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How to Choose Natural Fiber Rugs: Types and Features

by Sandy Wong November 18, 2021 8 min read

How to Choose Natural Fiber Rugs: Types and Features

You recently decorated your living room or another area of your house. While it looks great, there seems to be an item missing. It would be perfect if you added a rug there. The question is which unit should fit well.

There’s no mistake if you go with natural fiber rugs. These are eco-friendly, durable, and they can improve the overall aesthetic value of any room. This guide discovers how to pick the perfect unit for your home. It’ll discuss the major categories and features of this product. As a bonus, you’ll even learn about its maintenance, so start reading now!

What is a Natural Fiber Rug?

All rugs might look the same to an amateur. But if you love interior design, you know there are thousands of units listed in the market. Those products made of natural fiber are a major category.

The name suggests these rugs use natural materials. The manufacturers utilize those compounds found and harvested from nature. They process them into fibers to make these products. The process is 100% eco-friendly, which means these units protect the planet. While the materials vary, it’s a rule that they are sustainable.

The Difference Between Natural and Synthetic Fiber Rugs

The critical distinction is in the material source. Synthetic refers to something artificially made by humans. That implies using chemicals and compounds like polypropylene, polyester, and nylon. The machines work on those and create the product.

Unlike that, natural fibers come from organic sources. Here is a comprehensive look at the differences between the two categories!

  • Natural Rugs Are an Eco-Friendly Solution

Every person should be responsible and protect our planet. Among other things, aim that the products you purchase are eco-friendly. Natural rugs fit that expectation because they use organic materials. 

That means there are no volatile organic compounds that, which could compromise indoor air quality. Thanks to that, these products are also a safer option than synthetic units!

  • Stain Resistance

What if you accidentally drop some juice on the rug? The kicker is both synthetic and natural units have optimal stain resistance. The cleaning process might vary, but you don’t have to worry about leaving a mark.

  • Durability

This largely varies on the material. For example, wool is extremely durable and suitable for high-traffic areas. Both natural and synthetic units can last long, depending on the chosen fabric.

Please note an organic area rug will maintain its colors well. That means it won’t fade for a long time. It’s a better choice than synthetics, which often lose the shade quickly.

7 Main Types of Organic Rugs

The materials used are a primary consideration when choosing a natural rug. Depending on the fabric used, we have seven different product types.

1. Wool

You’ve surely seen wool rugs multiple times. This material is convenient since it’s durable and looks fantastic.

These are the reasons why people also love wool for their rugs:

  • An Excellent Insulator

If you step on the product, you’ll feel the warmth. That can be critical in the winter months. Nobody loves cold floors, and these items are a true saver!

  • Aesthetics + Functionality

It’s not an exaggeration because many people love the unique wool curls. Additionally, the material is durable. Even if you treat it roughly, it will maintain the original shape for a long time. 

  • Sustainable and Eco-Friendly

This is only true if you go for organic wool rugs. They come from actual sheep hair, which is a sustainable option. You can rest assured you didn’t harm the planet with that unit. 

2. Sisal

You might not have heard of the sisal plant. It originated in Mexico, but they now grow it in Brazil, Africa, and other countries. You might have noticed twines and ropes made of this fiber.

As for sisal rugs, they are extremely durable. Their fibers are thick, which is why they are perfect for living rooms and high-traffic zones. That’s also the downside because stepping on these units can be uncomfortable. They might even be slippery, so avoid placing them close to the stairs. These products also feature versatility in style since there’s an option of dying them to any color.

3. Jute

Jute ropes are arguably the most popular product in that category. You’ll even find clothes from this material. The fiber is natural, and people have been using it for centuries. From the weapon industry to fishing, the compound’s versatility is impressive!

The secret of jute is that it’s breathable and strong. On top of that, it’s soft, which makes it comfortable. While jute isn’t as durable as wool, it can still be suitable for medium-traffic zones. Due to its specific characteristics, you can even place this rug outdoors.

4. Seagrass

Yes, this fiber comes from underwater. It’s sustainable since it grows quickly. Today’s technology makes it easy to harvest, which is why the material isn’t expensive. The cleaning can’t be simpler since it only involves vacuuming. Seagrass is exceptionally resistant to water and stains. You can place it in living rooms, entryways, porches, and high-traffic zones.

The problem is you can’t dye this material easily. That leads to a restricted color selection. If you find a suitable option, perfect! But if you don’t, perhaps looking for an alternative is wise.

5. Silk

People have used silk since ancient times. This natural fiber is extremely popular for its soft touch. It also looks luxurious, which makes it attractive for those aiming for this type of décor.

You know the term silky touch. While it’s soft, the material is surprisingly strong. You can use it in areas with fairly high traffic. It’s worth noting the humankind still hasn’t created an artificial alternative to this fabric. The natural version is still much better than all synthetic options of this compound.

6. Cotton

You probably heard of this material as a textured fiber. It’s natural and soft, and people get it from a plant of an identical name.

As for organic cotton rugs, they’ve become popular recently. They are convenient because of the style versatility. It’s easy to dye them in any color, and it maintains the appearance well. The material is soft and light. That’s why it’s not a fantastic choice for a high-traffic area.

However, it’s perfect if you aim for a casual décor of the desired area where you place the rug. Once you need to clean it, you’ll love that it’s washing machine friendly!

7. Hemp

Hemp grass is the primary source of this material. This plant is an eco-friendly and hypoallergenic solution. If household members have asthma or allergies, these rugs are a smart choice. It’s worth noting pets will also love them since they have no pesticides.

The downside is hemp units aren’t exactly soft. If you step on them, they won’t feel light like cotton. These products also shed a bit, which is why they require more frequent vacuuming.

How to Choose a Suitable Rug

The product type is a major consideration. However, you shouldn’t ignore other unit’s features. This section discusses the major characteristics of an adequate natural rug for your needs!

Size

The initial consideration is the rug’s size. It’s fantastic you can find them in various measurements. Most manufacturers offer several options, so it’s easy to find an adequate one.

The experts advise by analyzing the area where you’ll use the natural area rug. Imagine the exact position of the rug and measure the required length/width. That way, you’ll have the desired dimensions.

The Importance of Being Able to Select a Size

It’s imperative you identify a manufacturer allowing picking a product size. For example, Momeni Mesa Natural Area Rug is available in six dimensions. The smallest is 2’x3’, but you can go up to 9x12’.

It’s not the only advantage of this item. Here are the reasons to select it!

  • Completely Made of Wool

The manufacturer used 100% organic wool for this product. It’s a guarantee this is a natural rug. Additionally, its stain resistance makes it simple to maintain.

  • Neutral but Refined Tones

Momeni features classic aesthetics and neutral tones. The subtle notes of grey, brown, and beige form intriguing patterns. They seem luxurious while fitting most decors.

  • Hand-Woven Product

The manufacturer made sure that this product belongs to the hand-woven category. Combined with organic materials, it ensures you get a natural rug made without any machines.

  • Compatible with Different Surfaces

Would you like to place the rug on a wooden floor? It fits with wood, but also tiles in the kitchen. Aside from versatility, the product features minimal noise. 

Durability

What’s the point in buying a rug if it won’t last for a few months? It’s much better to find a high-quality unit. Fortunately, natural materials tend to be durable. Despite that, it’s imperative to check the actual fabrics used by the chosen manufacturer. The durability might vary on the product, so it’s wise to look at the reviews, too.

Where do you plan to place the rug? The math is simple – a high-traffic area requires the most durable material. You should go in wool. But if you are positioning it where people don’t step on it often, cotton is a fine choice, too.

Aesthetics

It’s warmer to step on the rug than directly on the floor.Themain reason homeowners purchase these products is still aesthetics. You want it to look fantastic and fit with the décor.

Manufacturers offer a huge variety of choices. That includes:

  • Color – from light to dark tones and combinations, you should easily find your favorite.
  • Patterns– do you like stripes? Perhaps you prefer a single-color combination or a unique design? Either way, identifying a suitable option should be simple!
  • Style– is a rustic rug the perfect fit for the décor? Whether you want traditional or contemporary, make sure the aesthetics fit your expectations!

Budget

How much did you plan to set aside for a rug? Before deciding on a budget, look at these insights:

  • It Depends on the Size

A small rug of 2x3 feet can only cost around $50. It can be an excellent addition to a small hallway.Those requiring a big unit for the living room should be ready to pay more. The largest products, such as those with 9x12 feet dimensions, have a price tag over $1,000.

  • It’s All About the Long-Term Investment

Natural rugs are usually extremely durable. Simple maintenance contributes to longevity. If you stick to the instructions, these units can last for years. That makes them a smart investment, even if you have to pay a bit more than for synthetic products.

  • The Brand Might Affect the Cost

Brands are important in all industries. If you go with the most famous companies, you could end up paying more for the name. It could be smart to go with family-owned businesses. They focus on innovation in quality while maintaining affordable prices.

Are Natural Fiber Rugs Easy to Clean?

Yes, especially when compared to other products around the house. These units only take minimal effort to clean. The experts suggest analyzing these tips!

  • Give It a Shake

It’s the old-fashioned but effective way of cleaning. The objective is to head outside and shake the rug well. It removes most of the crumbs and dirt from the unit.

Is your rug large? It might require hanging it first. You can use a railing or clothesline. Find something to beat the rug and remove the debris. Many owners also leave it there for an hour. It helps to air it out, but make sure the weather is good.

  • Vacuum the Item

You should vacuum on a weekly basis or more frequently. Make sure to move the rug to remove the dust below it. Be careful about units with a loose weave. Always deactivate the beater bar, or you might damage it.

  • Stain Removal

Is there a stain on your natural fiber rug? It’s vital to act immediately. The more time passes, the likelier the spot will stay there.

The goal is to use warm water and a simple cloth. Place it in the pot and clean the spot with the damp accessory. If there is something you can scrape off, use a spoon or butter knife. 

Another alternative for removing persistent stains is club soda. If nothing else works, resort to only a bit of detergent mixed with a bowl of water. And remember, you should never make the rug too wet. It’s a mold risk and can damage the unit. Finally, don’t use shampooing or think about power washing!

Final Thoughts

Many homeowners consider natural fiber rugs a true gem. It’s easy to understand why. They’re durable, eco-friendly, and add to the aesthetic value. It takes time to find the most suitable unit. This guide discovered major types and features that should help you on that quest.

Make sure to try some of these products since there’s not much more you could ask from this product type!

Sandy Wong
Sandy Wong

Being a mother to three kids and a beagle, I understand the struggles of trying to find the best for my children. Instead of spending hours researching which rug to buy, I hope to bring the best to you so that you can go back to spending time with those you love.



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