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Throw Rugs Offer Natural Alternative to Synthetic Carpets
Many of us find comfort in nature; feeling at home surrounded by the elemental quality of the natural materials that shape our world. Despite this intrinsic passion, most homes are still furnished entirely in synthetic textiles.
Natural materials are used for some rug or floor coverings ranging from bamboo, coir, hemp, jute, mountain grass, sisal, seagrass, paper to wool.
The making of area rugs varies from braided or hooked rugs to canvas throws, to woven rugs with a variety of textures. A search for area rugs along with your favorite materials will provide you with a wide variety of sources, blends, shapes and sizes. Area rugs are truly a natural alternative to synthetic carpeting that depends on the oil industry and has been a major polluter of areas that concentrate on carpet manufacturing, such as northern Georgia.
A wide variety of natural throw rugs:
- Bamboo has long been used for flooring in Asian countries. It is environmentally friendly as it is fast growing and there is a constant, plentiful supply available. It can be harvested within two years of planting without killing the host plant.
- Coir is a by-product of the coconut industry, coming from the husks of the fruit after a harvest. When compared to peat, (the extraction of which can easily harm fragile bog habitats) coir is a more ecologically responsible choice.
- Hemp rugs are smooth and comfortable to the touch. Hemp is anti-static, and repels liquids making it naturally stain resistant. Hemp is made from the long fibers of the hemp plant. These strong fibers have also been used for paper, rope and textiles.
- Jute is one of the finest and softest of natural floor covering materials. It is made from the yarn derived from the fibrous stalks of the jute plant and woven into either a boucle or herringbone pattern. Jute is grown in China, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Jute is used for many purposes, including the manufacture of burlap, gunny sacks, bags, rope, and backings for rugs and carpets. Because jute is so soft, it is ideal for bedroom floors, sitting rooms, but is not a practical material for areas of heavy wear. Jute mats and prayer rugs are common in the East as are jute backed carpets. Jutes, single largest use; however, is in sacks and bags, those of finer quality being called burlap of Hessian.
- Mountain grass is native to high altitude slopes and is found nestled on the rim of the Pacific Continent. The mountain grass rugs are rigid and take on a wood-like appearance.
- Paper rugs are strong, smooth and comfortable under foot.
- Seagrass is the least expensive and the most versatile of the natural floor coverings. Seagrass comes from the coastal regions of China and India and is grown in paddy fields. These fields need a flooding of sea-water during its crop cycle. Seagrass area rugs are relatively non-absorbent and hard. They are stain resistant and dirt is easily brushed loose from them. Seagrass area rugs have a non-porous surface that gives it a naturally smooth texture and sheen quality. Its rigidity gives it natural durability. Seagrass rugs compliment a low dust, allergy free, naturally humid environment.
- Sisal is a completely natural product and has been used throughout the ages to make rugs.
The origins are visible in the ancient Egyptian culture. They took bulrushes from the Nile and wove them into mats. Sisal plants produce a fiber which is stronger than many other common fibers such as flax, hemp, and jute. The fibers of sisal natural floor coverings are often left undyed, so they take their color from the plant from which they are made. They can be bleached to offer a lighter, more neutral look or be dyed.
- Wool and Sisal rugs combine these two natural materials to provide durability and comfort. Tightly woven boucles are blended together with sisal for both softness and durability.
Tips on How to clean a rug:
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