Are you looking for something different for your floors? How about trying a natural fiber floor covering called sisal and sea grass.
Sisal and sea grass sound like something out of the deep dark lagoon, but they’re actually words you need to know about if you’re considering natural fiber for your floor covering. Natural fibers are a sure bet for a cool, neutral look that’s very attractive in any home.
What exactly is Sisal and Sea Grass?
Sisal and sea grass are both derived from plants: sisal from a species of agave and sea grass from tropical grasses. All are of natural fibers; these two are the most affordable and durable.
Sisal has a smooth texture and tight weave, making it a favorite of decorators. It’s also slightly more expensive.
Sea grass reeds have a somewhat shiny, nonporous skin. Rugs tend to have a faint sheen and are slightly more stain resistant.
Natural fibers are comparable to good-grade carpeting in price but, with proper care, are more durable and stain resistant. Their natural color makes them a versatile element in any dÃ?Â©cor.
Sea grass comes in its natural color, a soft, earthy green that becomes less pronounced as it ages.
Sisal’s natural shades vary, but all tend to darken with age and exposure to light.
Where can you use them?
Both sisal and sea grass are great as hallway runners and foyer rugs.
Natural fibers are not suited for kitchens or baths, but definitely consider them for dining rooms, bedrooms, home offices, and family rooms.
They should not be used on stairs because their texture can be slippery.
Both can be installed wall to wall. Remember that natural fibers can scratch hardwood floors, so a thin pad or latex backing should be used.
While they feel nice underfoot, natural fiber rugs may be uncomfortable for lounging. So, they’re not the best choice for playrooms or TV rooms where you may want to stretch out on the floor. If you have small children, layer softer rugs over natural fiber ones for more color and texture
Should you try a blend?
A sisal-wool blend gives you the look of sisal with the softness of wool, making it better for rooms where you might grab a throw pillow and crash on the floor.
A sisal-wool blend also lends additional moisture resistance to the rug because of wool’s natural properties. However, the addition of wool should not be considered a license to spill.
You may also consider a sisal-paper blend. It’s made from wood pulp. So, yes, it really is paper. The pulp is mixed with a resin, which coats the fibers and makes them extremely durable. Sisal-paper blends are strong and smooth surfaced and maintain their look for a long time.
How should you care for them?
Regular vacuuming is best for natural fibers. Vacuum the rug in opposing directions to get hidden particles.
Natural fibers should not be steam cleaned, wet shampooed, or cleaned by any means that requires saturation with water. Dry cleaning methods are best.
Spills should be cleaned while still moist. Dampen a white cloth with club soda, and blot, don’t scrub, the area.
Water spills also should be tended to immediately. Natural fibers are absorbent and will show watermarks, Follow cleaning with use of a fan or hair dryer to prevent rings and mold.
What are your choices?
Sisal is found in round, oval, or octagonal shapes.
Both materials can be cut into custom shapes to fit around corners or other awkward areas, such as the fireplace.
Sisal and sea grass rugs are most often bound in a best matched binding, which means that the rug will be bound in the thread that is closest to the color of the rug.
Rugs may also be bound with a border of fabric, leather, or suede. You choose the color, pattern, and even the width of the border, though 1 to 3 inches is standard.