Sisal fiber, sometimes referred to as sisal hemp, comes from the Agave plant that is grown for fiber manufacture. This plant is native to southern Mexico. Sisal is used to make a range of items from rope and baking twine to carpets, cloth, and cat scratching posts! We like it for our soap bags, pouffs, and large washcloths because they ARE a natural fiber, and we believe, they hold the soap lather better and last much longer than plastic mesh. My last soap bag survived several years of daily use.