Sisal, more than a rope


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- story by Isabella Monaco


The concept of this project is to recontextualise sisal, now seen as a rough material, in a more refined fibre. The material is stuck in traditional production and applications (ropes, carpets, etc.), which is why designer Isabella Monaco thought that new production techniques can lead to new uses of sisal.

In the first phases of the project, Monaco started researching how to change the structure and shape of the sisal, while still keeping its properrties (strong, 100% recyclable, resistant, biodegradable, non-toxic, mould-resistant). In the second phase, Monaco experimented with combining hydrogen peroxide and bicarbonate of sodium, turning the fibres softer and whiter. After this process, which she named ‘cotonisation’, Monaco brushed the fibres, selecting the longest ones. After dying these with natural pigments, she applied an ancient technique used in Japan to make a thread which she used to create a fabric.

Material Properties