Plant-based carpets a natural choice

by Ofentse Sefolo
Plant-based carpets a natural choice

With an increasing number of individuals turning to an eco-friendly lifestyle, plant-based carpets and rugs made from natural, renewable fibres are becoming increasingly popular.

Plant-based carpet and rug options on the market today include sisal, seagrass, coir and jute carpets and rugs, which are biodegradable, can be recycled and are extremely environmentally responsible.

Superior Sisal adapts to seasons
Agave Sisalana grows in semi-arid regions of Kenya, Tanzania, Brazil and Mexico. Sisal fibres are extracted after the leaf of the plant has been crushed and beaten into a pulp. The fibres are washed, dried and carefully graded before being spun into yarn. Sisal has a rope-like texture, is durable and does not trap dust nor create static. It holds up in heavy traffic areas and comes in an off-white hue, andcan be dyed with vegetable dye into various attractive colours. Depending on the weave, certain Sisal carpet and rugs will feel softer underfoot than others. It is a stretch carpet, meaning it will have a slightly tighter feel in winter and a softer feel in summer.

Shiny Jute is the golden fibre
Jute is a seasonal crop cultivated in the Bengal region of India and in Bangladesh. It grows in plain alluvial soil and standing water, and within 100 days of the seeds being sown, it is ready for harvest. The woody hemp is soaked in water for nearly a month before the long, soft, shiny fibres are taken from the skin of the plant. Once dried, jute can be spun into coarse strong threads and is referred to as the “golden fibre” because of its colour and cost-effectiveness. These thick, strong, tightly wound carpets and rugs are durable in low traffic areas, breathable and versatile, complementing a variety of spaces.

Superb Seagrass reduces noise
Seagrass is a fast-growing, plentiful plant grown in the paddy fields of China and flooded with seawater during crop season. It is soaked in fresh water for several weeks before being hand collected, sun dried, sorted and woven into twine or rope for carpet weaving. Seagrass carpets and rugs are smooth, shiny and highly stain and water resistant, making them a smart choice for high-traffic areas and entryways. They are said to reduce noise, are durable and have a comfortable texture underfoot. They bring a touch of exotic elegance to any room. Due to the stain-resistance of the fibres, seagrass can’t be dyed so rugs and carpets are available in attractive natural shades.

Casual Coir is elastic but strong
Coir or coconut fibre, is a fibre extracted from the outer husk of coconuts and is one of the most versatile materials obtained from the earth. The elastic but strong fibres are harvested from the husk and soaked for many months before being beaten, washed and dried. They are then carefully spun into yarn. Coir rugs and carpets are strong, hardwearing, resistant to rot, mould and moisture and are hypoallergenic. The natural colour of coir is anything from golden to reddish brown making it perfect for more rustic environments. Coir carpets and rugs give the right feeling of warmth to any area in winter and a comfortable coolness in summer.

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