Sisal fiber has been a popular material implimented in rugs and carpets
weavings for quite some time. Sisal is basically a natural fiber which
is derived from the agave plant as picture to the right. According to
wikipedia, "annual sisal production is the second largest worldwide,
after cotton." Sisal fiber is sometimes referred to as "Grass" or "Hemp," although it is not actually a hemp fiber. A very common use for sisal fiber is weaving of heavy duty rope.
In recent years, "sisal rugs" have been in very high demand. They're simple to take care of, fairly inexpensive comparitively speaking, are very durable, and most importantly, they are derived from a renewable resource.
It's no wonder these rugs have been a choice of celebrities and even featured in HGTV's 2009 Dream Home Giveaway. In a recent mtv cribs tour of UFC(Ultimate Fighting Champion) Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell's home, there was a sisal rug no more than 10 feet away from his front door (as seen in the photograph below.) The rug seen is probably about 5'x8' in size. Sisal rugs often have a latex backing to prevent them from skidding on the floor. The fibers are woven in dozens of different ways depending on who the manufacturer is, and the quality as well. However, one thing which is very consistant with these weavings is the fat border (or binding) which surround the perimeter of the piece.
Click on the image above to see Rug Rag's take on "The Iceman's" Crib.
Depending upon how much refining the fiber goes through, sisal generally has a slightly rougher feel, and is naturally a resilient light brownish shade (similar to an "antique" ivory).
To the left, American Idol Icon Simon Cowell shows off his home on MTV Cribs. His house was somewhat free of floor coverings. However, Rug Rag does congratulate Simon on his sisal area carpets... 3 pieces scattered about in different rooms.
Again, this is a very contemporary and popular look to have in a home. The wide binding is almost a staple of these types of carpets, which wraps the perimeter. It serves both decorative and utility purposes to prevent the edging from releasing the weave which is sometimes also glued together. More often than not, this binding is actually a thick cotton cloth, sometimes afixed with hand stitching.
6' x 9' Pampas Basket Sisal - Black Area Rug
- From Shop.com at fair price!
Sizes can be custom made through some companies. Common dimensions are 5'x8', 6'x9', 8'x10', 9'x12'.
Sisal is somewhat of a prickly fiber, which may be why Simon is
sometimes rough with contestants.
Something tells us Liddell would be unaffected even if his rug were made of nails...
If you're soft on the feet, you may
want to think twice about having this type of floor covering in your
home. However, if you're tough like Liddell and Cowell and like that
clean modern look with that "rugged" quality, consider clicking on the
image to the left for a solid purchasing option.