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1. a Mexican agave plant, Agave sisalana, cultivated for its large fleshy leaves, which yield a stiff fibre used for making rope
2. the fibre of this plant
3. any of the fibres of certain similar or related plants


A durable natural fiber used as a floor covering, derived from leaves of the sisal plant.



(also sisal hemp), a stiff, coarse natural fiber obtained from the leaves of the agave plant (Agava sisolana), which itself is sometimes given the name “sisal.” The fibers are separated from the fresh leaves without any special treatment; the fiber yield is about 3.5 percent. The elementary sisal fibers are 2-2.5 mm long, whereas the fibers used for industry are 0.6-1.5 m long. The fibers are shiny and yellowish. Sisal is not as sturdy as abaca and is more brittle than hemp. It is used to make ropes, nets, bristles, and other items. World sisal production is gradually being curtailed owing to the increased use of synthetic fibers. In 1972 production was about 604,000 tons. The main exporters of sisal are Tanzania, Kenya, Angola, and Brazil. The leaves of the related species A. fourcroydes yield the fiber henequén, which is produced in Mexico and Cuba.


Siniagin, I. I. Tropicheskoe zemledelie. Moscow, 1968. [23–1053–]


Agave sisalina. An agave of the family Amaryllidaceae indigenous to Mexico and Central America; a coarse, stiff yellow fiber produced from the leaves is used for making twine and brush bristles.


An organic fiber from the leaves of the sisal plant; used in making rope and cordage; sometimes mixed with plaster.


(Streams and Iteration in a Single Assignment Language) A general-purpose single assignment functional programming language with strict semantics, automatic parallelisation and efficient arrays. Outputs a dataflow graph in IF1 (Intermediary Form 1). Derived from VAL, adds recursion and finite streams. Pascal-like syntax. Designed to be a common high-level language for numerical programs on a variety of multiprocessors.

Implementations exist for Cray X-MP, Cray Y-MP, Cray-2, Sequent, Encore Alliant, dataflow architectures, transputers and systolic arrays.

Defined in 1983 by James McGraw et al, Manchester University, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Colorado State University and DEC. Revised in 1985. First compiled implementation in 1986. Performance superior to C and competitive with Fortran, combined with efficient and automatic parallelisation.

Not to be confused with SASL.

E-mail: John Feo <>, Rod Oldehoeft <>.

David C. Cann has written an Optimising SISAL Compiler (OSC) which attempts to make efficient use of parallel processors such as Crays.

Latest version: 12.0, SISAL 1.2.

["A Report on the SISAL Language Project", J.T. Feo et al, J Parallel and Distrib Computing 10(4):349-366 (Dec 1990)].
References in periodicals archive ?
And if all you've got is a picnic or card table to use outside, then place it on a sisal rug to create a dining area, and cover it with a floor-length table cloth.
This is a coordinating line that includes a cotton chindi rug, a hosiery knit chindi rug, a sisal rug with a plaid border, a silk and cotton throw, a pillow and placemats.
99 in a 5-by-8, and the Synthetic Sisal Rug made of an olefin/wool blend was retailing at $199 for an approximate 5-by-8.
Hellenic will display eight new wool sisal rug designs, border rugs, and handknotted Gabeh, Indo Nepal and Persian designs with a retail price under $299 for a 6-by-9.
Hellenic will display eight new wool and sisal rug designs, along with kilim and flokati textiles in seven new colors.
A 4-by-6 sisal rug with rubber backing and a floral border was shown with a suggested retail of $198.
The company which supplies independent retailers and contractors with floor coverings from carpets to sisal rugs for homes and workplaces, said the first ten weeks of 2005 had shown a positive trend throughout.
If your apartment still has brown or gold shag carpeting, disguise it with natural fiber sisal rugs.
The carpet was in an acceptable condition, but even so I decided on a more contemporary look with a pair of inexpensive Sisal rugs.
Katherine Ramm's 10 years in interior design sparked her interest in a historic craft, sisal rugs.
com SOFTEN THE LOOK, NATURALLY To contrast with the black, we used linen chairs around the dining table and woven sisal rugs on the floor.
Recent Oriental rug arrivals include Persian runners, colourful choices from Afghanistan and India as well as a choice of modern striped sisal rugs and runners and a brand new chenille rug range.