Product Description

  • Sisal
  • Jute
  • Seagrass – 4 metre rolls
  • Seagrass Squares
  • Coir
  • PVC Industrial Coir

SISAL

Sisal is tough and is known for producing the best quality rope. The Festival Centre uses (or did until recently) sisal rope for props as it helped those “back of house” with a good grip and little stretch.
Sisal is made from Agave sisalana grown in semi-arid regions. The plant originated from high stony regions of Central America and is now grown for harvesting throughout Africa, Brazil, Madagascar and China.

Another of the sustainable floor covering fibres – sisal needs little fertiliser or pesticides for a productive crop. The plant stems are harvested, fibres then stripped out, cleaned, yarned and then either woven locally or exported to Europe. The product is invariably dyed, as its natural colour is a pale straw. Different basic weaves include Panama – Basket Weave, Herringbone – Broken Twill or Ribbed – Boucle and these in turn each have many variations.

The product is versatile and will suit many interiors and furniture from antique, 1930’s through to contemporary décor. The perception is that it is hard underfoot but the new “tiger-eyes” weave is as soft as some of the alternative materials.

Sisal provides excellent noise attenuation and insulation in modern houses and will withstand underfloor heating used in low energy houses.

PERFORMANCE

Sisals with latex and rubber backing, a high quality hair/jute underfelt, and with due care, will wear much the same as a high quality carpet. Our experience so far in Australia has shown that sisals are not susceptible to carpet moth damage. Regarded as one of the toughest materials on the market, sisal is recommended for domestic through to commercial use and indeed many retail shops use sisal as floorcovering.

jute

JUTE

Natural Jute woven floorcoverings are eco-friendly and support sustainable village industries throughout southern India and Bangladesh.
Jute, also known as hessian, has been extensively used over hundreds of years for string, grain bags and wool packs. Synthetic materials have unfortunately replaced this wonderful natural fibre and what was a thriving and large industry with significant exports went into decline. Fortunately jute has a new home in floor coverings and other uses. It is one of the softer natural products suited to bedrooms and other low traffic areas.
The ungraded fibre from the jute plant (chorchoruscapsularis or olitorius) is harvested, retted, hand yarned and spun then woven on hand looms using the ancient method of weaving with warp and weft. The operator of the loom requires years of training to set up and produce the different weaves with jute and other natural fibres. Jute in particular has variations in colourand yarn diameter. These looms are often set up in villages under a thatched roof and the Indian government takes an active interest in protecting the employment of people using these ancient skills.
Energy use is minimal and more importantly, the product locks up carbon for its life as a floor covering.
No glues, dyes, oil or commercial factories are required for this product. The jute plant grows in high rainfall and requires few if any pesticides or fertiliser.
Along with coir, seagrass and sisals it is one of the few truly green natural floor coverings available today. At the end of its life the jute fibre is readily composted.

SEAGRASS

Natural Floors has both seagrass squares and matting. Seagrass has a ‘waxy coat’ and although allowing water molecules to enter, dyes and other stains have difficultly penetrating. Hence it is durable and shrugs off stains. As it is not able to be dyed it relies on the fibres natural colouring including beiges, greens and browns.

The rustic nature suits farm and beach houses. It is often used in tenanted houses where a tough alternative to plastic carpets is required.

Seagrass is versatile and can be used in domestic to light commercial sites. Perhaps often overlooked as one of the more practical alternatives – it is definitely worth considering.

Seagrass requires a flooding of sea water during the crop cycle hence the name.

SEAGRASS SQUARES

Same material as seagrass but tied into squares with Jute string. Hence, although popular in the 1970’s onwards it is not as long lasting as our fully woven alternative. It does provide a cheaper easily self installed alternative.

 

 

COIR

Coir is made from the husks of coconut and has been used for centuries to make ropes, sacks and floor coverings. One of the golden fibres of Asia, Coir has survived the introduction of synthetic materials as it is still used extensively for floors along with anti-erosion mats to assist with rehabilitation of soil around roads and mines. Coir fibre is also used in hanging baskets, as it is known to hold ten times its weight in water. Much of the coir today is exported from Asia for use in the making of mattresses in China. The demand for mattresses has increased dramatically so that now coir fibre is in short supply with recent increases in price. Coir is harvested, dehusked, retted (soaked in brackish estuarine mud containing helpful bacteria), cleaned, spun and yarned, graded and woven. Spinning machinery consisting of a bicycle wheel with multiple spindles is often set up outside in villages. Spinning along with weaving is highly skilled and the Indian government takes an active interest in promoting and protecting the industry. Of course the coconut plant grows a new crop every year – and coir is more a less a by-product of the oil and other products. Coir floor coverings make excellent surfaces, as they are non-skid, anti-static, hardwearing and excellent for noise attenuation. One of the more interesting uses was in a gold jewellery factory where gold off cuts or waste falling on the floor was easily recovered by later burning the coir at the end of its life.

PERFORMANCE

Coirs with latex backing laid over a high quality hair/jute underfelt, and with due care will wear much the same as high quality carpets. Our experience so far in Australia shows that coirs are not susceptible to carpet moth damage and are considered impervious to mildew and damp. The material can become water logged with no damage although with prolonged periods of damp water marking may occur. Coir like wood expands with higher humidity and contracts with lower humidity. Other properties include, high acoustic disposal making it ideal for reducing noise, a non skid surface and ease of maintenance.

It is recommended that coir is vacuumed frequently to improve appearance and durability. If exposed to strong sunlight along with heat and low humidity the fibres may become brittle and weaken.
Coirs also mellow in colour when exposed to sunlight, again like timber, and the resulting golden brown hue is often liked more than the original.
Natural Floors will advise on the likely impact of sunlight when inspecting the site.

PVC INDUSTRIAL COIR

This material made of coir ‘cut pile’ impregnated into PVC backing is used as doormats for commercial premises.

A simple application is a stand alone mat or otherwise it can be cut into a foot well.

This product has exceptional wearing qualities. Although also suitable for outside use, high UV light and water will reduce its longevity.

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