Looking For Sisal Fabric

artesian79

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I'm a volunteer at a non profit (501c(3)) cat shelter . We typically place about 250 cats a year and have room for about 200 cats spread across several rooms. Our cat trees get a lot of use! They currently need to be refurbished. I would like to use sisal fabric to replace areas of the carpet and sisal rope as it will last longer and be easier to apply now, and reapply in the future.

I cannot find a supplier of natural sisal fabric without any backing that I can order by the yard, vs. by the ton. I did finally find Sisal Rugs Direct, but those remnants have laytex backing. Even if that wasn't an issue, we have several trees, and at $35 for 3 strips of 12" x 18", it isn't affordable for us.

Has anyone found a supplier for sisal fabric without backing, and hopefully at a lesser cost? I have talked with local fabric and carpet stores but they really don't know what I'm talking about.

If anyone can point me in the right direction, I'd really appreciate it and you'll be helping to make a lot of our furry friends happy.
 

lalagimp

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Look for jute as an alternative and see if you get any better results
 
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artesian79

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Thank you for your response. Looking for jute brings up burlap which isn't woven very tightly and is sometimes a synthetic. It did, however, introduce me to some new sites to search for sisal.

When I see 10lbs listed in regard to sisal I assume that implies the tightness of the weave. If this is correct do you have any idea how many threads per inch cat sisal is?
 

Tobermory

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I also volunteer at a local cat rescue and have had the same problems. I’ve been unable to find sisal fabric anywhere except a place in Australia. I recovered one my scratching posts at home with sisal rope that I bought at a local coop and I paid way too much—and it takes an unbelievable amount of rope to wrap a large scratching post! I also mistakenly bought some sisal that had been oil treated and had to return it. It smelled so bad I couldn’t even have it in the house.

Two ideas that I haven’t tried myself:
  • Search for rope supply stores online and call them to see if they know where you could find sisal fabric. Here’s one I found, but there are lots of them: www.ropeandcord.com.
  • Experiment with short lengths of log instead. A local tree service might be able to help you out. We just had a tree removed and they shredded most of it on-site and hauled the big segments away to the local recycling center that takes yard waste. That could be another source. We get mulch from there but they might let you have the pieces before they’re shredded. Or look for fallen trees in local forests! If you’re handy or know someone who is, you could secure the log upright to a base. Or you could simply lay it flat and see if the kitties would use it that way.
I looked for a variety of solutions but ended up buying a couple of these. They work for the small to medium cats but aren’t satisfying for the big guys.

 
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artesian79

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Hello! Thank you for your reply.

I found the same person in AU! Yesterday I chatted with one US based site that imported fabric from Belgium but the minimum purchase was too big. I don't know why this is so difficult. The manufacturers using sisal frabric certainly don't weave it.

I found Harbor Freight to have the best pricing on sisal rope around here - Cincinnati, OH. I even got lucky and found it on sale, but their normal price was still better than anything else I found online or B&M. It was 1/2" x 100' for 4.99. I didn't buy nearly enough. I think the reg price is 6.99.

I find the following Scratching Post excellent. I've gotten it in the $3x.00 range in the past. Notice the sisal fabric!

SmartCat The Ultimate Scratching Post

I see that Chewy has a house brand at

Frisco 33.5-in Scratching Post/Tower, Cream

I haven't used it. Ours are 33.5 tall and the base is 15.5. We have a large cat who uses it. All but our "at an angle" cardboard scratcher uses them. As for the rescue , it needs to be providing height for vertical space as well.

I'm starting to think I can buy a new 5' tree for less than what this is costing.

I did find a yucky quality carpet reminant at Home Depot. I'm going to see if the cats will scratch the back side of it. Buying binding tape added cost.

If anyone else is in the Cincinnati area and looking for sisal frabric, would you like to share a shippment with me? I think the size was 37' x 3 yards for about $120.

If anyone else can help pls speak up!
 

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Online Fabric Store:
Here's an item called Sultana Burlap fabric. Sold by the yard. This has been cleaned and is odor free. This is 11 oz burlap. 59" wide. $4.26 per yard and price drops at 15 yards. Natural "color" is less expensive than other colors.

Same website has Sagless burlap by the yard. This is 17.2 oz burlap and is more densely woven than the Sultana. 36" wide. $5.95 per yard, price drops at 25+ yards.
This is considered to be good for uphostered furniture... I think it is still scratchy like all burlap. This should be precleaned and odor free.
There is a page about burlap fabric here.

You can order 4" x 4" samples of either for $2.50. I think orders containing ONLY fabric samples ship free.
Shipping is $7.49 flat rate up to a $50 order and free shipping above $50.

This seems a lot more reasonable than ordering in bulk. Ordering a 4" sample of each product sounds like the way to start unless you order a yard and test it in use.
 

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Hello! Thank you for your reply.

I found the same person in AU! Yesterday I chatted with one US based site that imported fabric from Belgium but the minimum purchase was too big. I don't know why this is so difficult. The manufacturers using sisal frabric certainly don't weave it.

I found Harbor Freight to have the best pricing on sisal rope around here - Cincinnati, OH. I even got lucky and found it on sale, but their normal price was still better than anything else I found online or B&M. It was 1/2" x 100' for 4.99. I didn't buy nearly enough. I think the reg price is 6.99.

I find the following Scratching Post excellent. I've gotten it in the $3x.00 range in the past. Notice the sisal fabric!

SmartCat The Ultimate Scratching Post

I see that Chewy has a house brand at

Frisco 33.5-in Scratching Post/Tower, Cream

I haven't used it. Ours are 33.5 tall and the base is 15.5. We have a large cat who uses it. All but our "at an angle" cardboard scratcher uses them. As for the rescue , it needs to be providing height for vertical space as well.

I'm starting to think I can buy a new 5' tree for less than what this is costing.

I did find a yucky quality carpet reminant at Home Depot. I'm going to see if the cats will scratch the back side of it. Buying binding tape added cost.

If anyone else is in the Cincinnati area and looking for sisal frabric, would you like to share a shippment with me? I think the size was 37' x 3 yards for about $120.

If anyone else can help pls speak up!
Good to know about Harbor Freight. I hadn’t thought about that and there’s one here in town!

I bought two of those gorgeous Smart Cat scratching posts for my cats and they ignored them completely and use the cheap ones. Little ingrates. I donated them to the place I volunteer. The FIV+ kitties are all big males right now and they appreciate them. :)
 

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If you're trying to find something like the Ultimate Scratching Post (which I have,) it may be difficult. This is the only place I saw what looks to be the exact fabric in my own searches:

Cat Scratching Material - Feline Sisal - DIY Cat Scratcher - Repair Scratching Post - Sisal - Sisal Carpet - Replacement Cat Scratch Pad


However, in looking at other threads, it seems someone else found a good source for some sisal fabric and recommends it highly. I'm not as sure that it is the same exact weave as the Ultimate, and it has a rubber backing (which the site says is safe,) but it looks to be another great option. A remnant roll is only $34:
Sisal Remnants (10 lb)

Here's the thread:
Sisal: where to buy

Although Jute and Sisal are not the same thing (sisal is made from the agave plant, and jute from the jute plant,) the are both fairly stiff fabrics, and not used for much other than rugs, so that might be why it's hard to find them without backing. Jute rugs wear down much faster than sisal, though, so I'd think it would be a poor alternative to the fabric you're trying to locate. I have actually not see many cat trees covered entirely in sisal, except for the posts, but I think this is a great idea for a DIY! Maybe my next cat tree project will use some of these sources because my cats ADORE the Ultimate Post. Let me know how your cat trees go!
 
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My next scratching post will be Duck Canvas/ Duck Fabric. Holds up really well to scratching.
 
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artesian79

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Online Fabric Store:
Here's an item called Sultana Burlap fabric. Sold by the yard. This has been cleaned and is odor free. This is 11 oz burlap. 59" wide. $4.26 per yard and price drops at 15 yards. Natural "color" is less expensive than other colors.

Same website has Sagless burlap by the yard. This is 17.2 oz burlap and is more densely woven than the Sultana. 36" wide. $5.95 per yard, price drops at 25+ yards.
This is considered to be good for uphostered furniture... I think it is still scratchy like all burlap. This should be precleaned and odor free.
There is a page about burlap fabric here.

You can order 4" x 4" samples of either for $2.50. I think orders containing ONLY fabric samples ship free.
Shipping is $7.49 flat rate up to a $50 order and free shipping above $50.

This seems a lot more reasonable than ordering in bulk. Ordering a 4" sample of each product sounds like the way to start unless you order a yard and test it in use.
Online Fabric Store:
Here's an item called Sultana Burlap fabric. Sold by the yard. This has been cleaned and is odor free. This is 11 oz burlap. 59" wide. $4.26 per yard and price drops at 15 yards. Natural "color" is less expensive than other colors.

Same website has Sagless burlap by the yard. This is 17.2 oz burlap and is more densely woven than the Sultana. 36" wide. $5.95 per yard, price drops at 25+ yards.
This is considered to be good for uphostered furniture... I think it is still scratchy like all burlap. This should be precleaned and odor free.
There is a page about burlap fabric here.

You can order 4" x 4" samples of either for $2.50. I think orders containing ONLY fabric samples ship free.
Shipping is $7.49 flat rate up to a $50 order and free shipping above $50.

This seems a lot more reasonable than ordering in bulk. Ordering a 4" sample of each product sounds like the way to start unless you order a yard and test it in use.
Online Fabric Store:
Here's an item called Sultana Burlap fabric. Sold by the yard. This has been cleaned and is odor free. This is 11 oz burlap. 59" wide. $4.26 per yard and price drops at 15 yards. Natural "color" is less expensive than other colors.

Same website has Sagless burlap by the yard. This is 17.2 oz burlap and is more densely woven than the Sultana. 36" wide. $5.95 per yard, price drops at 25+ yards.
This is considered to be good for uphostered furniture... I think it is still scratchy like all burlap. This should be precleaned and odor free.
There is a page about burlap fabric here.

You can order 4" x 4" samples of either for $2.50. I think orders containing ONLY fabric samples ship free.
Shipping is $7.49 flat rate up to a $50 order and free shipping above $50.

This seems a lot more reasonable than ordering in bulk. Ordering a 4" sample of each product sounds like the way to start unless you order a yard and test it in use.
I have not read good things about trying to use burlap, but I like your idea about ordering the samples. Thanks!
 
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artesian79

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How about rubber entry mats?
I don't know that I've seen cats scratch rubber, and I'm afraid it would shed particulate they might eat which would not be a good thing.
 
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artesian79

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To all: is it normal for this site for the default to be set to quote the entire post? This time I just deleted it all, but assume there is a better way.

To tinydestroyer, post: 4754152:

Thank you for trying all those searches.

I found that supplier also, but the backing and $ it would take to cover this tree with 3 strips only 18" per $34 stopped me.
 

foxden

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I think I finally figured out quoting part of a reply on my android phone.
'Select' the text in the post to which you want to quote or reply. When I select a sentence or paragraph, an option to "quote/reply" appears on the screen near the selected text.
Using the quote button at the bottom of the post automatically selects the entire message for the quote.
 
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artesian79

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I am on android. I do not want to quote anything. By tapping reply, I expected a notation to which msg I was responding to would be added so that it would be easier to follow the discussion.
 

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To all: is it normal for this site for the default to be set to quote the entire post? This time I just deleted it all, but assume there is a better way.

To tinydestroyer, post: 4754152:

Thank you for trying all those searches.

I found that supplier also, but the backing and $ it would take to cover this tree with 3 strips only 18" per $34 stopped me.
I guess I didn't realize the surface area you were talking about. I know you have some concerns with the rubber backing, but looking at the suppliers photos, it might help stretch the sisal over the base, and the result is very similar to the Ultimate post. Because woven sisal holds up so nicely, maybe there would be less chance of any rubber particles coming through. I know the Ultimate post is MDF underneath, and when my cats use it, I never hear a sound like their claws scratching that material. Either the sisal is thick enough or maybe it has a backing. If you find another supplier in your price range, it's something to consider. Good luck!
 

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I don't know that I've seen cats scratch rubber, and I'm afraid it would shed particulate they might eat which would not be a good thing.
I've never seen a cat that could pass up scratching a tire. And nothing is going to come off of hard rubber such as a tire or floor/door mat. It'll last forever and never show any signs of claw carnage.
Getting a cat to scratch a tire is automatic. For some reason, they just can't not do it.
 
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