Natural Flooring Guide
This simple guide will give you information you need to know before you buy. It also offers hints and tips about picking a carpet that's right for you. Keep a notepad with you to mark important information that you may need in the future.
About Natural Fiber Flooring
Natural carpets/rugs are made from natural fibers, either vegetables such as seagrass, sisal, mountain grass or jute; or animals such as wool. The benefits of all-natural fiber flooring are innumerous.
By using mother nature’s materials, you are actively promoting a healthier, cleaner environment.
Beside obvious environmental reasons, natural fibers also last longer than synthetic imitations.
Area Rugs provide the opportunity for you to create design schemes in any area of your choice, or even different sections of the same room. If you are looking for a throw rug, any standard rug size would work. This depends on the coverage you are looking for. However, if you want your finished wood floors to be seen, you might want to allow one or two feet of the floor to show around the rug on each side.
To a large degree, choosing the size of an area rug comes down to personal preference. You may looking for a rug to underscore a coffee table, or you may be searching for something to put in the front entry. There are certain situations, though, that require you follow some guidelines:
If you're looking for a rug that will define a conversation grouping, start by putting your floor plan on paper. Then experiment with standard rug sizes. The right rug will accomplish one of two things: It will either be large enough so that all of your seating pieces will fit comfortably on top of it, or it will be at least large enough for the front legs of each to fit. As a general rule, the sofa shouldn't be completely on the rug. As for chairs, the rug should be big enough so that when a seated person pushes the chair back, the back legs don't get caught in the process.
Area Rugs are one of the easiest ways to delineate spaces in a large room. Two area rugs, matched in color and style but not in size, visually divide a room into two distinct seating areas. Both rugs are large enough to comfortably accommodate their respective groupings.
Sisal - Extracted from the Agave sisal plant. Its long, fine, fibrous qualities permits the Sisal to be spun into smooth textured yarn. This natural anti-static, sound-absorbing flame-retardant, long-lasting fiber makes it an ideal product for your home.
Seagrass - This durable grass is obtained from a tall plant with grass-like stems found in wetlands. Seagrass can be recognized by its grassy, hay-like scent and coloring which dissipates over time. Seagrass has a non-porous surface that gives it a naturally smooth texture.
Mountain Grass - These plants are found in the high altitude slopes of the Pacific Continent. The grasses’ rigidity and thickness allow it to take on a wood-like appearance.
Jute - Comes mainly from India and is extracted from stem fiber plants, similar to flax and hemp. Due to its firmness and stability, this fiber is suited for the manufacturing of stable and durable yarns and fabrics.
Bamboo - Found in China or Japan. Bamboo is a woody material, and like any other material of its kind, its surface is vulnerable to scratching and chipping by sharp edged objects. It is best to keep sharp objects away from the rug.
Wool - A naturally resilient fiber that comes from sheep. It cleans the air of common contaminants, and provides a soft surface while maintaining its appearance.
Note: If you are unsure about the texture or color of a certain rug, it is advisable to order a sample. The actual color of the material may differ due to different monitor settings or growing conditions.
A thorough cleaning of the covering is recommended every six months, or once a year, depending on traffic received. We also recommend a rug pad for every rug. This will stabilize your rug, and minimize wear. Rug pads also promote circulation between your rug and your floor, helping prevent moisture and bacteria build-up. Rug pads keep your family safe by anchoring your rug to your floor, thereby protecting your family from slippage.
Proper vacuuming requires both suction and brushing action. Either an upright or canister type vacuum cleaner can be used. For best results, vacuum from different directions making several passes over the area.Heavy traffic areas require the most attention and should receive regular vacuuming to reduce soil build-up and prolong the beauty and life of the carpet.
Special Instructions for Hand-Tufted Rugs
For hand-tufted rugs such as wool and shag, you should go over your carpet each day using an upright vacuum cleaner that has beater-bar action (but no teeth or combs). Regular vacuuming of both sides is highly recommended. However, power brush attachments or high-suction vacuum cleaners should never be used (especially for tufted rugs—which are susceptible to shedding).
Since it really takes no more than a few passes of your vacuum cleaner to maintain your natural fiber rugs' beauty, professional cleaning should be kept to a minimum and only during instances where your rug has been seriously stained after a spill. For minor spills, try blotting the affected area with a clean dry cloth.
When dealing with moth damages, stains, or fraying corners and edges, never take matters in your own hands. Such problems should be referred to restorers who can help maintain your rug's beauty and appearance.
Removing spills and stains
- If possible, clean up a spill immediately after it occurs.
- For spot-cleaning, use a mixture of water with a very small amount of detergent (such as a neutral one used for hand-washed garments) or a household solvent.
- Use as little cleaner as possible to avoid excessive wetting which may damage the carpet.
- Removing stains with color in them may require extra effort, and some stains containing dyes such as ink, lipstick, paint or shoe polish may be impossible to remove.
- If you are unable to remove a stain, consult a professional carpet cleaner.
If possible, clean up a spill immediately after it occurs. If it is a liquid spill, blot up as much as you can with a clean, un dyed cloth, pressing firmly all around the spill to absorb as much of the liquid as possible. If the material is solid, scrape up what you can with a spoon or spatula. Dampen cloth with the proper cleaning agent for the type of stain. Wipe the area gently, working from the outer edge to the center of the spot. Turn the cloth frequently so it is always clean, and do not saturate the carpet or get it excessively wet. Repeat this process until the spot is removed. Dry the carpet by weighing down a pad of absorbent tissues or cloth to absorb the moisture, then circulate with a fan or hair dryer.
If possible, rotate your rug every six months, to change the traffic pattern on the surface of rug. Should your floor coverings require a total cleaning, it is important to insure that a cleaning method using hot water extraction or wet shampooing should NOT be used. These methods can cause shrinkage and staining of natural fibers. For an overall cleaning it is best to consult a professional who has experience with Natural Fiber Floor covering.
With proper maintenance and care your Natural Floor Coverings will remain beautiful and functional for years. However, be aware that natural fibers may not be the best choice for every condition. Also, the responsibility for cleaning and maintaining lies with those who perform the task.
4. Bindings and Colors
There are two different binding styles :
- Standard (one side over the other)
- Mitered corners (joined at a 45°angle)
And two different stitch styles:
- Top stitch (visible)
- Blind stitch (invisible)
1¼" Top Stitch w/standard binding
3" Blind Stitch w/mitered corner
Binding widths range from 1¼" to 3" and can be ordered at a width to suit your needs.
A binding color that matches the accompanying fiber is recommended to allow for other decoration accents; however, you may get creative with different colors for a more modern look.
Light colors tend to make spaces feel more open while dark colors create a more intimate, cozy atmosphere. Red and yellow hues will brighten a darker room, while lighter greens and blues open up a brighter room.
Hint: Try to keep a record of any flooring or room designs that catch your attention. This will help you visualize the kind of setting you want to create. Save magazine clippings, layout pictures or other design drawings that are of interest to you.
When measuring your room, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Use a steel measuring tape for best accuracy
- Always double-check your measurements. Custom made rugs cannot be returned or exchanged.
- Make note of any vents, doors, or other objects that may affect the actual size of the space with which you have to work.
- Leave about 1' between the rug and the wall on each side of the rug to create a more intimate environment.
- Furniture should be placed either entirely on the rug, except for a couch or sofa (which may have its back legs on the floor.
- If you are measuring for a dining table, make sure to add enough room so the chair may be extended comfortably without moving off the carpet (we recommend a 27" buffer space on all sides of the table dimensions).
After you have measured and reviewed the color scheme of your area, choose a style that is appealing to you. It must be something you will be happy with for a long time, as natural rugs tend to last longer than synthetic carpets.
Experiment with the idea of a polygonal or round rug. The possibilities for flooring should be left wide open. A custom-shaped rug may be tailored to enhance the geometric intricacies of your room. Rectangular rugs work well for bedrooms and living rooms while round and oblong rugs are suitable for dining rooms.
Consider the furniture accompanying your rug. Make sure they complement each other and do not clash or both draw too much attention. Keep in mind a rug swap between seasons may be the perfect way to change the feel of your room through the year.
Make sure you order a rug pad to secure the placement of your rug.
Natural rugs give you the ultimate in quality and style. Natural Area Rugs offers a wide variety of natural flooring options, with new products constantly being introduced. If you think you're ready to shop, continue to NaturalAreaRugs.com.
If not, feel free to look through our guide again, or contact us for any lingering questions you still might have. Thanks for shopping with us!