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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 ?
In flexural test has been determined for 1cm length of sisal, hence the test of sisal is more efficient86.
For this work, she nailed 6400 strands of sisal directly to the wall using an 80-inch grid as her guide.
Comparative study on cultivation and yield performance of Coprinus cinereus (Schaeff) Gray on sisal wastes supplemented with cow dung manure.
Numa faixa intermediaria, situaram-se o residuo do cacau (74,38%) e os residuos do G4 (62,78%), onde estao o sisal, a mandioca e o abacaxi.
The twine machine spins the sisal fibers into a thin twine.
Twine length averaged 500 feet per pound for sisal and 600 feet for manila.
With the incorporation of sisal fibres of about 5 mm length, the density initially decreased to about 0.
Country: GreeceSector: Leisure/ArtsTarget: Greek state lotteriesBuyer: Intralot SA, Austrian Lotteries, Sisal , Damco Energy , Damlot, Scientific Games Corp, OPAP , Lottomatica Group SpAComment: Analysts expect the sale to bring up to USD795.
Manner developed its burlap and sisal recycle program in conjunction with Manner Resins, which recycles more than 50 million pounds annually of thermoplastic raw materials.
Its sisal and seagrass items also had several colored borders as well, while a new braided hemp rug was borderless.