Design Tip: Natural Fiber Rugs

Do you love the look of natural fiber rugs, but are unsure of which kind would work for your home?  If so, here are a few tips to help you find the right natural fiber (or alternative) rug to achieve the look you want:

Natural Fibers – Sisal

Natural Fiber Rugs | The Distinctive Cottage
Image: Milk and Honey

Real 100% sisal rugs are beautiful, but they do have some maintenance requirements you should know before purchasing.

  • All spills will stain the rug, but there are ways to minimize the visibility of the stain.  Because water can even stain sisal, use the least amount of liquid when spot cleaning.  You want to use ammonia, vinegar, or detergent, depending on the stain, in a spray bottle diluted with warm water.  Then you can lightly mist the solvent on the stain, blot and repeat until stain has lessened.
  • Sisal has a course fiber consistency, so it’s not the most comfortable selection for living rooms or bedrooms where you will be shoe-less.  But if you are okay with the coarse texture, than these are the most durable option for high traffic areas.

Natural Fibers – Wool

Wool rugs are available in a multitude of neutral shades and fiber consistencies.  Wool pile, or wool looped rugs, are a great solution for creating a natural look.

Natural Fiber Rugs | The Distinctive Cottage
Image: Remodelista

  • Wool pile will shed during the life of the rug, so regular vacuuming is necessary. 
  • They are typically plush and very comfortable for the living room, bedroom, or family area.
  • You want to blot spills immediately, but if the stain does set, than you can use a mild detergent for cleaning.

Natural Fibers – Jute

Jute looks a lot like sisal, but jute rugs are different in texture, yarn color variations, and cost.  

Natural Fiber Rugs | The Distinctive Cottage
Image: Pinterest

  • Jute tends to be softer on the feet in comparison to sisal, because the fibers have a slight waxy coating to them. 
  • You want to follow the same cleaning instructions as sisal.
  • Jute does tend to shed so regular shaking or vacuuming is recommended.
  • There are color variations naturally in jute fibers, so every jute rug is unique. They tend to be a less expensive alternative to sisal rugs.

Natural Fiber Look-a-Likes: Polypropylene

Natural Fiber Rugs | The Distinctive Cottage
Image: New England Home

Synthetic fiber neutral rugs have a similar look to sisal and jute, but a very different feel.  They tend to be thinner in pile, but the durability and practicality are priceless.

  • These often come available with a fabric border to jazz up the look.
  • Made of 100% polypropylene material, you can literally hose them off outside and let them dry in the sun when there are spills.
  • The low pile makes it easy for cleaning and vacuuming.

Whatever material you choose, make sure you check with the manufacturer for specific cleaning instructions that you can follow to stay within a rug’s warranty.  

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