Why I Love Natural Fiber Area Rugs

Area rugs…I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with them. Whether they’re wool or natural fiber area rugs, I have some mixed feelings about them. 

I love that they can add warmth, texture, color and pattern to an otherwise neutral space. They’re also great for softening hardwood floors and they can help anchor a space.

There’s definitely a lot to love but they also have a few small drawbacks.

Besides texture, there's so many reasons to love natural fiber area rugs and tons of different ways to use them when decorating your spaces.

My first “nice” area rug was a beautiful wool rug. I loved the colors and the softness that it brought to my room but I didn’t like the shedding. I vacuumed that rug weekly and waited for the shedding to stop but, sadly, it never did. Not even after 4 years. As a self-proclaimed neat freak it drove me nuts!

Besides the fact that it shed, profusely, I sort of tired of the color and pattern. My style changes often and having a particular color and pattern rug was not a smart choice for me. Lesson learned.

So, instead of buying another expensive wool rug, I researched other options. There’s tons of styles and materials available, but I was drawn to natural fiber area rugs. I loved the fact that it would add texture and warmth to my room and be neutral enough for any decor scheme. 

Natural fiber area rugs are inexpensive and add texture and warmth to small living areas.

Natural fiber area rugs add texture and warmth to a guest bedroom.

The two things that worried me about natural fiber rugs were the softness factor and, of course, shedding. I knew that they wouldn’t offer the same softness as a wool area rug, but would it be a deal breaker.

I wouldn’t know until I tried one out.

Natural fiber area rugs add texture and warmth and is a great inexpensive choice for a guest bedroom.

My first natural area rug was a round jute rug that I used under the dining table in our Illinois house. It was inexpensive and the perfect choice for our first try. 

Natural fiber area rugs add texture and warmth to a small dining area.

It’s a great rug and has worn well these past 5 years. I did have a small tear in one of the seams but that was an easy fix. The issues that I did have with this rug were that it would pull easily and it shed. Not as bad as my wool rug, but I knew that my next rug had to do better.

A natural fiber area rug adds texture and warmth to a sunroom, plus it's an inexpensive choice compared to wool rugs.

After more research and sample testing between sisal and seagrass, I ordered my next rug, an 8×10 seagrass rug. I like the fact that it was inexpensive (compared to wool), it’s durable, doesn’t pull, it’s stain resistant and, best of all, non-shedding.  

Adding texture and warmth to a small living room with a beautiful natural fiber area rug.

It did have a slight grassy odor when it first came but not enough to bother us, and it quickly faded.

I’ve had my rug for 3 years now and I love it just as much as I did when we first got it. 

As for the durable and non-shedding claims? Our seagrass rug has performed well on both counts. No shedding and not one stain in 3 years, and the dog has been sick on it several times (sorry, just want to give you all the facts). If something has spilled on it, I just wipe it up and it dries without staining. 

If there is one drawback to seagrass is that it isn’t soft, not like wool anyway. It’s not uncomfortable to walk on by any means but it’s not plush. My husband actually enjoys walking on it when he has tired feet. He loves how it feels underfoot.  

Another awesome reason to use natural area rugs is that you can layer another rug on top, for added color or interest. I haven’t done this with our seagrass rug but I have done it with the rug in the sunroom and I love the effect.

Add another style dimension to a room by layering a striped rug over a natural fiber area rug.

The rug in the sunroom is the Heathered Chenille Jute Rug that I bought for a steal at The Pottery Barn Outlet. I’ve had it for almost a year and it’s held very up well. It has shed a bit but nothing like my wool rug. There haven’t any spills or dog mishaps on this rug so I can’t report on staining. I’ll keep you posted.

The great thing about this rug though, besides the texture, is that it’s really soft. I love it!

Adding texture, warmth and interest to a sunroom by layering a striped rug over a natural fiber rug.

So, my love/hate relationship with area rugs?

I’m not so sure I would do wool any time soon, but natural fiber area rugs? Yes please!  As a matter of fact, I’m looking to get two more, one for each guest bedroom. I guess you could say I’m hooked.

Do you have natural fiber rugs in your home? What are your thoughts on them?

My thoughts and prayers to all of those affected by the hurricane and devastating flooding. 

Room Sources

(Affiliate links used. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. Please see my Privacy Policy for more info.) 

  • Wall color sunroom – Benjamin Moore Regal Select, Eggshell, Gray Owl (50% strength)
  • Wall color living room and dining area – Benjamin Moore Regal Select, Eggshell, Paper White
  • Living room and gust bedroom natural fiber rugs – NaturalAreaRugs.com
  • Dining area round jute rug – Overstock (affiliate link)
  • Sunroom natural fiber area rug – Pottery Barn Outlet
  • All black pipe and curtain rings – The Home Depot (affiliate link)
  • Linen sheers – Crate and Barrel (affiliate link)
  • Coffee Table โ€“ West Elm (affiliate link)
  • Wooden stool with dipped legs – Serena and Lily (affiliate link)
  • Blue washed velvet pillow cover โ€“ Pottery Barn (affiliate link)
  • Floor lamp – Pottery Barn (affiliate link)
  • Striped pillows – Etsy
  • Round woven tray – Target
  • Woven shade – Blinds.com
  • Striped rug in sunroom – Nordstrom (affiliate link)
  • Wood tray in entryway – West Elm (affiliate link)
  • Brass floor lamp – Home Goods
  • Dining chairs  – Pottery Barn (affiliate link)
  • Knit ottoman – Grandin Road
  • Chandelier in sunroom – Lamps Plus
  • Dining area chandelier – bought in little shop on the North Carolina coast
  • Sofa – the Holmes sofa by Taylor King (bought at the Furniture Mart in Hickory, NC)

The reasons why I love natural fiber rugs and tips on buying one for your living room or bedroom.



You can also find me at Between Naps on the PorchWorthing Court, Savvy Southern Style, French Country Cottage

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  1. Pat M.
    Tuesday,August 29, 2017 / 10:40 am

    I’m looking at rugs currently and have been torn between natural fiber and man-made softer offerings. I have a shag area rug in my bedroom that thankfully does not shed and it’s there so my dog’s feet have something to grip when she jumps on the bed. I have new laminate floors and she (all 77 pounds of her) became fearful because of slipping and falling when she tried to get on the bed. I have selected a natural fiber rug for my dining area and now need to choose something for my living room. There are almost too many choices so I’m kind of stuck right now. Thanks for your post with your thoughts and experiences.

    • Kristi
      Thursday,August 31, 2017 / 5:06 am

      I know what you mean about too many choices, Pat. That’s one of the reasons why I wanted to share this, to help whittle it down. Maybe just a little?
      Good luck with your search.

  2. Marjorie Dineen
    Tuesday,August 29, 2017 / 11:07 am

    Kristi, once again you have hit the nail on its head. I love your advice on rug selection. Everything in your home is so lovely. I recently heard someone say “good things come in small packages” which is certainly the case of your home – beautiful what you have done with it. Look forward to your next post.

    Margie Dineen

    • Kristi
      Thursday,August 31, 2017 / 5:09 am

      Awww, you are too sweet. Thanks so much, Marjorie! I’m just glad I can share some of my experiences with all of you. I love that you all share your awesome comments here because I learn from you as well.

      Thanks for stopping in and supporting my little corner of the blogosphere. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Tuesday,August 29, 2017 / 11:21 am

    I love the look of natural fiber rugs. I used to have a jute rug under my kitchen table but it got stained over time. I have a wool rug in my living room and it still looks brand new. I haven’t had too many shedding problems but now that I want to change the colors in there, I really can’t because I feel too guilty getting rid of a rug that I spent so much money on! I guess it’s staying for now. I have been looking for a new rug for my family room and have considered that Heathered Jute/Chenille Rug from Pottery Barn. I have been hesitant because of my golden retriever so we will see. It looks beautiful in your home and I love how you layered it!

    • Kristi
      Thursday,August 31, 2017 / 5:18 am

      Thanks Shelley! I know what you mean about changing colors when you have a wool rug. I wanted to change it for the longest time but felt really guilty, just like you. The hubs wasn’t too happy when I finally switched it to natural fiber but I love the versatility. I really love the Heathered Jute/Chenille rug. I wasn’t sure about it either, I’ve heard it can shed and we have a dog, but it has held up well. I’m enjoying the layered look right now, too. A fun change of pace.

  4. Tuesday,August 29, 2017 / 11:45 am

    Very informative post. I like natural fiber rugs for the same reason as you, they are neutral and give a bit of texture to a room. I did have a sisal rug in the 90s. My husband dropped his shoe polish brush on it and I never was able to get the shoe polish out. ๐Ÿ™
    Have a great week.

    • Kristi
      Thursday,August 31, 2017 / 5:20 am

      Eeek, shoe polish would be tough. I haven’t found anything that stains the seagrass so I’m really happy with it.

      Thanks for visiting Debbie! Hope you have a great holiday weekend!

  5. jillian
    Tuesday,August 29, 2017 / 3:43 pm

    Once again I am with you on a subject…I do not love rugs, and really like a clean look. We bought a tan natural fiber rug for the living room and threw it out after 5or 6 years. It was looking a bit dirty to me. Now we have an even bigger one and I went with Ivory tones…love it. They are priced well so I don’t mind tossing them if need be. We have not had a dining room rug for years but I have been thinking of one, going with the ivories again. I really like your idea of layering and could add in some seasonal rugs for that. Have always wanted a red/ivory stripe at Christmas but did not want to buy a big one just for a couple of months…this is a great solution, thanks.

    • Kristi
      Thursday,August 31, 2017 / 5:39 am

      I researched before we bought the seagrass rug but I wasn’t sure how long it would last. I thought it would get dirty quickly but that hasn’t happened so I’m hoping it lasts several more years. You are right though, they are priced well so it’s not a huge loss when it has to go. Ivory tones sounds really nice and if you want to layer it with a red rug for Christmas, it would look lovely.

      Thanks so much for stopping in and sharing, Jillian! Hope you have a great holiday weekend!

  6. Linda
    Tuesday,August 29, 2017 / 3:59 pm

    Hi, thanks for this post because I always feel torn in the same ways! My first natural fiber rug was a sisal and my husband hated that it was so hard on his feet. We also had a cat that was always vomiting hair balls (keeping it real) and those stains turned pink even when they were cleaned promptly so the rug was removed even when it was in great shape in all other ways. I also have two Potterybarn wool rugs and they shed terribly. Warm and comfortable to the feet and stains clean easily, but always look a little messy unless you have just vacuumed them. I would like to get the Heathered Jute Chenille Rug you mentioned from Potterybarn, but when I went to look at it in the store, the sample looked very orange tinted. I was concerned about the color and the clerk told me she had no idea what mine might look like if I ordered one, so I didn’t. Can you share about the color tone of yours? It looks beautiful in the photo, but I know photos tend to change the tone of colors. Thanks Kristi!

    • Kristi
      Thursday,August 31, 2017 / 5:52 am

      It sounds like you’ve run into similar problems with your wool rugs. I loved how soft mine was but I just couldn’t live with the shedding any more. I’m sorry that you had a bad experience with sisal. From the research I’ve done, sisal does stain easily. I’m thrilled with my seagrass but your husband may not like the feel of it on his feet. It’s supposed to be softer and smoother than sisal so maybe it would be ok.

      As far as the Heathered Jute/Chenille rug, the color you see in the photo is pretty true. I don’t see any hint of orange in the rug that I got. It’s always tough though when you are spending money on something like a rug. You want to be sure you are getting your money’s worth, and the right color. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I can honestly say that I am happy with the rug, color and material. Hope that was helpful.

      Hope you have a great holiday weekend!

  7. Jacki
    Tuesday,August 29, 2017 / 4:59 pm

    What a timely post, for me! Looking for my first natural rug, so thank you for the info!

    • Kristi
      Thursday,August 31, 2017 / 5:40 am

      So happy to hear that this helped you, Jacki! Good luck with your search and thanks so much for stopping in.

  8. Marlene Stephenson
    Wednesday,August 30, 2017 / 2:57 pm

    Thank you, i do have some natural fiber rugs and love them. I love your home.

    • Kristi
      Thursday,August 31, 2017 / 5:43 am

      Aww, thanks so much Marlene! Natural fiber rugs are wonderful, aren’t they? So glad to hear that I’m not alone in my love for them.

      Hope you have a great weekend!

  9. Tuesday,September 5, 2017 / 12:19 pm

    I adore rugs as well but unfortunately with a puppy right now I’m having to do without so avoid them being destroyed. I love the look of the seagrass rugs. Your room is so pretty and fresh looking!

    • Kristi
      Wednesday,September 6, 2017 / 5:59 am

      Thanks Mary, I appreciate it!

      I totally get it. I know I rolled all my area rugs up when our dog was a pup. Luckily it was only temporary. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Linda Charlton
    Tuesday,September 5, 2017 / 6:23 pm

    I have never owned a natural fiber rug. My experience with them was in summer rentals at the Outer Banks. Based on that, they are not for me. I am a wool all the way girl despite the shedding. I am all about the color and the softness.

    • Kristi
      Friday,September 8, 2017 / 10:46 am

      Everyone has their preference when it comes to rugs. Nothing wrong with color and softness. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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