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Sisal Fiber: The Natural Options

Sisal Fiber: The Natural Options

Sisal is an extremely sustainable, eco-friendly material that at Eco Bath London, we use for lots of our products because it of its versatility.  You might recognize it as a material used for carpets and rugs – in fact, it is quite fashionable for modern homes to use it because of its rustic appearance, course structure and long-lasting wear.  It is similar to jute although it is not from the same plant but both are sustainable, eco-friendly materials that are good for the environment.

Where Sisal Comes From?

Credit: Madison Inouye

Sisal comes from the leaves of the Agave plant (the sap is actually drinkable!).  It is an indigenous plant that comes from the Americas but the plant was transported to East Africa in 1893 and nowadays, more than half of the sisal produced worldwide originates from East Africa (mainly from Kenya and Tanzania). 

The perfect conditions and hot, dry climate in East Africa means that the sisal grown there is slightly different from the American sisal.  Considered the best sisal in the world, the East African sisal fibers are longer, they’re also finer than the American fibers, and they’re whiter.  This is essential because the whiteness means the East African sisal can be dyed to different colors.  Not only is the East African sisal easy to dye, it’s also a smoother yarn, different in texture to its American cousin.  Sisal is also now grown in China but their sisal is shorter and hairier, with a bigger variation in shade. 

To grow to the optimum, Sisal needs that hot, dry climate we mentioned (which is why it’s favored in Africa, the Americas and China).  When it’s cut down, it is crushed into a pulp and then woven.  The material that it produces has lots of elasticity, so it’s easy to work with.  Did you know that the world produces 300,000 tons of sisal? Up to 40% of that comes from the Americas (particularly Brazil).

What Sisal is Used For?



Sisal is commonly used for carpets and rugs, but it’s very adaptable and more recently, sisal is manufactured for lots of different purposes, such as ropes, purses, footwear, hats, bath products and more.  Sisal is now being engineered to make even more products, such as furniture and wall tiles – with so many end uses; it’s a very important material for sustainable manufacturing, and we’re sure it will continue to grow in popularity.

The Benefits of Sisal

  • Sisal is sustainable
  • Sisal is 100% biodegradable
  • Sisal is suitable for allergy sufferers
  • Sisal is a strong and durable material
  • Sisal is water-resistant and super absorbent
  • Sisal is long-lasting

So, when you choose something made from sisal, you know that you’re doing your bit to help save the planet.  Next time you want to invest in a body brush, bath mitt (all great for exfoliating your body!), nail brush or bath scrubber, consider a sisal product, there are lots of excellent sisal products available at Eco Bath London – here’s our fantastic sisal collection! Shop here 


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