Sisal carpet is a natural-fiber carpeting option that is made from the leaves of a type of cactus called agave sisalana. The leaves are woven to form a sort of mat, which has a unique look. However, there are a number of other carpeting options that look similar to sisal, some of which have natural fibers and each of which has some different virtues for your home.
Seagrass is another natural fiber, like sisal, and is made from a reed-like grass which grows in South Asia. The fibers are smooth and slightly shiny and form a rather hard mat when woven. The fiber color is greenish, though this fades to brown over time. While sisal can be dyed, seagrass typically isn't. Seagrass is best known for being durable and both stain and water resistant. It also hides dirt easily and can be vacuumed or swept clean.
Jute is made from the stalks of several types of similar plants. The fibers of the stalks form coarse threads that, when spun, create a strong yarn. Jute carpeting is soft -- softer than sisal or seagrass -- and feels similar to cotton. Jute blends are even softer. Though the fibers are strong, jute is best for low traffic areas, and heavy furniture can cause indentations on a flat weave. However, it's not difficult to clean and can be vacuumed.
Sisal wool carpet has a combination of both sisal fibers and natural wool, and different types of carpet fiber have different ratios of sisal to wool. The resulting carpet looks very similar to ordinary sisal. However, wool is one of the softest and most luxurious options for carpeting, and a sisal wool blend is much softer feeling than ordinary sisal, which is its main virtue. Wool also has some moisture-resistant properties, which can be appealing.
Synthetic sisal carpeting is designed to imitate the look of real sisal carpet. However, it's made from polypropylene, a plastic, rather than a natural fiber. It's suitable for areas that may get wet, as it resists warping and molding better than natural fibers. It is also easy to clean. While sisal is not a good choice for outdoor use, synthetic sisal won't be damaged by being outside. Synthetic sisal carpet can be purchased in a variety of colors.
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