Sisal Fibre

Sisal fibers derives its name from a small port on the coast of Yucatan from which large quantities of the Mexican fiber were once exported. It is a fiber which has gained importance over the recent years and is now in the leading position as far as production is concerned among the hard fibers.

The Sisal Plant

The sisal plant is a native of Mexico, but is now most largely grown in East Africa and in the West Indies.The plant is a perennial, and is ready for harvesting about three years after planting. The leaves grow from the base of the plant in the form of a rosette. The following years growth come from the centre of the plant, the died leaves being forced to the outside.

The Sisal Fiber

The individual strands vary from 18 to 36 inch and are white to yellowish in colour. The fiber bundles consist of ultimates which are from 1 to 5 mm in length and average 0.0244 mm in diameter so that their length/breadth ratio 100 is very low for a textile fiber, the fibers are stiff and have a broad lumen, their ends are broad and blunt and sometimes forked.

The fibers are polygonal in section, sometimes with bounded edges. The lumina are also polygonal to round in shape. Certain other fiber ultimates which are quite different in appearance also occur in sisal and are thick-walled with a narrow lumen and have pointed ends. Crystals of calcium oxalate may be seen in the parenchymatous cell of sisal and the characteristics of it.

Chemical Composition
Cellulose 65.8 %
Hemicellulose 12.0 %
Pectin 0.8 %
Lignin 9.9 %
Water-Solubles 1.2 %
Fat and Wax 0.3 %
Moisture 10.0 %