Flooring can be made from a seemingly endless variety of materials – synthetic fibers, used wood from old buildings, recycled auto glass… even leather. It’s refreshing to be able to offer flooring from the “greener” side of the aisle. Today I’m refering specifically to the Fibreworks line. As an industry leader in natural fiber carpet, many of their products are labeled as “Grown Green.” This means they are “grown by, sustained in, and bio-degrade with nature”. From my perspective, they’ve made it quite simple to fulfill the needs of a client looking for natural materials for any of a number of reasons. This is especially important when working on a project with LEED certification as the goal, or if one prefers to use natural materials in the home for health or earth-friendly reasons.
Natural fiber products can be described as those made from plant, animal, and mineral sources. The Fibreworks line consists of several natural fiber products that meet their standards of Grown Green and my standard as a go-to line. Here is a breakdown of materials used and description of each:
A durable plant fiber harvested from the mature leaves of the agave sisalana plant. The sisal fiber is extracted from the leaves through a process known as decortication, in which the leaves are rolled and crushed until only the fiber remains. The fiber is then dried, brushed, and baled. Because most weeding is done by hand, no pesticides or chemical fertilizers are used in sisal production.
The fiber is collected from the skin, or bast, surrounding the stem of the plant. Jute matures and is harvested in about 4 months. The stalk is cut off close to the ground, tied into bundles and soaked in water for 20 days. The fiber is then stripped from the stalk in long strands, washed in clear water and hung to dry. After 3 days the fibers are gathered into bunches and are ready for market. Jute is a Grown Green fiber that is free from pollution and completely biodegradable. It used to be the primary component of all broadloom carpets until “action back” came to the fore. Finer carpets still use a jute backing, however.
The fiber is extracted from the skin of the coconut fruit. The ripe fruit is harvested and husked. A curing process then takes place, allowing the coir fiber to be separated from a residue known as pith. The fiber is cleaned, dried, and spun into bundles to be used as yarn. The remaining coir pith is combined with other organic materials and used as compost in soil treatment.
A plant fiber from thick, rigid reeds that are non-porous and smooth to the touch. The reeds are harvested, dried and spun into yarns. The yarns are woven into rugs creating great textural patterns. Seagrass is not dyed and comes in its natural color which will change with age.
An animal fiber sheared from the hairy coat of a sheep. It is luxurious and soft to the touch. Wool carpets and rugs are completely natural, and much preferred over petroleum based carpet products such as nylon. Wool is naturally durable, renewable and biodegradable.
Many of Fibreworks products also contain natural carpet backings. Some of the most common backings include jute, natural latex, and natural rubber. Natural rubber and latex backings are extracted from the Hevea rubber tree and contain a mixture of more than 200 natural proteins. Unlike synthetic latex, natural latex is not produced by chemical polymerization.
For all questions or comments about natural flooring, give me a call or send an email. As a LEED AP and someone who just cares about the environment and our energy independence, it’s my pleasure to talk with you.
All the best,
Chris is our Residential Group Manager & a US Green Building Council LEED Accredited Professional
Because Fibreworks floor coverings are woven from natural fibers, they have normal irregularities that are considered part of their charm. Variations in weave and shading, for example, create a distinctive, interesting character that makes natural fiber floor coverings unique. What you won’t find anywhere is a perfect natural fiber floor-covering.
Expect these common irregularities:
A few ‘plugs’, i.e. fibers that have been tied off during the manufacturing process.
Some irregularity in the ribs: some will be closer together, some farther apart.
Slight bowing and variation in loop size, particularly in Taj, Palm Tree II, Colony and Cheyenne collections. We allow up to 2″ bowing on Natural Fiber Broadloom Carpet and Bordered Area Rugs.
Visible installation seams, especially in patterns that are difficult to seam (e.g. Herringbone, Panama and Diagonal).
Color changes: All natural fibers eventually return to their original colors. Bleached products darken over time, and colored fibers fade – so avoid direct sunlight on natural fiber rugs.
Expansion and contraction: The hydroscopic nature of natural fibers means that they adjust to environmental conditions. They’re constantly moving! If broadloom (wall-to-wall) floor covering is purchased, it should be loose-laid for 24 hours in the room in which it will be installed, and at the temperature it will typically experience. This will let the fibers get used to their new surroundings. Customers often try to install carpeting as soon as they get it, only to find that they have to tell the installer to come back 24 hours later!
Color variance: showroom samples may not match current inventory. Call for current dye lot cuts. Dye lot differences are more significant with Natural Fibers than with synthetic ones.
Customer’s Responsibility: It is your responsibility to inspect the goods before any cutting, fabrication or installation occurs. Under no circumstance will an allowance be made after the goods have been altered.
Fibreworks Bordered Area Rugs are made from Broadloom Carpet. Cuts are generally made by following the valley of the ribs and along the ‘buried’ thread. Rugs can be slightly out of square due to the natural imperfections of the roll.
Ribs of pattern can be horizontal or vertical due to the size of the rugs or the material. In some areas backing may not extend to the edges of the rug to achieve exact size.
For Indoor Use Only and should not be used in areas where moisture is present or ventilation is inadequate. Never use steam or wet shampoo cleaning methods. For outdoor use, try we recommend the Lanai Collection or Cabana Collection
All the best,
Island Colours Collection
Paradise Retreat Collection
Tropical Sands Collection
Coastal Classics Collection
5 Meter Sisal Collection
Seaside Resort Collection
Botanical Blends Collection
Seagrass / Mountain Grass/ Tulip Grass
Mirror Reflections Collection
Park Avenue Collection
Malta Collection, Carre Collection
Cumberland Collection, Luster Collection
Tiffany Collection, Semi-Worsted Wool
Fifth Avenue Collection
16′ 4″ Wool
Madison Avenue Collection
Various Collections in Transition