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Sisal, with the botanical name Agave sisalana, is a course and strong fibre which is extracted from the leaves of plant belonging to the agave family. It is traditionally used in the manufacture of such items as matting, rough handbags, ropes, cordage, dartboards especially marine rope (where good resistance to sea water is needed), and carpeting. Sisal cloth is also used to polish materials.


Sisal fibre is derived from the leaves of the plant. After harvest, the freshly harvested leaves of the agave plant are pressed in machines to separate out the fibers. Subsequently, the separated fibers are washed, dried in the sun, bleached, and combed with rotating brushes. The dried fibre represents only 4% of the total weight of the leaf. The length and diameter of sisal fibre is 80 to 120 cm in length and 0.2 to 0.4 mm respectively.

Physical Properties

– Recyclable
– Does not absorb moisture easily
– Can be dyed easily and dyed color range is quite large
– Untreated sisal exhibits higher tensile modulus and hardness than the unloaded resin
– Tensile strength is maximum at the middle of yarn while moderate at the tip
– Young’s modulus increases with fiber length
– Anti-static

Uses and Applications of Sisal Fibre

– Sisal is broadly categorized under three grades and applied in various industries according to the grades.
– Low-grade: cellulose and hemicellulose portion are mainly used
– Paper industry
– Cordage industry
Medium-grade : used in making of binder twine, ropes, bales
– Marine
– General industrial purpose
High-grade : used by blending itself with wool and acrylic for softer hand
– Carpet industry


Though cellulose is the main component of sisal fiber, it is composed of many chemical components.

Hemi-cellulose 18.1% Fat and Wax 0.5%
Lignin 5.9% Water soluble matter 1.7%
Cellulose 71.5% Pectin 2.3%

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