SISAL is more than a rope

The undiscovered potential of this natural fibre

From the door mat at the entrance of the house, to the cat’s scratching tree, to the cord for gardening – sisal fibres are omnipresent in everyday life. In terms of production volume, it is the fifth most important plant fibre in the world, yet sisal remains almost unused as a textile. The material which comes from the leaves of the agave plant seems to be too scratchy and hairy. Isabella Monaco set herself the goal of helping the underrated fibre gain new fame and to bring it out of the shadow of its unglamorous existence. In doing so, it aims not only to exploit untapped potential, but also to create an alternative to environmentally harmful synthetic materials.

„We allow synthetic materials to eclipse the natural ones but this is one of the biggest mistakes we can do as designers. When we create object, we have to consider the morality of it.“ Isabella Monaco, designer

Tear-resistant, biodegradable and naturally mould-resistant, sisal has a number of attractive properties. Monaco experimented with hydrogen peroxide and sodium bicarbonate to make the material smoother while maintaining ist robustness. As an unexpected side effect of this “cotonization”, as she named the process, the threads became lighter. As a result, the subsequent dyeing with natural pigments also had a rapid effect. Delicate pink, bright turquoise and accents in a subtle light yellow give the sisal fibre a new look. Finally, the sisal fibres are combined with sustainably produced cotton threads. Woven in a traditional Japanese technique, Monaco proves once again that nature still offers many surprises: Sisal, More than a Rope.