The popularity of sisal and natural fiber area rugs is far from waning.
The sisal look made popular by interior designers years ago is still going strong, if not stronger than ever. Touring the San Francisco Decorator Showcase this past May I noticed most of the rooms had a natural fiber rug as a base floor covering often embellished with an area rug. Maybe it’s the whole “green” aspect of decorating with eco friendly materials or perhaps it’s just one of those looks that is going to remain timeless, whatever the reason, seeing sisal used in the showhouse only confirmed what I have been viewing on carpet websites and internet message boards — consumers have flipped for sisal.
Being in the Oriental rug cleaning business I look at the practical side of accessorizing with natural fiber rugs. I’ve seen first hand the downside of some types of sisal rugs so I’ve always cautioned anyone thinking of purchasing one, especially for a high traffic location. However, there are sisal-like rugs on the market that even I will consider owning. The sisal style rugs above are from Capel and are made of 100% polypropylene. PP has rocketed to popularity for a few reasons. One is the reasonable price point and who doesn’t love a bargain? Polypropylene (also called Olefin) is made from recycled plastics, good for green conscientious folks and because of the polymer construction, they are nearly indestructible. The fibers won’t stain, dyes don’t bleed and unlike many natural fiber rugs, they aren’t scratchy on bare feet.
Polypropylene opens new dimensions in decorating for style seekers with pets and kids (or just plain sloppy drink & food spilling folks). Imitation sisal rugs are available at numerous retailers in lots of styles and textures and finished off in a variety of bindings just like their natural counterparts.
Helpful tips when layering on sisal:
·Use rugs with a similar pile as the sisal, such as the flat reversible dhurrie shown above.
·Tribal rugs usually have a low pile and work very well in addition to adding color.
·Placing the area rug within a seating area (such as the 1st picture above) or under a coffee table sets the spot apart from the rest of the room.
·Use a tacky style pad such as Teebaud if you find your top rug moves on the sisal.
(Sources: Cecilie Starin Design, Capel Rugs, Juan Montoya Design, Mrs Howard Personal Shopper)
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