Wigglesworth has long term sales and marketing arrangements with most of the larger professionally managed commercial sisal producers in the largest African producing countries of Tanzania, Kenya and Madagascar.

Commercially operated sisal farms in East Africa have centralized fibre extraction factories which use clean water to wash the fibre during the decortication process. The fibre, after drying, is then machine brushed and graded by experienced and trained staff who ensure that fibre is properly allocated to the correct grades to meet internationally accepted standards.

Wigglesworth markets sisal fibre produced by the most professionally managed farms in Africa and sells in excess of 27,000 tons per annum of quality African fibre.

Sisal plants developed in nurseries are planted in the field where they remain for their immature period of 2-3 years and once the leaves have attained a length of over 60cms are cut for the first time and processed through the centralized decortication factories.

The productive life of the Sisal Plant is between 7 – 10 years.

Historically, sisal fibre was used essentially for Agricultural Twines, primarily Baler Twine and today North America remains the largest market for this product, which is now sourced almost exclusively from Brazilian spinning mills. 

Today, African sisal is used for a range of high-quality products, including:

  • Speciality pulp and papers such as filter and condenser papers.
  • Dartboards
  • Sisal buffing cloth and geotextiles
  • High end carpets and wall coverings
  • For the reinforcement of Plaster of Paris/Gypsum products 
  • Yarns for wire rope cores, as well as for a range of handicrafts, exfoliation bath products and cat scratchers.

Sisal fibre produced in Tanzania and Kenya is packed into 250 kgs or 100 kgs bales according to customer preferences.

No.3L, UG and SSUG grade fibre is produced on all the farms that we deal with. No.3 grade is produced by several farms and only one farm is also able to produce the rarely produced No.1 and No.2 grades.

Tow No 1 is also produced on all farms we deal with and can be packed into 100 kgs and 200 kgs bales.

If required, we can also source UHDS fibre and lower grade Tow 2 fibre.

Chopped sisal fibre can be produced on a special order basis.

Madagascar Sisal

Madagascar Sisal Official Sisal Grades are as follows and are produced in 150kgs and 225kgs bales

No 3L

R - Rejections (equivalent to UG)

D - Declasse (slightly lower quality to UG)

Etoupe/Tow No 1

The sisal fibre is produced on a similar basis to East African sisal.

Brazilian Sisal

Brazilian sisal is produced on a large number of small holder farms of varying sizes averaging around 10 hectares in size, the fibre is extracted from the leaf without the use of water, on a portable hand raspadors double-brushed and baled. The quantity produced on each farm would average around one ton per week, it is collected and delivered to an exporter facility where the fibre is prepared for export.

We can supply the following grades, which are produced in 250kgs and 100kgs bales;

Type 1 DB

Type 2 DB

Type 3 DB

Type 3 common

Type 4

Reject or Refugo

Brazilian Sisal is used to make basic sisal products such as agricultural twines, general cordage, ropes and other lower quality end products. The fibre is less consistent in quality and has a higher moisture content than African farm produced sisal fibre.

A Brief History of Sisal Fibre

Sisal, or Henequen as it is known in the Yucatan peninsula area of Mexico, where it is an indigenous plant. The name Sisal originated from the port on the Yucatan from where it was exported in the early 1900’s.

Sisal is one of the coarsest of the Hard Fibres.

It is from the Agave species of plants and is a succulent which is able to grow in poor soils with minimal rainfall. Agave Sisalana is the original variety used for commercial fibre production, although over the years Hybrids have been developed in East Africa in order to increase the number of productive leaves produced during the plants life.

The first plants arrived in East Africa around 1893 and have continued to be grown on varying sized commercial farms across Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique and Madagascar, since that time. The centralised processing of the fibre, has ensured that the quality of African sisal in general has enabled it’s use in higher value and more specialised end products, such as carpets, wire rope cores, dartboards, speciality pulps, plaster reinforcement and handicrafts.

Agave Sisalana was introduced into Brazil in the late 1930’s, but it was not until the 1960’s that Brazilian production developed to support many local spinning mills manufacturing agricultural twines.

Sisal Fibre Products

Sisal Yarns & Twines

Sisal Yarns & Twines

Sisal Ropes

Sisal Ropes

Other Sisal Products

Other Sisal Products

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