/ / / DON’T Buy a Natural Fiber Rug Before Reading This!

DON’T Buy a Natural Fiber Rug Before Reading This!

Are you trying to figure out what type of natural fiber rug to buy like sisal, jute, and sea grass? You may want to consider an indoor/outdoor synthetic option instead.

If you are considering buying a natural fiber sisal, jute or sea grass rug, please read this first. You may just change your mind! 

There are SO many natural fiber rug choices these days and trying to figure out which option may be right or totally wrong for you can be really confusing.

I’m here to tell you the pros and cons of each type of rug.

Plus at the end give you a REALLY great alternative to a natural fiber rug that gives you the same look.

Natural Fiber Rugs

Let’s chat about this shall we? There is SO much to consider when looking at a truly natural fiber rug, which is a rug made of GRASS.

I’ve had both sisal and sea grass rugs in my home IN MY DINING ROOM. Let that sink in for a minute.

100% natural fiber rugs have their challenges. One of which is cleaning!

When I’ve decided to go with a natural fiber rug, it’s been in my least used room.

I could keep my kid out of there until allowed and at the time didn’t have any pets.

The rug stayed protected and wasn’t used more than a few days a year.

 

Stuff gets trapped into those nooks and crannies, but it has a beautiful sheen, a thick chunky weave, and a beautiful look in the room!

However, natural fiber rugs have their drawbacks. 

When NOT to buy a natural fiber rug like jute, sisal, sea grass:

  1. If you have kids under 10 – you don’t want babies crawling on some of the natural fiber rugs because they are rough
  2. You own pets of any kind – cats may want to scratch and it seems to be a great place to go potty because it smells like outside 🙂
  3. Cleaning is not your thing – they shed in the beginning
  4. You don’t want to spray chemicals on your rug
  5. A plant that you water is in the same room as the rug
  6. Red wine and coffee are your jam
  7. Your feet crave softness or you like to lay on the rug to watch TV or play games

So why am I bringing up all of these concerns. Because I have dealt with them over the years!

The first sisal rug I purchased was when my son was about 8 and he was neat.

It was the adults that were the issue!

When ever I would entertain stuff got spilled. Hey, I throw a great party!

Then I got a dog who wouldn’t go potty if it was raining outside.

So guess what he’s thinking…a grass rug is just the same and grass outside right?

Here are all of the stains I experienced on a natural fiber rug:

  • Food spills
  • Wine spills
  • Overflow from watering plants
  • Feces (diarrhea and bad) plus urine
  • Vomit…
sisal rug dog poop
Not my house, but one I found online the person shall remain nameless

If it’s not a blend and just natural fibers, none of it really comes out.

You can’t get the rug very wet or scrub too much because it will leave a water mark or a cleaner stain.

The ONLY thing I’ve found to help is blotting up the stain and using some cornstarch to absorb the liquid.

Then vacuum over an over and over.

After all of that, why would I want to buy one Tracey?

The PROs of a Natural Fiber Rug

  • They are gorgeous and a beautiful base to work from when decorating a room
  • Durable and will last for years
  • Don’t show day-to-day dirt and dust
  • Look good all of the time in their natural state 
  • Are natural and not synthetic, so low to no VOC (volatile organic compounds)

Here are some of the typical materials natural fiber rugs are made from:

Sisal (pronounced s-eye-sel)

  • Comes from the leaves of a cactus plant!
  • Very durable and is what rope is usually made of.
  • It typically comes in a smaller texture weave and is softer on bare feet. 

Sea Grass

  • Comes from a thicker grass and typically crafted in a wider weave with a natural sheen.
  • It has a slight green cast and is the most stain resistant of the three due to the fact it’s naturally more smooth.
  • I walk over my sea grass rug with bare feet and find it comfortable.

Jute

  • Naturally is more rough and is typically blended with another fiber to make it softer and smooth out the natural barbs.

Post contains hand selected products, with some affiliate marketing links {full disclosure here} 

How-to Protect a Natural Fiber Rug

If I haven’t scared you away from buying a natural fiber rug or you already own one, let’s talk about what you need to do to keep it looking as good as you can for as long as possible.

Accidents happen!

Dining Room at an Angle with Empire Chanedlier in Gold

Above is my recently re-decorated dining room (read about it HERE) with a brand new sisal rug. 

Of course I have protected it and want to help show you how!

All of the products I am recommending, have been used on my rugs.

Aerosols are not for everyone and I’ve used the pump spray version as well. A spray pump will take a little longer to apply.

I’m recommending HEAVY duty outdoor protectants. Don’t go for the wimpy stuff! You’ll need at least 2 cans/bottles.

  • Open windows slightly before applying to let the fumes out.
  • Remove all chairs or items off of the rug that you can.
  • Protect the areas that you don’t want sprayed. I lay down towels under the rug to protect the hardwood.
  • Spray on about 8 to 10 inches from the surface of the rug. 
  • Allow to dry overnight – I’ll usually do this before I go to bed, when the house is quiet and people/pets are asleep!

REAPPLY right before you are hosting a big gathering.

Yes, the night before I have a party I’ll spray down my rugs and upholstery with the same stuff! 

It works like a charm and I’ve watched a 2 year old eat without worry 🙂

What Natural Fiber Rug to Buy

At this point, if you want a natural fiber rug it’s really simple…buy the rug based on the look you want in the room.

Really! READ the reviews before you buy online or visit a store to see it in person.

The actual fiber really isn’t going to make too much of a difference because the pros and cons are pretty much the same.

Manufacturers are now dying and printing the natural fiber rugs – especially jute, so you can find some that are in a color or multi-colored!

Shop natural fiber rugs

Pin It for Later

read-this-before-buying-natural-fiber-rugs

The rug manufacturers have worked hard to make natural fiber rugs much softer and are blending them with cotton, denim, wool, and chenille. 

If you want a SOFTER and more CLEANABLE rug, look for a BLEND with wool or chenille.

Scared of a Buying Natural Fiber Rug, but love the look?

Ok, I can see how I may have scared you or you realize that in all practical terms it may not be the right option in your household. 

Guess what? If you love the look of a natural fiber rug there are now options that are synthetic and INDOOR/OUTDOOR.

I just recently purchased a natural fiber looking indoor/outdoor rug  for my enclosed back porch and love the look! See for yourself…here is a close up.

You can see it is a smoother texture weave, without barbs sticking up. 

close-up-of-indoor-outdoor-synthetic-sea-grass-rug

What does that mean practically speaking? Soft on your feet!

I’m barefoot out here 90% of the time, so that was important to me 🙂

Spill red wine or coffee – no problem! It comes right up. 

natural-fiber-looking-synthetic-rug

sea-grass-indoor-outdoor-rug-on-screened-in-porch

Pros of a Synthetic Natural Fiber Rug Look

  • Highly durable
  • Use inside or outside
  • Easy to clean…like hose it off to clean!
  • Soft on your feet
  • Less expensive

Cons Of a Synthetic Natural Fiber Rug Look

  • Um, synthetic
  • Can smell chemicals when first opened, so they emit VOCs 
  • Don’t have the natural texture or sheen variation found in natural fibers
Shop Indoor/Outdoor Rugs That Mimic Natural Fiber 

To me the pros outweigh the cons.

If you are worried about it buying a synthetic rug, air out the rug in the garage or even outside for a bit before bringing it inside.  

I have 4 indoor/outdoor rugs in my home and I LOVE them!

One of my favorite indoor/outdoor rugs is on the front porch and I hose it off every week (read about my front porch here).

That’s how durable these rugs are!

In the last year, I updated my back porch and have a new indoor/outdoor rug (read about my back porch here)

It is amazing ALL of the color, texture and pattern options available.

The Softest Natural Fiber Rug

Do you want to know what rug is my absolute favorite in my home? The wool and jute rug! It is so soft on bare feet.

I have an 8 x 10 in my family room and a 3 x 9 runner in front of my sitting area.

They have both weathered what life has thrown at it for 10 years and the runner is in my main traffic path straight through my home!

We can lay on it and play with the dog because it is that soft. 

It’s the best of all worlds! So I MUST recommend this one 🙂

Family-room-with-wool-and-jute-rug-from-pottery-barn

As they say, forewarned is forearmed!

You now have the ability to make the best decision for your lifestyle, home, and family PLUS get the look you love!

Some other posts you may enjoy:

Have fun looking through these posts.

Here’s to loving our homes no matter how messy the people and pets are who live in them!

Please follow me on Pinterest and Instagram for daily inspiration.

Until next time…

Porch Daydreamer

Tracey

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16 Comments

  1. Thanks for this post. I am redecorating the bedrooms of our vacation rental which is in a coastal area. I love the look of jute or sea grass rugs but have been scared of both the shedding and the easy staining. Maybe an indoor outdoor rug might be better.

  2. I honestly just got home from looking at rugs for a few of my rooms. I was thinking of the jute rugs, I think I like them best. You sure gave me some things to think about! Thank you for sharing!

  3. QUESTION: The jute and wool rug from PB …. how well would chairs with wheels move over this? I have no problem with a sisal rug now but love the look of that jute and wool. Thanks!

    1. Hi, Deb! It’s a thick rug, but because I haven’t tried wheeled furniture on the rug I’m not sure. If the rug was anchored by heavy furniture to secure it, then maybe? I had to roll up the runner to roll in my Christmas tree that that wasn’t anchored by anything.

  4. Ok so I am so intrigued with the sprays you use mentioned! Do you spray those products on a jute rug? I am wondering if I am allergic somewhat to the shedding of the jute rug in our living room but I love it sooo much I want try whatever I can to keep it. I was trying to google sprays and came across your blog And am so glad I did. I’ve been wondering if scotch guard would ruin it or help with all the shedding maybe? Also tell me about that jute and wool rug you recommended. Does it shed? I dont mind our plain jute but wool for added softness is also interesting to me If it doesn’t shed? Just don’t want to give up all that dreamy naturalness of my beloved jute but I swear my eyes have itched so bad since we got it lol. Thanks!

    1. Hi, Kaitlin! The shedding is normal and the only thing to help is vacuuming regularly. The wool/jute rug lightly sheds, but I just vacuum it a couple of times a week and as it aged it barely sheds. I sprayed the Fabric 303 directly on my sea grass rug and haven’t ever had an issue…no marks or staining.

  5. Hi! I thank you for all the advice. I will admit I still am stuck on what would work best for my home. I love the natural look under my farmhouse dining table. I originally bought a jute rug but after 6 months I absolutely hated the mess it made from shedding. I then was recommended a sisal rug from a family member. I LOVE it until my 5 year old convinced his 10 year old brother to make him a homemade RED popsicle that ended up splattered on the rug. Completely ruined!!!!! I have read that they are pretty much stain magnets and won’t come clean easily. I’m thinking of a seagrass rug now because I hear they are water resistant so not as likely to get stains. Yes I have young kids, we eat mostly at our counter but I have no clue what would work best that looks natural, kid friendly and easy to clean? Thanks for your help😊

  6. Hello – the three products mentioned above, did you use all of them at the same time? I’m thinking of putting down a sisal rug in my screened-in porch area. Seems like one side of the porch always catches a little water spray when it rains, so I thought I would treat that side. And where do you buy them — Lowes or Home Depot? Thank you!

      1. None of your links go to a specific rug. They just go to Wayfair page full of rugs. Not helpful. I was looking for synthetic rugs with the sisal look.

        1. Sorry Connie, this is an older post and thank you for the feedback. I’ll make sure to update it very soon. The products sell out and the links go to a general site if the product isn’t available.

  7. I was just looking at natural rugs online today… and I think I would’ve been disappointed. Thank you. Now I will go with the indoor/outdoor area rug (wayfair Lark Manor Barksdale) and have peace of mind.

    1. Denise, GREAT! I’m so glad you found this helpful. My dog gravitates to this rug I think because it is made of grass! It’s a challenge, but luckily I have the protectant as a barrier and he’s only 5 lbs 🙂

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