Natural fibers are an excellent choice when finding the perfect rug for your home. Their natural hues of warm tan, sage, ivory, and other soft colors have a comforting appeal. Many natural fiber rugs can be dyed in various colors and woven into beautiful, intricate patterns, making them comparable to synthetic rugs. However, the reason natural fiber rugs are so popular is because of their earth-inspired look.
While natural fiber rugs are loved for their style, they also have all kinds of practical benefits too. Many natural fiber rugs are hypoallergenic. Many natural fibers have coatings that cause them to repel dirt and be stain resistant. They are generally very strong and durable materials derived from renewable resources, and they are eco-friendly choices. All of these natural fiber rugs are incredibly easy to clean, adding to their appeal. The only tricky part about these rugs is their vulnerability to moisture. As long as you keep your natural fiber rug away from water, you will have a beautiful, long-lasting heirloom in your home.
Wool rugs are most commonly known for their durability. Compared to synthetic fibers—and other natural fibers—wool has much greater longevity. If you are looking for a rug that has stronger fibers and won’t need to be replaced for a very long time, then look no further than wool. Wool fibers are shaped like a spring, which makes it harder to grind down the fiber. This allows wool rugs to retain their shape well, meaning they are great for high-traffic areas.
Wool fibers have an organic coating that causes them to naturally repel water and stains, making wool a naturally stain-resistant material. This also means wool rugs are mildew-resistant. If you do get a stain on your wool rug, clear dish soap and a wet rag should remove it quite easily. To clean a wool rug, simply remove the beater bar from your vacuum and vacuum the rug. Another benefit to this natural fiber is that wool is naturally hypoallergenic. Your wool rug can even act as a natural air purifier, absorbing common household contaminants from the air.
If you’re looking for a durable rug, but something less expensive than wool, cotton rugs are an excellent choice. Cotton is both durable and hypoallergenic like wool, but because cotton is cheaper you will find lots of wool and cotton blended rugs. With a cotton and wool rug, you get maximum durability, a hypoallergenic rug, all-natural materials, and a slightly less expensive rug. Cotton is best known for its versatility.
Cotton rugs hold onto dyes well, so they come in all sorts of vibrant colors and patterns. Cotton fibers are easy to make into various pile heights, from flat dhurries to deep shags. Cotton rugs hold up well in high traffic areas, and they are soft underfoot. If you have a small cotton rug, you can clean it by hanging it in the sun to kill odor-causing bacteria. Larger cotton rugs can be spot and steam cleaned.
Second to cotton in popularity around the world, jute rugs are another type of natural fiber rug in high demand. Jute fibers are derived from a tropical plant. The fibers are very strong and have been used to make everything from rugs and mats to hessian bags and twine. Jute is an incredibly affordable fiber, adding to its appeal. Most jute is produced in India and Bangladesh. Without dyes, jute is a color between off-white and brown—this along with its affordability have given jute the nickname “the golden fiber.”
Unlike wool, jute is not water, mildew, or mold resistant, so it is best to keep your jute rug inside and away from moisture. When wet, jute releases natural oils that can stain the back of the rug, your floor, or other surrounding materials. Blot spills, hang dry to clean, and you can vacuum occasionally without the beater bar.
Hemp rugs are made from hemp grass, also known as mountain grass, which is grown in the highlands of China. Hemp reeds are thick, nonporous, and smooth. Hemp rugs are surprisingly soft and flexible. Naturally, hemp rugs come in warm tan hues, but they can also be dyed or mixed with other fibers.
Hemp is one of the most eco-friendly materials used in the production of rugs because it goes through minimal processing before being spun into yarn cords. Hemp rugs do not require a lot of attention. They resist most dirt, and their tan hues help hide any dirt that is present. Keep your hemp rug away from moisture to prevent mold or mildew.
Sisal rugs are very affordable natural fiber rugs. They maintain their earthy and natural style, and they are durable and hypoallergenic. Sisal is also naturally insulating, which helps to reduce humidity and heating and cooling costs in the home. Sisal also minimizes static electricity.
While its natural hue is very appealing and warm, sisal rugs can also be dyed or bleached quite easily—sisal rugs can be more easily colored than jute rugs. Keep your jute rug clean by avoiding water, shaking it outside, and by using a vacuum without the beater bar.
Bamboo is a warm material that helps bring wood elements into the home. Bamboo is a strong and smooth material that makes bamboo rugs great for high traffic areas like doorways or hallways. Bamboo is an affordable material and it is a renewable resource. In fact, bamboo grows quickly and requires very little natural resources to regrow.
Bamboo rugs can be dyed in a variety of colors, but you will often see plain bamboo rugs with colored borders made of cotton. In addition to using a vacuum, you can even simply sweep your bamboo rug clean. If your bamboo rug gets wet, pat it dry and hang it to air dry.
Unlike many other natural fibers, seagrass is a material that is not commonly dyed. Seagrass rugs hold onto their natural look in hues ranging from khaki tan to sage green. These natural hues bring warm color and an earthy texture into the home, creating a peaceful space that is cozy and inviting.
Seagrass is a popular rug material for its look, but it is also popular because it is naturally stain resistant, durable, and easy to clean. The fibers have a natural wax coating that helps to repel dirt, making seagrass rugs easy to clean. A simple vacuum cleaning will do the job. As is the case with most natural fibers, keep your seagrass rug away from moisture to prevent mold or mildew. Aside from bathrooms or outdoor spaces, durable seagrass rugs can go just about anywhere else in the home.