Green is Clean
Home decor is another area where man is going green. Right from making use of tree stumps as a stool to use of plants in building walls to use of scrap wood in making tables and even using plant material in making rugs!
Rugs were initially made from only natural sources like wool, animal hides, bamboo, cotton etc. With the help of technology, man started making rugs from synthetic material like rayon, nylon, acrylic etc.
But synthetic materials are non-biodegradable. Nylon rug manufacture creates nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas 310 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Apart from that, their manufacture requires the use of lot of water and energy. The chemicals used in their manufacture such as caustic soda and sulfuric acid also impact the environment negatively.
Making home rugs from animal skin is also not advisable since it has led to a lot of illegal poaching of tigers, cheetahs, deer and bears etc. This has caused an ecological imbalance as well as fear of extinction of some species.
In contrast to this, area rugs are far better since they are bio-degradable; do not involve the use of chemicals, and plants can be grown in plenty so there is no fear of extinction.
Sisal and jute, in particular, have been extensively used in making home rugs.
Sisal, extracted from the leaves of an Agave, is the most popular of the plant fibers used for rug making. This plant is now grown all over the world. Sisal has long, fine, stiff fibers that allow it to be made into smooth textured yarn. Sisal fibers are anti-static, sound absorbing, flame retardant, durable, and stretchable, non dust attracting, good dye absorbents, and resist deterioration in salt water, all of which make sisal rugs a preferred choice among manufacturers and consumers alike. Fiber is extracted by a process known as decortications, where leaves are crushed and beaten by a rotating wheel set with blunt knives, so that only fibers remain. The fiber is then dried, cleaned by brushing and are then machine combed and sorted depending on the quality. Sisal fibers are used in making ropes, twines, cordage, low-cost and specialty paper, dartboards, buffing cloth, filters, geo textiles, mattresses, carpets, handicrafts, wire rope cores, lumbar support belts, rugs, slippers, cloths, and disc buffers.
Jute is made from stem fiber plants and is well-suited for making durable yarns and fabrics because of its stability and firmness. It has a nice soft and shiny look when made into rugs. It is also one of the cheapest natural fibers making jute home rugs really affordable. Jute is also recyclable and uses very less pesticides and fertilizers. The jute fiber comes from the stem and outer skin of the plant. The fibers are first extracted by retting. The retting process consists of bundling jute stems together and immersing them in low, running water. After the retting process, stripping begins. In the stripping process, non-fibrous matter is scraped off, then the workers dig in and grab the fibers from within the jute stem. Jute is used in making cloth, sacks, upholstery, carpets, area rugs, imitation silk, bags etc.
With jute and sisal home rugs, get ready to decorate your home the natural way!
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