About Natural Fiber Hemp Rugs

Natural Fiber Hemp Rugs

From time to time we are asked if we clean hemp rugs, or our customers will ask our opinion of hemp rugs vs other, more traditional types of natural fiber material. Do they hold up well? Are they easily maintained? Are they eco-friendly… etc. Here’s our take on hemp rugs…

Yes, we do clean all types of rugs, including hemp. Here is a little insight into hemp rugs, vs other more traditional types of fibers: Most of the time, when people think about natural fiber rugs, they think about wool or cotton. Maybe even sisal or jute, but very seldom do we think about hemp as a natural fiber rug. However, as it turns out, hemp can be and is made into rugs.

The biggest problem hemp has is people’s assumptions that hemp plants and Cannabis (aka marijuana plants) are one and the same, but they aren’t. What they are is 2 different varieties of the same plant species. (Like a housecat and a tiger or a Great Dane and a Dachshund).

There are several real differences between the plants themselves:

  • Hemp – Tall sturdy stalks with little to no flowering buds.
  • Cannabis – Shorter, bushier plants with an abundance of flowering buds.
  • Hemp – Very low THC content (.03% or less).
  • Cannabis – Higher THC content (can be upwards of 30%).
  • Hemp – Hemp has many commercial uses such as rope, paper, fabric, and biofuels.
  • Cannabis – Grown strictly for medicinal and recreational reasons.

As noted, hemp has many commercial and industrial uses, one of which is rugs. Like other natural fiber rugs, they have their good and bad points:

Pros of hemp rugs:

  • Durability – Hemp fibers are known for their durability, making hemp rugs robust and long-lasting. They can withstand high traffic areas without wearing out quickly, making them a great choice for homes or offices.
  • Hypoallergenic – Hemp rugs are hypoallergenic, making them an excellent option for individuals sensitive to allergens. They do not trap dust or harbor allergens like some other materials, enhancing indoor air quality.
  • Environment Friendly – Hemp is a highly sustainable material. It requires minimal water, no pesticides, and grows quickly, making it an eco-friendly choice for rugs. Its cultivation helps to improve soil health and can be part of a regenerative agricultural cycle.

Cons of hemp rugs:

  • Color – Hemp fibers may have natural color variations due to the plant’s organic composition. While this can add a unique aesthetic, it might not suit those seeking a uniform color or pattern.
  • Texture – While durable, hemp rugs can be rough to the touch, especially when compared to softer materials like wool or cotton. Some people might find the texture less comfortable, particularly for sitting or walking barefoot.
  • Shedding – Hemp, like some other natural fiber rug material is prone to shedding. Regular vacuuming can help keep this under control.

Hemp has found its way into various industries, including the creation of durable, eco-friendly rugs. While hemp rugs offer durability and sustainability, they might not suit everyone due to their texture, shedding, and natural variations. Understanding these pros and cons can assist in making an informed decision when considering hemp rugs for your living or working space.

By Sharon Koehler. This is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of Surface Care PRO Partners.