Natural fiber rugs are a beautiful thing. Not only are they environmentally friendly, their casual elegance blends easily with any design style. But with all the options out there, it can be a challenge to pick the right one.
What Does Natural Fiber Mean?
Simply put, natural fiber rugs are flat woven, which means they have no pile. Often times, it also means they are reversible. Natural, means that the fibers are plant-based. There are times when cotton is added for a touch of softness, but in most cases, they primarily consist of fibers from sisal, bamboo, seagrass, jute, and coir (strands from coconuts). By knowing a bit more about each type of rug will help you decide where it might work best in your home. Let’s take a quick look at them.
Natural Fiber Rug Options
Jute: Exceptionally soft, but not very durable. Best used in low to medium traffic areas. Vacuum and spot clean only.
Sisal: Extremely tough and durable, but can stain easily because of its absorbency. Ideal for high traffic areas, but can feel coarse on bare feet. Vacuuming is the best way to keep it clean.
Seagrass: Nonporous and full of texture, seagrass rugs are stain resistant and incredibly durable. They are easy on bare feet and make an excellent choice for high traffic areas.
Coir: Being created from discarded fibers of coconuts make coir rugs very environmentally friendly and durable. Because of their natural imperfections, and because of their weave, coir rugs are ideal choices for doormats.
Bamboo: Bamboo strands are harvested without killing the plant, which makes the rug naturally sustainable. Bamboo rugs don’t shed, are easy to care for and are extremely durable.
Determining if a Natural Fiber Rug is for You
As mentioned earlier, natural fiber rugs can complement any design style. And, as with any area rug, there are pros and cons to those even made out of natural fibers. However, with proper care, you can benefit greatly by opting for a rug made out of natural fibers.
Some pros of decorating with a natural fiber rug include:
- They are affordable. In most cases, natural fiber rugs are generally less expensive than other rugs.
- They complement just about any design style. Seriously, traditional, contemporary, eclectic (vintage), mid-century–the right natural fiber rug will go with any of them.
- They add warmth to a room. Natural fiber rugs have a color and texture that just can’t be found with other rugs. Want the space to feel cozy? Go natural!
- They are easy to match with your decor. Rugs like this are typically neutral in color, so they go well with any other colors, textures, and patterns you have in the room.
- They layer well. Layering rugs may seem “trendy” but it’s actually an important element of design that has been overlooked until recently. Natural fiber rugs serve as a great base for smaller rugs to be set on top. It’s a really great way to truly define a space with an extra punch of style.
In regards to cons, the biggest one is that natural fiber rugs aren’t typically as soft as other rugs. This doesn’t mean they are uncomfortable to walk on, they’re just thinner and sometimes rougher underfoot. Even still, they’re worth taking a chance on.
Where they Work
You may be wondering where the best places are for a natural fiber rug. Well, anywhere really, but some no-fail spaces to consider are kitchens, dining rooms, offices or dens, bedrooms, and traditional, modern and eclectic living rooms.
Keep in mind that your choice should largely be based on the amount of traffic it will get, as well as how it will be used. If you or your family will be sitting on the rug, you’d want to avoid a scratchy weave. If it’s in a high-traffic area, then you might want to look for a rug in a darker hue, or at least one that has a more stain-resistant weave.
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