In times of rapid development of digital technologies, artificial materials and virtual reality, people are increasingly drawn to something real, truly natural. If a person is incredibly happy with assistants in the form of a computer and a dishwasher, then furnishing his home, he will give preference to natural and environmentally friendly materials. One of the islands of nature in the apartment is a lint-free rug made of plant fibers, known as the mat.
What it is?
The first mats were brought to Europe from China. It is impossible to determine the real homeland of an uncomplicated rug due to the fact that they decompose rather quickly (from a historical point of view), thus it is impossible to determine their presence through archaeological excavations among ancient peoples. However, no one will argue about the widespread use of mats in countries with hot climates and not only. For example, in Japan, one type of mat is still used - floor wicker mats. The Japanese call them tatami.
The mats are distinguished by natural eco-fiber from which they are made. They do not cause allergies, are not a habitat for dust mites, and are easy to clean. In addition, walking barefoot on the rough wicker texture of the surface is comparable to a light foot massage, which has a beneficial effect on the body as a whole.
The mat is used not only as a carpet on the floor. It is also used as wallpaper, curtains, paintings, and sometimes it is used to cover the ceiling. Thanks to its natural natural tones, it fits perfectly into both modern and classic interiors.
The following advantages of woven lint-free carpets can be distinguished:
- Natural natural materials are the basis of the product.
- Heat and sound insulation properties (depending on the weaving - the tighter it is, the higher these properties).
- Practicality. They do not attract dust and are unpretentious in cleaning.
- They are pleasant to the touch, have a beneficial effect on the body when walking on them barefoot.
- Various weaving techniques provide a wide range of choices.
Types and forms
Today, not only hand-made rugs are on sale, but also of industrial production. The latter prevail in the market in terms of the number of offers. Also, mats appeared on sale not only from plant, but also from artificial synthetic materials. Such products are not afraid of moisture, more wear-resistant, which makes them suitable for use in the bathroom, as well as in open areas, for example, on the veranda.
To create mats, various weaving techniques are used, the most common of which are checkerboard weaving, pigtails. There is also a combination of several weaving techniques in one product. After weaving, the material prepared for sale is in rolls, the width of which ranges from 3.5 to 4 meters. As a result, the buyer has the option to order a round or square mat, a small rug or a huge rug.
Usually firms offer to create the edging themselves, some of them offer different materials - leather, tapestry, suede, cotton. It should be noted that the creation of a border is often not included in the price of the mat and is paid separately. The cost of this procedure can be from 10 to 50% of the cost of the mat, depending on the material of the border and the complexity of its execution.
Most of the mats on the market are made from plant fibers. As in ancient times, they are made from plant trunks, weaved together and dried well, trying to create a thin rope or thread from fibers of different length, thickness and shape. It is from such threads that the carpet is subsequently woven. The most popular materials are jute, reed, sisal. Many other plants are used as a base, but they are not so common.
A perennial herb grows on the banks of rivers and swamps, for which many people mistakenly call it reeds. Since ancient times, it has been used by man to create wicker products. Reed mats have excellent thermal insulation properties.
The plant of the genus of shrubs belongs to the spinning culture. Sacks and ropes were traditionally made from jute. Now jute is actively used in the production of packaging and bags as an alternative to synthetic materials. In addition, jute is distinguished by its high endurance and strength, which explains its use in crowded places - offices, shops.
Sisal or sisal agave is a plant from the fibers of which ropes, twine, container fabrics are made. The yarns are long enough and strong enough to weave a mat from solid yarns. Such products are considered the best among their kind.
Fiber obtained from the intercarp of coconut tree nuts. The coconut is soaked in water for a long time, then the fibers are combed out of it. Those that are more than 20 cm long and go to the manufacture of mats, mats, ropes and ropes. The shorter ones are used as padding or brush bristles.
A well-known annual plant of the Cereals family. Rice straw has advantages over other types of plant fibers, such as softness and fineness. The difference between rice fibers is also that they are dried already in the finished product. Sun-dried rice straw mats are flexible and durable and have a pleasant aroma.
A plant from the palm family. Rattan fiber is perhaps the only plant fiber that does not burn. Its advantages are also resistance to high humidity and temperature extremes. The wide range of shades of rattan mats make them a designer favorite.
A perennial plant grows in areas with high humidity, however, due to its special properties, it is not subject to rotting and infections. Bamboo mats are made in two ways. The first traditional one is weaving. Second, the more modern one involves the use of bamboo planks fastened with threads. It is worth noting that such carpets are less durable than woven carpets, so they are not suitable for rooms with heavy traffic.
Natural and very common material. It is used as a base that protects mats from deformation. Also found in edging as a curb material.
Rice and cotton paper is used to make carpets. It should be noted that in all countries except Japan, a carpet is called paper if it contains at least one third of the paper. Such mats are not afraid of water and have high strength and durability, but their main disadvantage is their high cost.
Linen fibers are widely used in the textile industry. Pure linen mats are short-lived, but very beautiful, so they are almost never produced. However, on sale there are carpets with linen inserts.
Hemp is the name given to the fiber derived from hemp. Ropes, cords, burlap are made of it. A special feature of hemp is its resistance to sea water, thanks to which it has found application in the maritime business. For the manufacture of mats, hemp has been used since time immemorial due to its high strength characteristics.
Algae mats are not as widely known as bamboo mats, but they do have their merits. They turn out to be thin and flexible, and the algae fibers give the product an unusual green color, they can also be in the traditional beige or brown colors. Like rice woven carpets, algae carpets have their own special smell - the smell of sea salt.
Application in the interior
The mat will easily emphasize the asceticism and naturalness of the interior, but in modern design it is also used as the main element of the decor. Much depends on its size. So, a small rug will fit perfectly into the space in front of the fireplace, bed or near the bed. Medium carpets - 2 to 6 square meters - are often used to highlight a specific area. They are suitable for the kitchen - they will highlight the dining group, but make sure that the back legs of the chairs are also on the carpet. Such rugs will also come to the courtyard as a path in the hallway, here their practicality and ease of care are of particular value. Larger carpets are more advisable to use in the living room, bedroom.
A distinctive feature of woven carpets is their invisibility when laid on the stairs. They do not deform or show folds.
Mats are used not only as flooring. They are often hung on the wall, it is they who hang them - the upper edge is fixed to wooden planks, and the lower one freely drops down. You can create beautiful compositions by varying the length of the hanging mats.
Fashionable painted mats are often hung in the living room as paintings. They resemble a kind of tapestry rugs.
It should be noted that wicker rugs will not fit into every interior. For example, the style of luxury - baroque, clearly will not withstand such an attribute. The mats represent minimalism, oriental and nature, so they are perfect for seasoned styles, such as country or even modern high-tech.
Before buying a mat, be sure to find out the composition of the purchased product, the rules of care and operating conditions. Depending on the raw materials used, they can be strikingly different. It is also worth clarifying whether the mat or the raw materials used has undergone special processing in order to protect it from moisture and dirt. Such operations can significantly increase the service life, but at the same time they present special requirements for care.
Jute, reed and coir do not get dirty and do not absorb dirt and dust. Such carpets are perfect for crowded areas where it is not customary to take off your shoes. They are unpretentious in care, they are perfectly cleaned with a vacuum cleaner, but they absolutely do not tolerate hot water. It steams the fibers and can lead to shrinkage of the product after complete drying. Water of normal temperature jute is not so terrible, and cleaning with a damp cloth is even indicated. There is a wide range of vinegar-based specialty vegetable fiber cleaners on the market.
Sisal, rice and hemp under high humidity conditions warp and acquire not only brown and green spots, but also a musty smell. When buying, pay attention to these signs - their presence indicates non-compliance with the storage regime, which significantly reduces the service life of the product. These mats should not be used in the kitchen. Spilled liquids will leave permanent marks on these carpets.
Coconut fiber, treated with a special composition, makes it possible to make mats for use in rooms with high humidity and water, for example, in saunas, swimming pools.
The average lifespan of woven plant fiber carpets is about 5 years. This figure is influenced not only by the operating conditions, but also by the raw materials from which the product is made. So, carpets made of hemp, reed, coir will last about 7 years, and a sisal carpet for 5 years. The most short-lived are rice and paper mats. Their service life is only 4 years, provided that they will be properly handled throughout the entire period.
Many manufacturers use latex liners to increase durability. When making a carpet, one of its sides is impregnated with latex. Freezing, it fixes the fibers and prevents them from spreading or unraveling. These mats are much more expensive, but they do not slip on the floor and retain their shape even if damaged.
The demand for woven plant fiber carpets in Russia is low in comparison with European countries, as a result of which there is a very scarce choice on sale. Stores buy mats for rare buyers, so sellers have little to say about such an exotic product. Therefore, before buying, you need to familiarize yourself in more detail with the intended subject of purchase, inquire about the materials, conditions of use, cleaning and cleaning rules.
Remember that not the entire range of goods offered is often presented on the trading floor, and in many stores it is possible to order a product according to individual characteristics.
On sale you can find mats from both European, Western and Eastern manufacturers. Numerous tourists who have visited Vietnam often talk about the mat markets. It is noteworthy that all the goods presented there are made by hand. A traveler can see the whole process of creation live, ask questions to the masters, as they are woven right there, not far from the market. We have a large number of Vietnamese mats on sale, however, among them you can rarely find a handmade product. If you are particularly interested in the process of making mats, go to Vietnam.
If you don't want to go anywhere, then you should pay attention to the manufacturer, since the manufacturing and processing technology may differ, which quite strongly affects the quality and appearance of the goods. For example, German mats are processed using a special technology, which makes them softer than others. Let's consider the most popular firms with their offices in Russia.
- German firm Astra, also known as Ottogolzesohne, offers flooring materials such as sesal, coir and reed. Various weaving techniques are presented. The hinge height is not less than 5 and not more than 10 mm. The color palette is presented in natural colors, but dyed fibers in black, blue and green are also found. The company buys wicker rolls 4 meters wide. A variety of curbs are offered, among the materials there is suede, cotton, tapestry. It should be noted that Astra is one of the few firms in Moscow that offers reed coverings.
- Jab is a well-known German company with a history, has offices in America, Europe and Russia. Coir, rome and sisal woven carpets are available. There are also carpets made of joint weaving, for example, sisal and rice, sisal and wool, or coir and sisal. Cotton mesh and latex backing are a must for Jab mats. Rarely, but felt carpets are found. Such carpets are inferior to traditional carpets in flexibility, but significantly gain in density. The range of colors is diverse - 22 colors. The weaving technique is also used in about 30 types. Leather, fabrics or a special cord made of plant fiber are used as the border material. The rice mats offered by the company are woven by hand, so their price is much higher than floor coverings made from other plant fibers.
- German group Ruckstuhl offers various sizes of woven coconut and jute floor coverings. The drawing is created with fibers of different texture and color. The complexity of the pattern affects the cost of the final product.
- Belgian firm Tasibel has been producing carpets since 1923. In the manufacture of mats, it uses various compounds aimed at improving the water-repellent properties. Thanks to this processing, products made from very short-lived plant fibers, for example, rice, become comparable in performance with products from sesal. The company offers mats both from one type of fiber (sesal, coir, jute), and from a combination of several types (sisal and wool, sisal and paper, rice and paper, rice and cotton). Ordinary borders - leather, suede, tapestry, various ribbons.
- Unlimited Creation is a kind of fashion house in the world of wicker flooring. Each mat is individual or very limited. Leading European designers are working on the development of the appearance of the product. Country of origin - Belgium. Sisal, coir, paper, rice, cane, flax and cotton are used as plant fibers. The mats are made only by hand, thanks to which the company works on individual orders up to the design specified by the customer. The color palette assumes the presence of a wide variety of colors and shades - in the latest models, hot pink and turquoise colors were presented. Borders are also objects of art, as they are decorated with various cords, tassels, embroidery. The price for such products is appropriate and depends not so much on the size as on the appearance of the product, here weaving technique, the complexity of dyeing, raw materials and the work of designers are taken into account.
- Swedish firm Ikea offers budget flooring options. You can find little-known jute-edged seaweed mats, traditional sisal rugs, and round maize rugs on sale. All carpets are double-sided, they do not have a latex backing or impregnation. However, the company offers its solution in the form of anti-slip latex mats.
The mat will complement well any interior that emphasizes minimalism or the use of natural materials. In addition, it will bring a light touch of the east, its exoticism and originality.
Items made from natural materials will help create a pleasant atmosphere in your home, conducive to rest and relaxation.
More details about mats can be seen in the following video.