Sisal's natural attributes make it fire retardant, sound absorbing and anti-static. Sisal is much stronger than most other natural fibers that are found in rugs, such as flax, jute, and hemp.
As the green movement has grown, so has the renewed resurgence of sisal.”
Photos courtesy of Resource Partners.