If you’re considering a natural-style flooring for your home there are a whole host of contemporary plant-based fibres you can choose from. Don’t be fooled into thinking that jute or seagrass just mean clunky, hairy doormats, though. These intricately woven furnishings have an elegance all of their own and provide something a little bit different to your usual carpet.
Excellent acoustic, thermal and anti-static properties, along with beautiful weaves, means that ranges (such as those available from Kersaint Cobb) are the perfect choice for those looking to bring nature into their homes.
Natural fibre carpets are ideal for areas such as living rooms and bedrooms, as they are hardwearing and stand up well to heavy traffic. Sisal and seagrass are not recommended for use on stairs, though, as they can become slippery, but are great for all other areas of the home.
With many different weaves to choose from, as well as different shades and colours; natural plant fibres will provide a subtle palate to set off your home décor.
Available in a range of different weaves, such as panama, hopscotch and herringbone, Sisal gives an incredible array of different effects. Durable and ideal in heavy traffic areas of the home, it comes in plenty of different colours to boot.
any people buy coir flooring without even realising what they are buying – in fact coir is sourced from the coconut! Mould and mildew resistant, soil repellent and durable, coir is a great choice for almost anywhere in the home. It is anti-static and available in three different weaves.
Strong, durable and non-porous, seagrass is softer underfoot than some of the other natural fibres. Anti-static too, it is perfect for heavy domestic use, making it ideal in busy room such as the hall or lounge. Available in some unusual weaves, seagrass flooring means it’s easy to add a decorative touch to even the plainest of rooms.
One of the most affordable natural fibres, jute is also one of the most widely produced; second only to cotton. The Alternative Flooring range provides some fantastic options; with weaves including basketweave, bouclé and herringbone. Each of these has a very different look; from rustic to modern.
The naturally warm tone of plant fibres such as seagrass and sisal make them a popular choice not just for carpets but also other items for the home, such as place mats and decorative bowls.
More Brits are opting for natural products in their homes, thanks to the growing trend for embracing eco-friendly products; a 2015 survey showed that one in three consumers prefer the environmentally-kind option.
Natural fibres are far more sustainable than many other types of man-made carpets. There is less manufacturing needed, meaning less pollution; and it promotes the planting of crops – great for managing CO2 levels in the atmosphere.
The growth of hardy natural plant fibres for the textile industry has revolutionised the economy in many parts of the world where farming conditions can be unreliable. Sisal is usually produced in Tanzania while seagrass is sourced from the Asia-Pacific.
According to the healthy flooring network, sisal is an ideal choice for those with severe allergies to pesticides, as it is grown without the need for chemicals. Herbicides may occasionally be used, but often weeding is done by hand. Rain-fed crops such as jute have very little need for fertilisers or pesticides.
The tight weave of many of the natural fibre carpets means that dust and mites find it hard to penetrate, making them a good option for those with asthma.
Before installing your new carpet you should allow it to acclimatise to the room for 48 hours beforehand. As a natural material, fibres like seagrass will expand and contract in different temperatures and moisture conditions. Letting it adjust before cutting to size will ensure it fits your room perfectly.
Natural fibre carpets such as sisal should be vacuumed regularly to prevent dirt build up. Spills should be mopped up or blotted immediately to prevent the risk of staining or shrinking.
Cleaning stains can be tough work, so it’s not recommended you install these natural fibre carpets in rooms such as the kitchen or in areas where muddy boots and the like commonplace. Quick action is the key to prevent a stain seeping into the tight weave, while a stain-resistant coating such as Intec Stain Protector can be used as an effective and environmentally friendly method of prolonging the life of your carpet.
The amazing contemporary range from Alternative Flooring also includes a beautiful selection of wool and silk carpets, two other natural fibres which – although not from the plant world – are equally as delightful.