Natural fiber rug materials such as jute, sisal, seagrass and hemp have grown in popularity over the years. The earthy colors and environmentally-friendly rug materials have fast become a designer favorite for accent rugs.
Natural fiber rug materials work well in high or low traffic areas and are a top pick for allergy or asthma sufferers. Jute and sisal are two of the hotter natural fiber area rugs, but what about hemp? Is hemp a good rug material for the home?
Hemp Rug Pros
As a rug material, hemp comes with a lot of inherent perks. Hemp does not attract dirt, dust and debris like many area rugs do which is a huge plus for busy home owners along with allergy and asthma sufferers. The plant-based fiber is naturally durable, making it an ideal choice for high traffic areas and homes with kids and four-legged friends.
As a mildew-resistant fiber, hemp accent rugs work inside or outside and are low maintenance. Unlike some natural rug fibers that cannot handle water or humidity, if a hemp rug does get wet, the material will not get damaged. Simply allow it to air dry. With a wide array of styles to choose from, hemp rugs deliver on both design and function.
Hemp Rug Cons
Like sisal, jute and seagrass, hemp rugs are not known for its softness like wool, cotton, shag or silk. While the material may soften over time, hemp rugs do not have a reputation for a snug, cozy feel.
Another drawback to hemp rugs is the fiber is prone to shedding. Vacuuming can help with problematic shedding. Hemp is also susceptible to fading. Remembering to rotate hemp area rugs seasonally is a simple way to combat fading.
Caring for A Hemp Rug
Hemp rugs are relatively low maintenance. Naturally stain-resistant, hemp rugs can bounce back from most spills and accidents involving kids and pets. Like any area rug, regular weekly vacuuming helps to keep rugs looking good over time. A once a week vacuum is recommended for accent rugs.
When necessary, hemp rugs can be spot-cleaned with cold water and a small scrub brush. If needed, a mild dish soap with a small amount of vinegar can be utilized on tough spots. Mix in a bit of dish detergent and vinegar with cold water. When finished, allow to air dry completely. Adding a rug pad underneath a hemp rug can also work to prolong its life.
Hemp Rug History
Hemp has quite a long history, dating back thousands of years. The Chinese first used hemp to fashion clothes, shoes and rope. Hemp was utilized for a wide variety of things including medicine, food and soap. The plant is grown for its industrious uses and is in the cannabis family. The strong fiber that has so many uses comes from the stem of the plant.
Eventually, hemp found its way from Asia to Europe and eventually the New World. Even the ropes on Christopher Columbus’ ships were fashioned from hemp. This versatile fiber has many practical uses so it is not surprising that hemp became a favorite rug fiber. This environmentally-friendly fiber is a stylish way to go green in the home.
The answer to the question is hemp a good rug material is a simple yes. The pros far outweigh the cons and hemp accent rugs are easy to care for. For homeowners that prefer a rug with a softer touch, there are cozier options. Hemp rugs make for an attractive addition to any room in the house and can also spruce up a front porch, patio or deck.