Choosing the rugs to be used in your home does not necessarily have to center around the design patterns, style or cost. These days, when everything is geared towards being eco-friendly and not harmful to the environment as a way to prevent or delay the effects of global warming, your choice of rugs should also center around green options. Rugs that are made from natural materials will be the best option for this. Natural fiber rugs come from natural materials such as animal or plant fibers and they make an ideal choice if you want to go green.
There are many types of natural fiber rugs and each type has a distinct property or characteristic and purpose. For example, a sisal rug is known for its smooth surface while mountain grass and sea grass rugs are more of the earth tone appearance and has latex and non-slip backing material. Jute rugs have firm and coarse texture while coir rugs are preferred for outdoor use. A natural floor covering option is a bamboo rug and wool or cotton rugs make for a cozy décor in any room.
This type of rug contains naturally static and fire-resistant fine yarn which is made from the extracts of sisal agave leaf. This hand-woven rug type has a smooth and soft feel, woven into various patterns and textures. Often used for the areas in the upper floors of a home due to their sound-absorbent property. Sisal rugs are easy to maintain but care should be taken not to expose it to direct sunlight for long periods to prevent it from fading easily. Sisal rugs remain to be a top choice for eco-friendly homeowners who prefer natural and sustainable products.
Not as resilient as other rug types, jute rugs are made from extracted fibers from the jute plant stems. Jute rugs are ideal for areas and rooms in the house with light to foot moderate traffic. Having an attractive silky shine, jute rugs easily absorb stains but their natural brightness makes them ideal and perfect for a home office or child’s bedroom. Jute rugs are not, however, used for kitchen or bathroom areas. They are inexpensive and can be dyed in vibrant colors and they provide a soft walking surface.
Sea Grass Rugs
This type of rug is a cost-effective natural area rug which has a smooth surface and an attractive shine. Sea grass rugs have earth-toned look and give a tough walking surface making them perfect for areas or rooms with high foot traffic such as foyers and kitchens. They have latex and non-slip backing material which enhance the rugs’ durability. Like sisal rugs, sea grass rugs should not be exposed to direct sunlight to maintain its vibrant colors. Sea grass rugs are the perfect floor covering option for a high foot-traffic household.
Mountain Grass Rugs
They are similar to sea grass rugs although these natural fiber rugs direct from mountain grass fibers are generally darker in tone or color. Mountain grass rugs are inexpensive which features natural colors. They are also woven in different textures and patterns. Mountain grass rugs are ideal options for dining and kitchen areas. However, they are easy to maintain and like the sea grass rugs, they have latex and non-slip backing material.
These rugs are made from highly sustainable bamboo plants which are known for their durability and strength making them the ideal choice for high traffic areas in the house. The dense bamboo material is stain resistant and easy to maintain and clean. Bamboo rugs have non-slip felt backing and a smooth texture that makes it easy to wipe clean with a damp cloth. And while they are not scratch resistant, bamboo rugs can have protective felt pads under table and chair legs. Like the other type of natural rugs, bamboo rugs should not be exposed to direct sunlight.
Wool and Cotton Rugs
Wool rugs come from animal fibers and are fire-, fade-, water- and stain-resistant. Cotton rugs, on the other hand are the cost-effective alternative wool rugs although they are not as durable as the other types of natural fiber rugs. Wool and cotton materials are similarly used to make natural rugs which are not as expensive as the other types.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Natural Fiber Rugs
Aside from creating a fantastic visual effect for the areas or rooms being decorated with natural fiber area rugs, the most important benefit derived from these rug types is their being non-toxic to the environment. While being eco-friendly, natural fiber rugs provide comfort to the home by reducing static electricity and noise.
Because they are made from natural materials, they do not contain chemicals that are harmful to the environment and pose danger to a person’s health. Unlike synthetic rugs which may release potentially health hazardous gases, natural fiber rugs are free of any harmful component making them a safe option especially for areas occupied by children. Wool and cotton rugs, for instance, can hold dust particles preventing them from being afloat in the air which can cause and aggravate allergies. Natural fiber rugs are also helpful in the removal of contaminants such as formaldehyde, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide.
Natural fabric rugs are eco-friendly rugs as the fibers are biodegradable causing less environmental waste. Having materials from sustainable plants and animal fibers, natural fiber rugs do not pose any danger to the ecosystem and environment.
Disadvantage: High Porosity
Natural fiber rugs are made from natural materials which are highly porous and absorbent. Because of this, natural fiber rugs can stain easily with spilled foods or liquids. Any spill should be cleaned immediately in order to prevent discoloration. They also tend to hold onto moisture which makes the natural fiber rugs susceptible to mold growth. Natural fiber rugs, should not be used in damp areas.
Disadvantage: Coarse Texture
Except for wool and silk rugs which have comfortable and soft feel under the foot, other types of natural fiber rugs have coarse and rough texture (cotton, seagrass, jute and sisal rugs) which give a scratchy feel when walked on barefoot. Hence, such rugs are not recommended for bedrooms or other areas where children play on the floor. Additionally, the coarse texture may tempt pets to scratch and damage the fabric. Jute and sisal rugs tend to shed or tear apart.