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In addition to wool, cotton and silk , humans have used other natural fibres over the millennia. This mainly includes sisal and jute, but also coconut, bamboo and banana fibres. In addition, hemp and flax fibres are also used in textiles and rugs.

Since demand for environmentally friendly products has risen again in recent years, these fibres are also increasingly being used in rugs once again. The trend is towards sustainability and natural living is in vogue once again. The individual fibres have different properties depending on the plant. In some cases, several natural fibres are used in the same fabric or rug, depending on their properties.



Sisal is a natural fibre extracted from the leaves of the sisal agave (see image) and has only been used since the 19th century. Their name derives from the first port of Sisal in Yucatán, Mexico. It is one of the most sought after natural fibres and in addition to rugs is made into ropes cables and yarn. Since the short, thick fibres cannot be spun, fibre bundles are used as raw material.

Due to its properties, the sisal fibre is not suitable for textile production. Because sisal is a leaf fibre that contains lignin and pectin in addition to cellulose, it is tougher and coarser than bast. Sisal fibres are extremely tough and tension-resistant and are well-suited for rugs that are located in busy living and office spaces. Due to their moisture-repellent properties, sisal rugs and mats can also be used as outdoor decoration or laid out as runners in the hallway.


Natural fibres sisal jute


Jute is obtained from the herb of the year-old jute plant (genus Corchorus). This comes originally from the Mediterranean, but gradually spread across India and Pakistan. Jute fibres are roasted after harvest for 20 days and released by hand, washed in running water and then dried.

Jute fibres are completely biodegradable. They have a golden shimmer and are therefore often called the “golden fibre”. Furthermore, jute fibres are very elastic, tear-resistant and easy to dye. In addition to rugs, they are also used in packaging materials such as sacks and bags, in textiles and fibre composites.



Bamboo is a fascinating building material - versatile, light and yet stable. The plant grows quickly and is easy to grow. The bamboo bast fibre has also been used in textiles and rugs for some time, because it has similar properties to linen and can be spun into a yarn. Since bamboo is ecologically very sustainable and low in pollutants, this material is becoming increasingly popular.


Coconut fibre

In addition to its culinary use, coconut is used in textiles. The fibres, which are obtained from the outer casing of the coconut, the so-called mesocarp, can be spun into yarn. However, it is important that the fibres of unripe fruits are used. Ripe coconut fibres have a higher wood content and cannot be used for spinning. Coconut fibre consists of half-cellulose and half-lignin. This makes the fibres extremely stretchy, firm and durable.

In addition, coconut fibres are insensitive to bacterial or mycotic infestation. Because they come from tropical climes, coconuts and their fibres are very resistant to moisture. In addition, they are very resistant in terms of mechanical and chemical abrasion. Because of all these positive properties, coconut fibres are often used for floor mats and also in rugs. Like sisal mats, they are well suited for outdoor use.


Natural fibre coconut bamboo


Similar to coconut, in Indonesia. the fibres of the so-called Manila hemp, also known as abaca, are made into ropes, cables and textiles. This East Asian plant belongs to the family of banana plants and is only related to the hemp plant by name. It was named after its port of export - Manila, in the Philippines.

The fibres of this plant are very coarse and tear-resistant. After picking and drying, they can be spun into a yarn. Some of the fibres are also processed into paper for teabags, cigarettes and banknotes. Their robust, salt-resistant properties make them very popular for ship rope. In addition to being used as composites in the automotive industry, manila fibres are also used to make hammocks and rugs.



Hemp fibres are obtained from the bast of the hemp plant. The earliest use by humans can be dated to 2800 BC. The hemp fibres in the stem are arranged in several layers and in different lengths.

In terms of morphology and quality, there is a difference between male and female hemp fibres. While female hemp fibres form stronger, thicker fibres due to their longer growing season, male hemp fibres are much finer. Female fibres are therefore used more frequently for ropes and coarser tissue, whereas male fibres are used for finer fabric. Sometimes both male and female hemp fibres are processed within the same fabric to achieve a medium fibre quality. Since hemp, like other natural fibres in rugs, has a positive effect on the indoor climate, it is being used more and more often today. Hemp rugs are especially suitable for those who love of modern, natural furnishings.


In general, flax or linen is the fibre obtained from common flax or fabric made from these fibres. Since the late 19th century, linen has been increasingly replaced by cotton in the textile industry because it is easier to grow and process. Nevertheless, linen is now enjoying increasing popularity as an ecological natural fibre.

The flax fibre is extracted from the stems of the flax plant. It is also one of the bast fibres and unlike the individual fibres of cotton, it forms fibre bundles which are connected to each other via pectins. The main constituents of flax fibre are cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. The amounts of these ingredients depends on the degree of ripeness. Previously, the fibre bundles were dissected from their elementary fibres by means of a lye treatment. This made the flax ready for spinning. Since this lye treatment is harmful to health and the environment, meanwhile, gentler processes using steam and ultrasound are used for the washing.

The flax fibre is well divisible, fine to spin and smooth. It takes in little air, is resistant to dirt and partly antistatic. Like some other fibres, it is bacteria-repellent. Furthermore, flax has thermoregulatory properties because the fibre absorbs moisture, but releases it to the environment relatively quickly. Although flax fabric is therefore cooling, it nevertheless has a drying, warming effect in the living area. In addition, flax or linen fabric is durable, tear-resistant, long-lasting and dyeable, making it an ideal base for naturally beautiful rugs.


All in all, natural fibres are always worth an investment. Rugs made of these materials give every home a sense of cosiness, a natural flair and, thanks to their natural properties, contribute to a pleasant indoor climate.

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