October 15, 2010

Sisal, Jute and Seagrass Rugs ? Eco Friendly and Good Looking

Area rugs made from the natural fibers of sisal, jute, and seagrass make attractive flooring options. The textures and shades are varied, giving your home a fresh, natural look. They are durable as well. Natural fiber rugs are also a good choice for people with chemical allergies or sensitivities. Here are some of the characteristics of these fibers, and how they are used to make rugs.

* Sisal – This fiber comes from the agave plant, which you may have heard of with regard to the sweetener by the same name. It has a grey-green color and tight, yarn-like fibers. Most companies that manufacture this kind of rug use fibers that have not been exposed to pesticides or weed-killers. Sisal is renewable and sustainable. It also makes a durable rug, meaning less waste.

* Jute – Jute is soft and flexible, but very durable. It comes from the “skin” of the jute plant. It resists scratching and gauging. And it’s renewable, biodegradable, and recyclable. It has a light, straw-like color when left undyed. It can be woven into a “chunky” texture or be woven to achieve a smoother look.

* Seagrass – Light golds and muted greens characterize rugs made from this fast-growing material. Seagrass is renewable and it grows very quickly. Seagrass is biodegradable as well. It is said to be non-porous, making it resistant to moisture. The natural colors in seagrass rugs will become more muted over time.

All of these natural fibers have natural stain resistance, which means there are no chemical stain guards put on or into the rug’s fibers. They do not require adhesive, the chemicals of which raise health concerns among consumers. Natural backings are available for these rugs. Some natural fiber rugs come with a natural latex backing already.

Keeping natural fiber rugs clean is also eco-friendly. Regular vacuuming is the first thing to do in keeping your rug clean. After that, take care not to use too much moisture in cleaning your rug. Natural fiber rugs do not require toxic chemicals; a bit of vinegar, soap and water can be lightly touched on to stained areas and rubbed with a cloth.

If there is a big liquid spill on your rug or it otherwise gets wet, proper drying is essential to helping the rug hold its shape. It is said that a good way to get your natural fiber rug dry is to spread out a towel (or towels) on the rug, and then roll it up with the towel inside. Changing the towel may be necessary as the rug dries.

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Alexis Rodrigo

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