By Jim (20/06/2016)
Natural floorcoverings are in style at the moment - but what can they do for you? They’re not everyone’s cup of tea but for those wanting a really unique and inspiring finish, a natural finish can be just the thing! Here’s a little guide on the different materials and what to use them for!
Image Source: Designer Carpet Remnants
Sisal is made from the leaves of a species of Agave plant, which bears the same name- it’s native to South America and is a relative of Agave Tequilana, which gives us tequila!
Sisal carpet is great for most areas of the house, including high-traffic areas like stairs and landings - however, it is very absorbent, so keep it away from any bathrooms or ensuites!
Apart from being very tough and hardwearing, sisal is also very versatile - it comes in many different weaves and styles which can really add a unique character to your house - also, if you have hard flooring, it also makes beautiful rugs for some charming, rustic accents.
Image Source: Crucial Trading
Sisool is not a material itself but a weave of two - can you guess which ones? Sisal and wool!
(Well done if you figured that out already)
Sisool can be used in almost any room with the exception of stairs - and the rule about not getting sisal wet still applies of course!
Combining the best of both worlds, sisool is extremely durable, more hardwearing even than wool and softer than plain sisal - not only that, but the intricate weaves of the two fabrics together often results in really striking and beautiful patterns.
Image Source: Kersaint Cobb
Coir is made from the tough husk of a coconut - it has been used for many centuries, for nets, ship rigging, mats, brushes - even as a special ‘substrate’ (or growing surface) for mushrooms!
Coir is great for high-traffic areas like the stairs, and also for hard-wearing rugs and conservatories - however, it isn’t very soft, so probably not ideal for living rooms and bedrooms.
Apart from being very durable, coir is also non-slip surface which keeps you and your furniture safe - also, unlike most traditional carpets, it doesn’t harbour bacteria or dust-mites, making it great for anyone who suffers from allergies. Although it is not advisable to get it wet (as with any carpet) it stands up far better to damp and mildew than any of the other natural fibres.
Image Source: Crucial Trading
Seagrass is a fascinating plant, closely related to its land-bound counterpart, which grows in salty shallows as huge ‘meadows’ which provide a habitat and grazing for many animals. Seagrass for carpet is primarily harvested from salt rivers in China and Vietnam.
Low-traffic areas like studies, spare rooms and dining rooms suit seagrass - because it makes a very smooth, low-friction surface, it’s not recommended for stairs or for uneven surfaces.
The main appeals of seagrass are twofold - first its look; modern, attractive and (like sisal) highly versatile due to the different weaves, and it’s texture which is uniquely smooth, despite its rugged appearance.
Image Source: Alternative Flooring
Jute is an incredibly versatile material - it is made from tall herbs of the genus corchorus - it’s leaves are used for cooking and the fibre itself is one of the most widely cultivated in the world, making rope, twine, sacking, clothes, curtains...and of course, carpets!
Like Seagrass, Jute is best for low traffic areas, but it’s softer so better for bedrooms and living rooms.
Jute is the softest of the natural carpets, and it’s light golden colour and varied patterns make it one of the most attractive.
Well, that’s that! We hope it made you consider a few alternatives for any home renovation you may be planning - we do have a wide selection of natural remnants on our site, so if you’ve been inspired you can find them here. However, if you still feel like something more traditional is right for you, then we do have plenty of regular high-quality carpet remnants in stock - and some great information on our FAQ. about how to choose the perfect carpet. Back with more blogs and fun facts for you soon!