I have been in this business for a long time, and I would say that the great majority of our customers lump all of the natural plant fibers into one and refer to them all (sisal, seagrass, coir, jute and abaca) as just sisal. O.k., so they are all made from plant fibers, but they are all quite different. Each is unique with regards to look, feel and durability. Let us help you pick the best natural weave for your space and lifestyle.
Where Do These Natural Plant Fibers Come from?
Coir is made from coconut husks. Seagrass is just as it sounds—grass from the sea or near the sea. Sisal is woven from the long leaves of the agave plant. Jute is a bast fiber because it comes from the stem as opposed to the leaves of the corchorus plant. Abaca is handwoven from the fibers of the banana tree leaves.
Sisal is by far the most popular plant fiber we sell. It comes in many stylish designs and takes dye very well, so the colors are superb.
Seagrass comes in a handful of designs and only in one color—green—which turns to brown over time. It is the least expensive of the plant fibers and is very popular with our designer clients. Its unique rustic look is caused by interesting shade, knots and texture variations.
Coir is incredibly durable, but very rough underfoot and only comes in a few styles and colors. I usually recommend this weave for commercial use or residential customers who want something “bullet proof.” Coir is perfect for high-traffic applications such as retail stores or office environments. It is also available in easy-to-install tiles.
Jute is the softest of our natural plant fibers with a lustrous sheen to it. Most of the jute rugs we carry are beautifully chunky, almost handwoven looking. Jute is quite durable but not as durable as sisal or coir.
Abaca has an elegant, glossy shine to it. The abaca rugs are chunky and feel very stiff. They come in beautiful earthy tones. This weave needs no additional finish (binding) being produced with a self edge.
What natural weave is best for you? It all depends on where it’s going, and what overall look you’re going after. Have a question or need advice? Send us an e-mail, and we will give you our two cents.