As our society becomes more technologically advanced and modernized, we’re seeing an interesting design trend: spaces are frequently dotted with natural elements in an effort to “go back to our roots” and create a sense of peace with the outside world. We see this play out in the carpet and rug industry with a trend toward natural fiber rugs.
Most carpets nowadays contain at least some synthetic fibers, but there are a few flooring options that are entirely natural. Wool is the most popular choice, while silk, jute, sisal, seagrass, and hemp also continue to make a name for themselves.
Durability: natural fiber rugs can handle high-traffic areas
Wool rugs, especially when hand-knotted, are particularly prized for their durability in high-traffic areas.
Wool fibers are protected by a naturally occurring coating of an oil called lanolin that makes them resistant to stains. In fact, small amounts of liquid simply bead up on wool surfaces instead of immediately soaking through, making wool rugs far easier to spot clean than most of their synthetic counterparts.
What’s more: wool fibers trap air, giving their creations partially soundproof properties as well as excellent thermal insulation. Couple these characteristics with wool’s long-appreciated strength and softness (there’s a reason wool is the classic high-quality material for cozy winter sweaters, after all), and it’s no wonder that wool rugs are maintaining their popularity.
Silk is slightly more fragile than wool, but it still stands up to the test of time — it’s been widely used in traditional rugs for centuries. Silk fibers lend themselves well to dense knotting, resulting in exceptionally sturdy rugs considering how soft they feel to the touch.
Sustainability: natural fiber rugs are eco-friendly
Natural fibers are environmentally friendly, renewable resources. The production process does not produce excessive pollution, and they are readily available in many locations across the world. What’s more? They are completely biodegradable, leaving no trace in landfills.
This is a huge draw in our modern economy — in fact, more than 50 percent of people and businesses say they are willing to spend more for an eco-friendly product, and that number skyrockets to nearly 75 percent among millennials.
Visual interest: natural fiber rugs have a unique, interesting texture
One of the best parts of natural fiber rugs, especially hand-knotted varieties, is their inherently interesting texture. Many synthetic fiber options result in flat, basic designs that merely blend into a space, while natural fibers like wool and silk can make a statement on their own.
Depending on how natural fiber rugs are knotted, designers can achieve a range of textures to fit a specific project’s needs.
Design flexibility: natural fiber rugs work well in a range of spaces
Natural fiber rugs can be flexibly incorporated into almost any space’s existing design. The wide range of fiber options, ability to be dyed in a variety of colors, and long-lasting durability of these carpets means they can be used in almost any capacity.
Whether a natural fiber rug is an eye-catching statement piece or part of a corporate office’s functional flooring, it’s been proven time and again to get the job done. At Endless Knot, we use natural fibers to ensure a durable, sustainable product — learn more about our rug-making process here.