Natural fiber rugs provide an earthy texture that lends a relaxed and easy vibe to any space. The higher-than-average durability of natural fiber rugs makes them a practical choice, too. The most popular types of natural fiber rugs are jute, sisal and seagrass. They each have pros and cons. I’ve owned all three and learned a few lessons from each. From pros and cons to tips and tricks, here’s what you need to know about natural fiber rugs.
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Jute – Natural Fiber Rugs
Jute natural fiber rugs win for softness when compared to sisal or seagrass. However, depending on the material some jute rugs are blended with, they can shed. As in, if you’re the mom of a child who likes to roll around on the floor, he/she will be covered in jute.
“Rugs: The bigger, the better. Nothing shrinks a room faster than a tiny ‘postage stamp’ at the seating area. Best rule of thumb: Keep 12″ of wood showing around the perimeter.” -Mary Foley + Michael Cox
Sisal – Natural Fiber Rugs
Sisal natural fiber rugs are more durable than jute or seagrass. Made from the agave plant, sisal rugs are tough enough to be used in high-traffic areas of your home.
If you have kids and pets, sisal is a great natural fiber rug option. However, sisal is rougher than jute, so it could be uncomfortable if you have toddlers.
The biggest drawback of sisal natural fiber rugs is they’re the priciest of the three options. But, with natural fiber rugs you definitely get what you pay for.
“A simple sisal rug in natural or gray is the best way to make a room look clean and elegant.” -James Huniford
Seagrass – Natural Fiber Rugs
Seagrass natural fiber rugs are typically bound with cotton and backed with latex. Which means they stay in place better than jute and sisal rugs, which are usually reversible.
Grown in saltwater marshes, seagrass is nonporous and incredibly water-resistant. This makes naturally stain-resistant seagrass a better option than jute or sisal for kitchens and bathrooms.
Like sisal, seagrass has a rougher texture than jute. Again, something to think about if you have little ones crawling around.
Interior Stylist Tip
“If you find a rug you love, but it’s too small for your space, layer it over a larger rug. You’ll be surprised how beautiful it looks.” -Julie Pedraza
I’m partial to the relaxed, casual and organic vibe of natural fiber rugs. I have them in almost every room. In a house full of boys and dogs, they’re perfect for us.
It’s important to note that treating spills on jute, sisal or seagrass rugs requires blotting rather than rubbing. Otherwise, the fibers will fray and potentially change color.
The versatility and textural warmth of natural fiber rugs makes them the ideal functional layer for living rooms, dining rooms or any room. So, consider which of the three might work best in your home and pull the trigger. You’ll be happy you did. -xo
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