Natural fibre stair runners are an extremely popular choice for a lot of people.
They add great texture and warmth to an otherwise, often forgotten, staircase.
They are durable and the designs and colours available continuously grows.
I’ve broken down the five main types of natural fibre carpets and pro’s and con’s of each
By far the most popular of choice when it comes to natural fibre stair runners.
Sisal carpets are made from a natural fibre from Agave plants leaves, that are also used in making items such as rope and twine, making it really durable.
Sisal will often be available in a few designs such as as herringbone, boucle (looped), basketweave and Panama.
Sisal can be dyed so is available in a wide selection of colours and designs
Very hardwearing so is therefore ideal for high traffic areas
Keep the loop size to small, larger loops are not suitable for stairs as they tend to bunch up against the risers
Sisal is an absorbent fibre and doesn’t hold up against water well, so be sure to put a door mat down if your staircase is close to a door leading to a garden
Buyer Tip: When shopping for natural fibre runner options do not judge the roughness of the texture with your hands. Take your shoes off (and your socks if you so wish) and stand on the sample.
Whenever I’m helping clients with natural fibre runner options this is the number one concern that is flagged as they run their hands on the sample - won’t this be too rough to walk on?
Your hands tend to be more sensitive than you feet, I promise you will be pleasantly surprised once your feet touch the sample.
Sisool is a mix of 60% Sisal and 40% Wool making it extremely durable and softer underfoot. Combining both of these natural materials results in a carpet or runner that will stand the test of time.
Classed as high domestic durability
Having the Wool mixed in means easier stain removal
This option isn’t offered by a lot of companies so can be hard to source
Currently only offered in 5 colour ways
Buyer Tip: When looking at different loop sizes (yes, there are many to choose from!) always put the sample on the floor and look at from a standing height, this will give you a better idea of how big or small the loop will look once installed.
Coir comes crafted from Indian coconut husk fibres softened in sea water. Often used as door mats in commercial areas such as hotel lobby entrances. It has a natural rich warmth and is very tactile.
Most natural fibre carpets are not water resistant but Coir is which is why it’s popular as doormats
It’s 100% biodegradable
Coir tends to shed over time with use more so than other natural fibre materials
Because of it’s hardy texture, it can be rough underfoot
Buyer Tip: Should you choose to add a border to your stair runner, have some fun with the design and colour.
Why not choose a bright colour that will contrast well with the natural warmth of the natural fibre stair runner or consider having a double border in different colours.
Jute is harvested by hand from the stalks of the tiliaceae plant. The stalks are soaked and stripped and spun before weaving. This process results in the fibres having a rustic brown hue.
Because of the manufacturing process of the stalks, Jute is the softest natural fibre carpet material, almost resembling wool
Jute also tends to be the least hardwearing of natural fibre carpets because of this softness in material
Not generally recommended for stairs, best suited for bedrooms
Buyer Tip: Most companies will advise on having the runner sprayed with Intec protective spray as natural fibre carpets do tend to stain.
The cost is approx. £3.60 per m2 inc VAT. Definitely pay a little extra for this protection.
Seagrass is grown on the banks of Vietnamese rivers, and in saltwater marshes, it’s nonporous and therefore incredibly water-resistant. Seagrass tends to have a basket like texture.
Seagrass is stain-resistant and incredibly durable. It also feels better beneath bare feet than sisal, so it’s a great choice for dining, living and bedrooms
Seagrass cannot be dyed, so you are restricted on colour choice
Be sure to check with your supplier that Seagrass product they are selling is suitable for stairs
I hope that you have found this article informative and helpful as you search for a natural fibre stair runner.
Should you like and further advice or help with your stair runner please do not hesitate to contact me on email@example.com