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Earthy looks are a natural: the organic movement is being felt in floor fashion, too.

Simple, stylish and sustainable, natural fiber rugs are a win for consumers. They provide surface interest for the floor, but with an environmentally friendly angle, and more have come to market to satisfy consumers' demands.

Natural fiber rugs complement the earthy look trending throughout the home category. Besides wool, a staple in the rug category, manufacturers have added other natural fibers such as jute, bamboo, hemp, cotton, sisal and leather to the mix.

"Many of our consumers are joining the organic movement and are looking for sustainable and eco-friendly rugs," said Arash Yaraghi, principal, Safavieh. "Our natural fiber rugs are an essential collection since they provide our consumers with texture-rich, fashionable floor coverings that blend seamlessly and work well with any style of home furnishings. Because of this trend, our natural fiber rugs have been performing very well."

The eco-friendly movement is definitely striking a chord with consumers. "It is performing well since many consumers are in support of promoting and living a sustainable lifestyle," said Alex Peykar, principal, Nourison. "Consumers like that natural fiber rugs are durable and great for the environment. Natural fiber rugs are biodegradable, non-toxic and are stain resistant."

Simple designs work well with natural fiber rugs, as they exude the casual feel that so many consumers want. But more designs include patterns as well. "Natural plant fibers like jute provide a clean, trendy look that never really seems to go out of style," said Wendy Reiss, vice president, sales and national accounts, Kas Rugs. "They look good with most styles of furniture and people like that they are 'natural' in nature. Many are handmade. Many are also affordable as well."

The company focuses on jute and jute blends for this category, and trending looks include textural and chunky constructions and simple geometries. While it's not a big category for Kas, Reiss added, it's still an important segment to have in the line, and plant fibers typically retail for $199 to $299 for a 5-by-8.

Online, several retailers place this category in its own section on their websites. Pottery Barn does this primarily with jute items, but also includes wool and jute blends, sisal and seagrass. West Elm focuses on jute and jute blends in its natural fiber rug section online. Restoration Hardware offers a range of constructions--including chunky, heathered, braided and looped--in its natural fibers rug section.

"Consumers like simple designs that can be easily worked with today's decor," said Yaraghi. "They're looking for designs that complement existing furnishings and create an inviting space in their home."

Recent introductions from Safavieh include additions to its existing collections made of natural fibers, such as the handknotted Bohemia collection, made of jute and with a lustrous sheen and rustic-styled tribal motifs; Cape Cod, also made of jute in India and which brings a casual beach house look to the home; and the Natural Fibers collection, power loomed in India of sisal fiber and finished with fringed edging. Yaraghi said that about 60 percent of the company's natural fiber rugs are solids, while the rest offer patterns. Key price points are between $150 to $250 for a 5-by-8 and $240 to $500 for 8-by-10 rugs.

Peykar said that Nourison's key price points for natural fibers are between $499 and $799 for 5-by-8 and 8-by-10 sizes. Eighty percent of its natural fiber rugs are patterns, while the balance is solid color. Most recently, the company added an all-jute line to its kathy ireland Home collection called Bengal.

Surya will debut several designs in jute this summer, including the following, all handwoven in India: Sundaze, a fun, reversible round rug in four colors, with shaped edges and in 3-, 5-, 8-foot sizes; Brice, a reversible, braided rug offered in round and rectangular sizes in eight colors; and Maren, made of undyed jute for a casual feel in four natural colors.

BY ANDREA LILLO

Caption: Safavieh's Cape Cod collection offers a casual beach house look with this blue diamond pattern in jute. safavieh.com

Caption: Debuting this month, Surya's Sundaze design brings a fun element into the home with a round, reversible shape. surya.com
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Title Annotation:RUGS / SPOTLIGHT: NATURAL FIBERS
Author:Lillo, Andrea
Publication:HFN Home Furnishings News
Date:Jul 1, 2016
Words:684
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