Natural Fibre Rugs For The Home

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So, you want to learn about natural fibre rugs?

Well, you’ve come to the right place!

From origins and characteristics to caring for your rug, this simple guide will give you information you need to know before you purchase a natural fibre rug. It also offers hints and tips about the many advantages of having a natural fibre rug in your home.

different types of natural fibre rugs

Colour and style are not the only factors to consider when buying a rug. The material of the rug is also very important. In fact, they are an ideal choice if you are looking for a “green” option.

Let’s jump right in!

Jute – Origin and Characteristics

Origins

The word ‘jute’ comes from juta, or jhoot, said to originate in India. Jute is a member of the family of “soft” vegetable fibres, similar to flax and hemp. It is second only to cotton in amount produced, and traditionally one of the cheapest natural fibres. It falls into the category of bast fibre.

natural fibre rugs jute material

Due to its firmness and stability, this fibre is suited for the manufacturing of durable yarns and fabrics. Known as the ‘golden fibre’ jute is one of the longest and most used natural fibre for various textile applications.  These include: hessian, rope and twine.

Characteristics

Jute fibres are always known as strong, coarse, environment friendly, and organic. At present time, jute is termed as a favourite fabric for packaging materials and furnishings and as golden fibres for the national and international fashion world.

Being long, soft and shiny, jute is a great all-rounder! It’s cost-effective, environmentally friendly and versatile.

natural fibre rugs jute characteristics

Did you know?

Though categorised with fabrics, jute is a fibre — long, soft, durable, and suited to all weathers, making it perfect for rugs and table runners. Because jute is not a fabric, but a fibre, it is stronger. Jute is flexible and easy to craft into different shapes.

With its resilience and beautiful, rustic appearance, it is no surprise it has long been the country’s favourite fibre.

How Does It Feel?

Jute is a naturally slightly coarser than cotton, which make it suitable for use indoors and outdoors.

Care?

If stained, it is important not to clean your jute rug with a wet cloth. It is also advised not to steam clean or wet shampoo your jute rug.

In case of liquid spills, blotting is recommended over brushing. Blotting will help you get layers of the liquid off the rug, after which you can extract or lightly brush off the rest.

Use dry powder to clean, and a hair-dryer to remove any remaining moisture from your jute.

natural fibre rugs vacuuming care

Here’s why…

Plant fibres are absorbent, so the product is prone to shrinking and creasing. Vacuum cleaners are ideal, and regular cleaning of your rug is essential for care.

Remember that jute holds on to odour very strongly. Make sure to air your product if exposed to a pungent or bad smelling liquid. This is as important as cleaning the surface. Jute’s resilience comes with some care.

Sisal – Origin and Characteristics

Origins

Sisal is a natural fibre derived from the long, green leaves of the ‘agave sisalana’ cactus plant, a native of Mexico. The word Agave is from the Greek word agauos, signifying admirable and magnificent.

natural fibre rugs sisal material

Sisal is the coarsest of all the vegetable fibres. It was introduced in Tanzania in 1893 and Brazil around 1900 as a crop suitable for extreme hot and dry conditions. Today Tanzania, Brazil, Mexico and China account for the vast majority of the world’s sisal production.

Characteristics

Sisal is a coarse, hard-wearing and durable plant fibre. Moreover, its robust qualities make it a practical choice for baskets, doormats, rugs, wall coverings, and brushes.

As it is an excellent material for home-wares due to being kind to the environment and 100% natural, requiring no chemicals to treat or produce.

natural fibre rugs sisal characteristics

It is exceptionally durable with a low maintenance level, it is minimal to wear and tear!

Sisals natural colour can vary from light yellow to natural creamy white hues. Which will make it easy to find a rug to match your personal interior design scheme.

How Does It Feel?

Sisal is a coarse material. It is harder than straw.

Care?

To ensure that sisal natural fibre rug keeps looking good, it’s important to maintain a regular cleaning routine.

Using a barrier mat at entrances will reduce the amount of dirt being walked into an area.

As it is easier to remove surface dirt than embedded dirt regularly vacuum your rug with a suction-only vacuum cleaner to collect the debris.

Because of the latex backing, which prevents dust and dirt build-up beneath the rug, our plant fibre products (sisal, jute, and seagrass) are fairly easy to maintain and clean.

Any spillages, should be tackled as quickly as possible. Also, using clean white cloths or kitchen paper to soak up the solution.

natural fibre rugs spillage care

The golden rule with any spill is to tackle it as quickly as possible, whether on a conventional or on a natural fibre. To do this, blot at a spill with a white cloth, this avoids colour transfer.

Also, never rub the area of the spill!

Ever wondered why?

The aim of cleaning natural fibres is to absorb as much as you can into the cloth and not spread it further into the rug. If the liquid spill is likely to stain, then the use of a cloth made damp with carbonated water can really help to lift the stain out.  Make sure you dry this area immediately after to avoid damage.

The most important rule for cleaning sisal is to never wet shampoo or clean.

Seagrass – Origin and Characteristics

Origins

Seagrass grows in the tropical climates of China and Vietnam, in coastal meadows on the banks of rivers. They are flowering plants that live underwater, and because they require sunlight, they are found mostly in waters that are shallow

natural fibre rugs seagrass material

After harvesting and drying, the seagrass is spun into a strong yarn suitable for weaving into a huge range of products like bags and baskets, and of course stylish natural flooring.

Characteristics

Seagrass fibres have a waxy coating with a smooth texture and natural sheen. It is also one of the most durable natural fibres.

Impermeable to water, these thick fibres show minimal watermarks and stains. It is not uncommon for Seagrass natural fibre rugs to come with a latex backing, an added benefit in high traffic areas.

natural fibre rugs seagrass characteristics

Recognised by its grassy, hay-like scent and colouring which dissipates over time. As fresh seagrass, might appear light sage green and gradually age to a tan or khaki colour. This colour and texture give the rug a clean look.

How Does It Feel?

Seagrass is a tough and hard-wearing textural material.

Care?

To begin with blot a spill with the cloth, and avoid rubbing the stain into the weave. Next, lift solids with a dull knife. However, treat stubborn stains with mild soap on a damp cloth, and then dry with a hair dryer or fan, if necessary.

natural fibre rugs steaming care

In addition to that, vacuum your Seagrass rug with a strong brush suction. Test vacuum first on a small section with different suction settings, such as for rugs, if possible.

Also, make sure that you vacuum in different directions over multiple passes to suction the loose dirt from the weave, and vacuum in the direction of the stitches to avoid pulling and to maintain the edging.

Note: Do not steam clean or shampoo your seagrass rug, as it is a highly absorbent fibre.

What Are The Advantages Of Natural Fibre Rugs?

Jute, sisal and seagrass have excellent durability as the natural fibres are anti-static and non-toxic. The plant material creates healthy indoor humidity levels and prevents the build-up of static.
We’re not through yet…

Jute?

Jute fibre has many advantages. It is incredibly durable and strong, and will not fade easily in the sun. It’s the softest of the bunch—softer than sisal, and it almost resembles wool. It is excellent for bedrooms or medium-traffic areas. It is also the most affordable options.

natural fibre rugs jute rug

Jute is also fire-resistant, so having jute coverings in your home can help to protect and prevent fire spreading. Versatility is one of the great features of jute rugs. They can inspire an earthy ambiance that makes a jute natural fibre rug the perfect accessory in both traditional and modern spaces.

Another benefit includes that it is completely natural and so less likely to trigger skin irritations.

Sisal?

Sisal is super absorbent. So, absorbent in fact that it can act as a natural humidifier for your home, meaning it’ll stay cool on hot days. This is also a great bonus for any office settings with computers and also means that the flooring is less likely to attract dirt.

It is also flame-resistant, long-lasting, super durable, so great for high-traffic areas.

natural fibre rugs sisal rug

Think I’m exaggerating?

As it is prized for its natural look, it does not usually incorporate any artificial colours or chemicals, which may then release toxic gases into your home environment. Sisal also provides a natural sound insulation and are generally better for those prone to allergies and asthmatic reactions. This makes it an ideal product for your home.

Seagrass?

It’s stain-resistant and incredibly durable, making it wonderful for high-traffic areas. It’s also great on bare feet, so kitchens and bathroom both benefit from this type of floor covering. It is very affordable – another selling point.

natural fibre rugs seagrass rug

View our natural fibre range page to learn more about these.

Frequently Asked Questions?

What is the difference between Jute and Sisal?

Jute vs Sisal for cats?

Why does my natural fibre rug shed?

Where should natural fibre rugs be used indoors?

Will my rug need a rug pad?

What is the difference between Jute and Sisal?

The answer is no, the main difference between jute and sisal is that sisal is tougher than jute. Sisal and jute are both popular natural fibre rugs that look alike and get grouped together often, but they are not one and the same. Although similar in appearance, the two differ greatly in texture and durability.

natural fibre rugs jute rugs vs seagrass rugs

Jute vs Sisal for cats?

The best rope to be used on cat scratchers is made from sisal. Sisal is top as far as durability goes when it comes to scratching posts, but another benefit is that cats are drawn to it.

Whereas Jute has similar qualities but due to its softer texture and being less durable. Furtermore, Sisal is the better choice for your cat.

natural fibre rugs best rugs for cats

Why does my natural fibre rug shed?

Shedding often occurs when the rug is new. Similarly, this typical eases up the older the rug gets. Unfortunately shedding is normal for any rug, but over time, the shedding will diminish. Simply shake it off or vacuum the mat to remove loose fibres.

different types of natural fibre rugs

Where should natural fibre rugs be used indoors?

Natural fibre rugs can be used in living rooms, family rooms, entry halls, bedrooms, home offices, and covered patios.

Here are examples of the different levels of foot traffic within the home:

High Traffic

Areas of high traffic require flooring which doesn’t just look good but can endure heavy footfall without becoming worn-out. These are areas like hallways, family rooms, your foyer and entryway, or kitchen. The goal: rugs that are durable and stain-resistant.

natural fibre rugs kitchen rugs high traffic areas

Medium Traffic

Areas of medium traffic require flooring which is hard-wearing and ideal for everyday use. Think rooms you use, but aren’t main ways for foot traffic or shuffling furniture. Areas like the dining room and home office.

natural fibre rugs dining rugs medium traffic areas

Low Traffic

Areas of low traffic require flooring that doesn’t endure a great amount of footfall. These include areas such as bedrooms, formal living rooms and guest rooms. Go luxe with softer fabrics and colours because they’ll get the least wear and tear.

natural fibre rugs living room rugs low traffic areas

Will my rug need a rug pad?

A rug pad is always a great option for additional protection of your floors. Also, a natural latex is the ideal backing material for Sisal, seagrass, and jute rugs. This is essential for dimensional steadiness and significantly aids in cleaning. Rug pads provide and prevent curling and slipping.

For more information on anti-slip rug underlays, click here.

natural fibre rugs anti slip underlay

Thoughts?

We hope that you’ve enjoyed our ultimate guide to Natural Fibre Rugs. If you still have any unanswered questions, leave a comment below and we will answer them.

If you still have any unanswered questions, don’t be shy to leave a comment below. We’d love to hear your thoughts!