Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Natural Floor Covering?
- Sisal - Origin and Characteristics
- Seagrass - Origin and Characteristics
- Information on Mountain Grass
- What about Jute?
- Caring for Bamboo Rugs
- Backing materials of Natural Fiber Floor Coverings
- Why does my rug differ from the sample?
- What would be an ideal size for my rug?
- What size should my rug be?
- Can natural fiber be used for wall to wall covering?
- Inherent Characteristics of Natural Fiber Flooring
What is Natural Floor Covering?
Natural Floor Coverings are carpets/rugs made of natural materials which consist of either plant fibers such as Seagrass, Sisal, Mountain Grass and Jute or Animal Fibers like wool.
Sisal - Origin and Characteristics
The sisal fiber is obtained from the Agave plant which is harvested from various regions of Kenya and Tanzania. Long, smooth, and durable, sisal can be spun into a fine textured yarn that is useful for a wide range of applications. Once woven, colors can vary from light yellow to creamy white. Products having materials derived from sisal are quite suitable for household use due to their anti-static, flame retardant, and sound absorbing characteristics.
Seagrass - Origin and Characteristics
Tough and hardwearing, seagrass is collected from a tall plant having grass-like stems that thrive in wet lands. The distinctive features of this plant are its grassy appearance, hay-like scent and coloring, which dissipate over a certain period. Seagrass has a surface that is impermeable to water because of its inherent smooth texture. Tough and rigid, seagrass is one of the most durable natural fibers. Colors range from sage green hues to olive-like shades.
Information on Mountain Grass
The Mountain Grass fiber is obtained from plants found in the high altitude regions of the Pacific Continent. The fiber's rigid texture and thickness give it a wood-like appearance.
What about Jute?
Jute is obtained from stem fiber plants found in India, which resemble hemp and flax. The jute fiber is recognized for its durability, making it an ideal material for fabricating sturdy and heavy-duty yarns and fabrics. Jute's color ranges from light tans to browns, which are noticeable in each rug.
Caring for Bamboo Rugs
Bamboo rugs are relatively easy to maintain because of their smooth texture that repels most liquids. However, you would want to keep sharp materials or objects away from this rug. Its surface is susceptible to scratching and chipping as with all other woody materials.
Backing materials of Natural Fiber Floor Coverings
Natural Latex is the ideal backing material for Sisal, Seagrass, and Mt. Grass, which is essential for dimensional steadiness and significantly aids in cleaning. Dirt residue and penetration through the underlay is of primary concern with all carpets since dirt that is filtered through has a tendency to damage floor surfaces. Latex significantly reduces such filtration by capturing dirt, which can then be vacuumed. Jute backing for certain wool-sisal rugs also serves this same purpose. Bamboo carpets are backed with felt while Jute Rugs do not have any backing materials.
Why does my rug differ from the sample?
It is not uncommon that some of our rugs do not exactly match our samples. As with all natural fiber materials, color variations do occur due to weaving irregularities and the natural colors of each fiber which is attributed to seasonal growing conditions. Such variations do however, add to each carpet's distinct beauty and elegance.
What would be an ideal size for my rug?
This would depend largely on your purpose. For throw rugs, any standard sized rug would do, depending on the area you wish to cover. Should you wish your finished hardwood floor to remain visible, you might consider an allowance of two feet on each side.
What size should my rug be?
To a large degree, choosing the size of an area rug comes down to personal preference. You may be looking for a rug to underscore a coffee table, or you may be searching for something to put in the front entry. There are certain situations, though, that require you follow some guidelines. If you're shopping for a rug that will define a conversation grouping, start by putting your floor plan on paper. Then experiment with standard rug sizes.
The right rug will accomplish one of two things: It will either be large enough so that all of your seating pieces will fit comfortably on top of it, or it will be at least large enough for the front legs of each to fit. As a general rule, the sofa shouldn't be completely on the rug while any accompanying chairs should be big enough so that when a seated diner pushes back the chair, the back legs don't get caught in the process.
Area rugs are one of the easiest ways to delineate spaces in a large room. Two area rugs, matched in color and style but not in size, visually divide room into two distinct seating areas. Both rugs are large enough to comfortably accommodate their respective groupings.
Can natural fiber be used for wall to wall covering?
Natural fibers such as Sisal, Seagrass and Mountain Grass make suitable wall to wall floor covering materials (only bamboo and jute are not available for custom-sizing). Though relatively costly, the effect of a beautiful wall to wall natural fiber installation is definitely worth the investment. Should you consider such a project, we do recommend that you consult a professional fiber flooring installer first, since these materials are handled differently from synthetic carpeting.
Inherent Characteristics of Natural Fiber Flooring
- When dealing with Natural Fiber Flooring, no guarantee can be made with certain characteristics such as color and weave. As such, one material may come out more perfect than another. Listed below are common irregularities a customer can expect.
- A few plugs -the fibers have to be tied off in the manufacturing process.
- Some irregularities in the ribs, some might be close, some will be further apart, especially in Jute.
- Variation in bowing and loop size can occur.
- All natural fibers tend to return to their original colors. Colors can fade over time.
- Direct sunlight should be avoided to preserve color. Natural Floor Coverings are recommended for light to medium traffic environment and hold up well in household and commercial conditions. Situations where extreme humidity, heat, dampness (bathrooms, basements, and kitchens) or heavy traffic is expected, are to be avoided.
- In offices, we recommend that loose mats be laid under chairs with castors to extend rug life.
Jute rugs are normally recommended for light wear areas.
To protect against mold and mildew, natural fiber rugs must be kept in well-ventilated areas.
Additional Resource: The Home Renovation Guide