Natural fiber rugs are an ideal approach to bring an organic, relaxing and natural feel to your space. These rugs combine beautiful and intricate patterns with wonderful warm tones that create the captivating and striking rug. Natural area rugs are made out of 100% sustainable and natural materials which makes each one of them environmentally friendly! These rugs are available in all sorts of different textures, colors, prints, and sizes! Since these rugs come in all sorts of variations, you can easily choose the perfect one for your space. Keep reading ahead for an in-depth guide to natural fiber area rugs.
Natural Or Synthetic Fiber Rugs?
When it comes to rugs, the type of fibers that the rugs are available in are endless. The type of fibers belongs to two categories; Natural fibers and Synthetic fibers. To be sure which kind of fiber suits well in your house, you should have a thorough understanding of both. Keep reading ahead to find out!
Natural fibers consist of materials that are grown in nature and are harvested to be processed into fibers. Various natural fibers are used in rugs which you will read about in the article. Wool is the most common rug material and one of the most durable ones too. Other natural fibers that are most commonly used in rugs are cotton, silk, seagrass, jute, and sisal.
Synthetic fibers are those that are not found naturally but are instead, man-made. These fibers are made by various machines and consist of different sorts of chemicals. There are mainly four most common materials used in rugs; nylon, polyester, polypropylene, and triexta.
Even though each fiber has its own qualities, there still are some general and basic qualities of synthetic and natural fibers that can be judged. They are as follows:
Natural fibers are generally more ecologically well-disposed than synthetics since they are produced using sustainable resources. On the other hand, manufactured or synthetic fibers discharge volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are gasses radiated from the filaments. Therefore, natural fibers are safer, not only for the environment but for you too, especially if you have kids and pets in the house!
In general, natural fiber area rugs, especially wool rugs, are highly durable. However, this is an area where its harder to compare both the categories. For example, as mentioned before, wool is an incredibly durable material as it can easily withstand wear and can even regain its shape after being anchored by furniture. Cotton, on the other hand, isn’t exactly a material you can place in a high traffic area. The same is the case with synthetic fibers. Nylon is a very durable material whereas olefin is only suited for low traffic areas. Nonetheless, if you’re looking for durability and a rug that will last for a long time, we suggest you go with wool rugs.
Even though wool and silk are incredibly stain resistant, in general, synthetic materials are still considered to be more stain-resistant. In addition, synthetic rugs are considered to be low maintenance and easier to clean. Although, since synthetic rugs do not hold on to the color well in comparison with natural fiber area rugs, the colored synthetic rugs, especially nylon, can easily fade after being washed. This is why most people prefer buying wool or silk rugs instead since they hold on to the color quite well.
Natural fiber rugs are more expensive than synthetic rugs. This is because of their numerous qualities. And while it may be easier to buy a less expensive rug for your space, you should still take into account where you tend to place the rug in, how long do you want it to last, what pattern you want it to be in. For instance, if you want to ‘invest’ in a rug than just purchasing one, you should opt for wool rugs. While they may be expensive, these rugs can last up to 50 years if taken proper care of! Or if you’re looking for a temporary rug and you might want to change your decor in the future, you should opt for nylon rugs. These rugs come in various bright colors and patterns for you to choose from.
Types of Natural Fiber Rugs
Natural fibers have various types of fibers that can be used in rugs. Here are some of the most common ones.
Wool is known to be one of the best and ideal materials for rugs. Wool is the hair grown on sheep that consists of a protein substance known as ‘keratin’. Like any other natural fiber, wool is composed of carbon, nitrogen, and hydrogen. Furthermore, wool is the only natural fiber that contains sulfur in addition. Wool fibers have curls that have tiny pockets- giving it a spongy look and making it a natural insulator. Wool rugs are the go-to rugs for interior designers. This is because wool rugs have several qualities which makes them the most renowned rug material. Wool is one of the most durable materials there is. It can easily retain its shape even after it been subjected to heavy footfall or used to anchor furniture. It holds on to every color perfectly and does not let the colors bleed. To top it off, wool rugs are easily available in a wide range of colors and patterns!
Silk is one of the oldest fibers that is known to humankind. It’s a natural protein fiber that has been created through the filament fiber of silkworms. This material is known for its luxurious look and silky touch. Silk is indeed a very delicate fiber. Even so, silk has an incredibly strong tensile strength due to which weavers can easily weave intricate patterns through it. Unlike wool, to this day, silk still does not have any formidable artificial rug fibers. Silk is the only natural fiber that has retained its supremacy despite facing keen competition by its synthetic materials; viscose and rayon.
Jute rugs are made up of jute which is a very popular natural fiber that isn’t only used for rugs but has also been used in clothes and ropes. This natural fiber has been around for a long period. Jute has been in use since ancient times. Its versatility can be seen in the fact that jute has been consistently used in fishing, arms, and even the construction industry! Moreover, this fiber has been used in making household items such as carpets, sacks, chairs, coverlets and most importantly, rugs! Jute is a super strong and breathable material. Since jute comes from plants stalk and not its leaves, it's surprisingly and wonderfully soft in touch. Jute rugs aren’t even expensive and are incredibly eco-friendly too. However, due to its softness, it isn’t as durable in comparison with other natural fiber rugs. Which is why you might want to place a jute rug in low or medium traffic areas. They can even be used as outdoor natural fiber rugs.
Sisal is is a natural fiber that is made from the agave and sisal Ana plant that is native to Brazil, Mexico, and Africa. Although it’s a very common rug material, it is also used to make ropes and twines. Just like jute, sisal rugs are available in and can be dyed in a range of earthy hues. Sisal rugs are highly durable and have coarse fibers, they can easily be placed in high traffic areas. However, these coarse fibers can prove to be quite uncomfortable for your feet. Moreover, sisal rugs can become quite slippery over time. Therefore, using sisal runners on stairs isn’t a wise choice. Sisal rugs can be quite tricky to wash and maintain. But don't worry, further below we’ve explained in depth how you can clean your sisal rug. Nonetheless, sisal rugs look great in any space and give that natural, nature’s touch to your home. Sisal protectors are available in the market and online which can reduce these problems to a great extent.
Sea-grass rugs, as the name suggests, is made out of sea-grass grown underwater. Sea-grass itself is easy to harvest and the reeds grow back quickly- making sea-grass rugs eco-friendly. This fiber has a high resistance against stains and water which makes it a wise choice for a highly trafficked area including, porches and entryways. Not only are they durable, but they are easy to maintain too. All they require is regular vacuuming and you’re done with cleaning them! However, there is a downside to sea-grass rugs. Due to their incredibly high resistance, they cannot be dyed or are limited to only a few colors. So if you’re looking for a colored rug, then sea-grass rugs aren’t for you. Although, sea-grass rugs can look incredibly stylish and can complement different styled furniture articles.
Hemp rugs are woven from the hemp grass that is grown on the highlands of China. Due to this, it is a renewable and environmentally friendly material. Hemp is a natural material that does not attract dirt, dust, and debris, unlike many other rugs. This is great for busy households, especially if you have pets! This rug is also ideal for people with allergies, especially people with asthma. Moreover, hemp rugs are incredibly pet-friendly since the fibers are pesticides free, despite being made from plants. However, hemp rugs aren’t soft and won't give you that cozy feel. Furthermore, just like wool rugs, hemp rugs undergo the process of shedding too. To reduce this, vacuum your hemp rug on a day to day basis.
It is a known fact that cotton is the most widely used textile fiber today in the world. Cotton is a very soft and natural material that grows with the seed of the cotton plant. It grows in the form of what is known as a ‘boll’ around the seeds of the cotton plant. The fiber is spun into the form of yarn or thread and is used to make an incredibly soft and breathable textile which is most commonly used in the clothing industry. Cotton rugs have been in style for quite some time now. This is because cotton can be dyed into any color and even holds on to the dyes well. These rugs are incredibly lightweight and soft due to which they can be easily cleaned which ultimately makes them low-maintenance. They can just be tossed into the washing machine! Cotton rugs are much less expensive than wool and silk rugs since they have a more casual look.
Care For Natural Fiber Rugs
The two most basic way to care for your natural fiber rug is:
- Rug pads
Vacuuming your natural rugs on a day to day basis can easily elongate the life of your rug. However, make sure you do not use the beater bar on your vacuum. This feature can cause damage beyond repair to your rug. A good quality rug pad is essential for any rug to possess. Rug pads protect the rug from constant wear and tear, consequently, increasing the lifespan of your rug. Not only does it protect your rug, but it even protects the floor underneath from any spills and scratches too! Natural fiber area rugs and natural fiber outdoor rugs can be a great addition to your home. Of course, no matter what the fiber content of a rug is, the rug is bound to get dirty overtime! These rugs certainly cannot be cleaned the same way as synthetic rugs. However, following these simple steps will certainly keep your rug looking clean, fresh and new for a long time!
This is maybe the most disregarded step in maintaining and cleaning natural fiber area rugs. Regular vacuuming should never be compromised upon since it sucks out the dust, dirt particles and debris on the rug. Without this step, the soil or any harmful particles can absorb into the strands and make its expulsion significantly more tedious.
One of the most significant things to recollect when cleaning natural fiber carpets is that they don't hold up well when exposed to intense dampness. These rugs can't be cleaned like most rugs, which require cleaning specialists and water. To evacuate stains that aren't cleaned even after you vacuum, requires a delicate cleaning mixture and most importantly, patience!. To start with, to make the cleaning arrangement, mix one teaspoon of detergent or rug cleaner with one teaspoon of white vinegar. At that point include 2 quarts of tepid water, and you're prepared to start. To clean the affected area, start to blot the stain with a cloth that has been dampened with the cleaning mixture. You may need to repeat this step until the stain is lifted.
Natural fiber rugs can sustain extreme damage if they get wet and aren't dried thoroughly. In the end, the rugs will shrivel and twist, and the edges of the rug will curl. That is the reason why effectively drying a natural fiber rug is conceivably the most significant part of the cleaning procedure. Perhaps the most ideal approaches to achieve this is to roll the rug up in a dry towel. This will ingest a great part of the excess moisture from the rug and avert future harm. You may need to repeat this step over and over again until it is totally dry. Normal fiber mats will keep up their excellence if appropriate care and maintained. about. By following these steps, we guarantee that your precious rug will retain its quality for many years to come.
Sisal rugs are quite easy to maintain and clean because the dirt does not cling to its hard fibers. Instead, the dust and dirt particles rest on the surface of the rug. Sisal rugs can last for a long time if taken proper care of. Below we’ve attached a sisal rug cleaning guide to help you clean sisal rugs.
Unlike wool rugs, sisal fibers do not have tiny pockets for the dust particles to rest in. As mentioned above, the dust and dirt particles tend to rest loosely on the surface of the rug. For this reason, it’s incredibly important to vacuum your sisal rug on a day to basis. Regular vacuuming will prevent soil build-up and clean any stains that might have been embedded in the fibers. As a result, this will make your rug look fresh and will certainly prolong the life of your sisal area rug as well! When vacuuming, make sure you do not use the beater bar function as this can damage the fibers of your rug.
If spills and stains do occur, the best way to treat them is by immediately cleaning the affected area through blotting. For liquid stains, use a clean dry cloth and any dishwashing liquid or soap available at your home. Always make sure to blot and never scrub or rub the affected area. Scrubbing the area may cause the stain to work and embed deeper into the fibers of the rug. This can cause intense damage to your rug. For solid spills, it’s necessary to first remove the solid particles by using a dull knife or any pointed object. After the particles have been removed, again prepare a mixture of water and soap. Then start to gently blot the affected area as mentioned before.
Sisal is a hygroscopic material. This means that sisal absorbs moisture and gives off moisture- depending on the amount of humidity present in their surroundings. Even though humidity is considered to be good for natural fiber rugs, including sisal, a saturation of the fibers with water can completely ruin sisal rugs. Therefore, wet shampooing, steam cleaning or any other method that involves the fibers to be saturated with water, should never be carried out on sisal rugs. Get your sisal rugs dry cleaned instead.
What Fiber is Used to Make Rugs on a Peg Loom?
A peg loom is just a simple weaving loom. It is a wooden board that has one or more rows of holes. Also, it has a set of wooden or nylon pegs that fit into these holes. Soft Natural fibers, such as wool and cotton can be used to make rugs on a peg loom. Coarse fibers such as sisal and seagrass, cannot be weaved on peg looms.
What Other Natural Fiber Goes Well With Wool?
While jute and sisal work well with wool, silk, however, gives off a luxurious look when blended with wool. The qualities of both fibers combine to make a beautiful and durable rug.
The base or foundation of the rug is made by using wool fibers while the patterns on the rug are weaving by utilizing silk fibers. This creates a unique design element and makes the rug stand out. Practically speaking, silk can even reduce the shedding process that wool undergoes to a great extent. We here at Rugknots have a wide range of natural fiber rugs at reasonable prices. Feel free to check it out!