Natural Fiber Area Rugs of Sisal, Jute and Seagrass

natural fiber area rug

Properly processed, natural fiber rugs become positively luxurious to the touch and come in many colors.

Fiber is good for more than your digestive system. It also makes a heck of a natural fiber area rug. Go ahead- try that with your granola! But seriously…

Natural fiber area rugs are commonly woven from seagrass, sisal and jute. Contrary to opinion, natural rugs are not necessarily scratchy and rough and a bore in the color department. Properly processed, dyed and woven, natural fiber area rugs become positively luxurious to the touch and appear in a rainbow of fresh, natural colors.

Around here, we’re partial to green, of course. Here are the most suitable natural materials to look for when buying for area rugs for your home.

Materials for Natural Fiber Area Rugs

Natural fiber area rugs are not only durable, but hypoallergenic, too. Most of the fiber rugs on the market today are weaves from at least one following fibers:

Natural Jute rugs

Jute is so supple and silky, you would never guess that it can withstand abuse (even cat claws can’t dig through it quickly.) The Jute plant grows abundantly in India and Bangladesh, the leading producers of rug fiber. Although far less of a household name than cotton, jute is the next most highly produced fiber in the world.

Left in its natural state, the fiber is the color of straw, but its neutrality helps myriad dyes produce deep, variegated color. Because the fiber is soft, weavers can work it until its finish is smooth. The rich colors and silky feel of good natural fiber area rugs from jute make them wonderful choices for the bedroom.

Sisal Area Rugs

Both you and your cats will love Sisal. I keep a small sisal mat around for them to clean their claws on. They love it! I find it good for high traffic areas because it vacuums up easily. Its texture and weave are usually rougher than jute and seagrass.

Nature does not make a “sisal plant.” Sisal derives from Agave, the same plant that produces the natural sweetener. Its fiber is commonly blended with wool to render it more supple.

Adding to its allure for those who live green, sisal fiber’s source plant is now routinely grown organically, although we should point out that during the decortation process, by which the fiber is extracted from the agave leaves, an effluent is created which, were it to reach a water supply, would be a contaminant. However, other companies are investigating this effluent as a viable source of biofuel, and sisal is now regarded as an environmentally friendly substitute for fiberglass and toxic asbestos.

Natural Seagrass Area Rugs

Seagrass really is a grass. It flourishes in China’s paddy fields, and gets the other half of its name from the process of flooding the grass with sea water to ensure the plant’s complete maturation. . It grows fast and, like most natural fiber rugs, will biodegrade. It resists moisture well.

Seagrass is naturally a very soft green and sometimes gold. Weavers blend them into some attractive variegated, one-of-a-kind blends that set off living room furniture and dens quite well. Natural fiber area rugs from seagrass also provide superior stain resistance to sisal.

Parents with infants and toddlers can rest easy if they decide on a natural fiber area rugs, because most are not treated with chemicals. Although some rugs are delivered with a natural latex backing, you may choose to back them with natural fiber pads, too, to provide extra resistance to slippage.


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