All the coverings that fall into the category of natural flooring, listed below, are woven from naturally grown fibres and grasses and are available in their natural colour or dyed.
Natural flooring is a good choice for homes that blend traditional and contemporary styles and where a neutral background is needed. In addition to the options here, natural flooring is sometimes made from woven bamboo and paper.
Always check that the fitter is experienced in installing this type of flooring; most specialist suppliers will have their own installation team. It's important to discuss with your retailer where you intend to use natural flooring, as not all types work in all locations and conditions. Seagrass, for example, is not recommended for stairs, as it lacks the necessary flexibility and can be slippery underfoot; sisal and coir are far better choices here. Coir and sisal can be prone to fading in direct sunlight; even dyed versions can lose their colour.
In areas such as bathrooms that are prone to damp, natural flooring should be avoided altogether. Regular vacuuming is essential to keep natural flooring looking good; avoid using a beater/ rotating brush head, as it can damage fibres. As dust settles quite easily into the fibres, vacuuming will prevent the build-up that causes dullness. If water or other liquids are spilled, the distribution of dust in the liquid will cause hard-to-shift dirty marks, so blot any spills as quickly as possible.
One of least expensive and one of the most versatile of the natural floorcoverings, Seagrass is grown in paddy-like fields and coastal regions in China and India. It is a stable, almost impermeable fibre, which is highly resistant to dirt and stains. Apart from stairs, where its smooth, slightly slippery finish makes it unsuitable, Seagrass is at home almost anywhere. It is anti-static, naturally stain-and dye-resistant, has an attractive twill look and a random mix of natural colours.
Sisal is made from the stems and leaves of the Agave - a dark green, spikey bush found in sub-tropical climates in Brazil, Mexico and Africa. It is hard-wearing, anti-static , and dyes very well and its smoother pile makes it appear more sophisticated than other natural floorcoverings. Sisal lends itself to use on stairs, wall-to-wall installations, and for rugs where its texture works well with borders. It is probably the best natural fibre to use in bedrooms. Sisal is usually the most expensive natural floorcovering.
Sourced in India, coir grows quickly, and the fibres, which vary in colour with the growing cycle are extracted from raw coconut husks after softening in fresh water. They are then spun and woven, usually by hand. Probably the coarsest of all the natural fibres, coir has a slightly hairy finish.
The finest and softest of all natural fibres. The Genus Cochorous grows in the more humid parts of Bangladesh. The Jute fibres are taken from the middle of the stalk before being washed and then dried in the sun and, finally, spun. The finished, biscuit coloured fibre is a fine one, one that we feel works best in light wearing areas - it's perfect in the bedroom.