Natural fibre flooring styles we love
One of the biggest new flooring trends is natural fibres, so we got the lowdown from some of the top retailers…
Image: Alternative Flooring
If you’re opting for a natural fibre look in the flooring of your home, there are plenty of options to choose from. From sisal and coir, to jute and seagrass, these fibres are all full of wonderful textures and are also sustainably-sourced. Sustainability is a key reason for this being a trend, as growing awareness is leading us all to be mindful.
Why choose natural fibres?
Image: Alternative Flooring
One of the key things to consider when planning flooring for your home is the durability. If you’re investing in high quality flooring, you want it to last a while, or at least until you’re prepared to redecorate, and natural fibre flooring truly fits the bill. It’s known for being hardwearing, whilst also having a wonderful texture so being comfortable underfoot.
Julian Downes, managing director of Fibre explains: “Our home environment can have a huge effect on our wellbeing. There is so much awareness about surrounding ourselves with natural materials and the positivity this brings. As a result, we are much more switched onto making considered choices that are sensible for our homes, our health and the environment.”
He continues: “There is an appetite for ‘buy once, buy well’ and, if looked after correctly, natural materials will look beautiful and perform well for years to come.
“From air purifying qualities to how they ward off moths and dustmites, natural fibres are enjoying a well-deserved moment in interiors. As we gain more understanding of materials which are planet-friendly this will only increase.”
Where in the home do natural fibres work best?
Image: Alternative flooring
Creative director at Alternative Flooring, Lorna Haigh explains: “These natural fibre floor coverings can be fitted as wall-to-wall carpets, or made into rugs or runners with gorgeous borders. Both have a unique effect and look wonderful in homes. Currently, stair runners are particularly popular, but on the whole the natural fibre flooring trend is increasing in popularity.”
Which fibres are best to use?
Lorna decides easily: “Sisal is the most durable of the natural fibres we do. Many sisal carpets have a fleck in them which means that the carpets are practical and don’t show every speck of dust or dirt. The tight weaves of the Sisal Boucle is the ultimate hardwearing natural fibre carpet, and this wears really well in high traffic areas such as the stairs or hallway.”
Julian agrees, “Sisal is having a real boom as people look for natural flooring ideas and for a material that complements wood and stone flooring. Our sisal Boucle is our best seller in this category and is popular among those who want texture without such a directional pattern. In recent months we’ve seen a lot of home offices and working areas being fitted with sisal – it’s durable and attractive while offering a natural, breathable fibre in a well-used room!
“We’ve also found that Herringbone patterns across all flooring types are a popular seller at the moment. A herringbone adds texture and direction to a room and allows for a design touch through flooring without using bold colours.”
What are the benefits of using wool in flooring?
Wool is highly durable and has an inherent elasticity, meaning that it maintains its pile shape and natural bounce for a luxurious feel under foot. It is naturally resistant to staining as liquids will tend to sit on top of the fibre before it sinks in, giving you time to clean it up.
Wool is a natural insulator; warm in winter and temperature regulating in summer. Not only does this create a comfort factor in the home but it keeps energy bills low and reduces carbon emissions from heat escaping outside of the home. Part of wool’s insulating property is the ability to balance humidity in a room as the fibres absorb and release water vapour.
It is naturally hypoallergenic and breathable so an ideal choice for allergy sufferers as well as those who just want to breath pure air. The tight structure of wool allows it to hold onto dirt and dust; stopping it becoming airborne and aggravating people’s allergies.
Why is sisal such a popular choice?
Julian explains: “Sisal is a natural, plant-based product and is enjoying a recent a resurgence as we look to source more natural products for our homes. Sisal looks as natural as its eco-friendly benefits suggest, allowing you to create a stylish and contemporary feel, that is kind to the planet.
“It is best for rooms where a neutral tone but textured aesthetic is required, and it creates a co-ordinated flow between rooms with wooden and stone flooring.
“Both wool and sisal are sustainable and renewable materials and they are naturally dust mite resistant. This makes for a healthy solution for those who suffer from asthma, eczema and other allergies. Both are extremely hard wearing and if looked after, will look beautiful for years.”
How can I keep natural fibre flooring clean?
Whenever you embark on new flooring in your home, the question of keeping it clean is one of the first. Luckily, Lorna has some advice: “We do not recommend using water or steam extraction for natural fibre plant floor coverings. Natural fibres such as jute, coir, seagrass and sisal contain natural colouring that is not colourfast. Jute can be particularly susceptible to colour loss through bleaching.
“Instead, we recommend using suction-only vacuums. Continuous use of models with brushes can distort the fibres of natural fibre floor coverings over time.
“To avoid spots, spills and stains from becoming permanent, clean them up as soon as they occur. Please be aware that some things can immediately stain the floor covering permanently and this can not be reversed. If you are entertaining, don’t wait until your guests have gone – speed is of the essence.”