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Going Au Naturel: Why a Natural Rug Makes a Healthy Home

Did you know that 90% of rugs made in the world are plastic? Spec-ing a natural rug for a residential project is an investment in the wellbeing of your clients’ family as well as the aesthetic impact. But “natural” rugs are not all created equal, and looks alone can deceive. Here are the questions to ask and the ingredients you should be looking for when sourcing a natural rug for your next project.

  1. Looks can deceive. Most rugs on the market today are made of nylon or polypropylene. Even many so-called “natural” rugs are blends containing a high percentage of synthetic materials, which can be harmful over time. If the rug itself is natural, make sure the backing is, too, as many mass-market backings contain toxic chemicals. If you can’t trace the provenance of all the materials, you don’t really know what you’re getting. 

Merida rugs are made from rapidly renewable natural materials, and backed with eco-friendly latex and glue.

  1. Are natural fibers less durable? Definitely not! Wool is virtually indestructible, and naturally resists stains. For millennia, weavers have used natural materials to make beautiful heirloom rugs that have lasted centuries. That said, the construction of a rug can impact performance, and inform which rug is best for high-traffic areas versus going barefoot in the bedroom.

Our rigorous R&D process ensures we deliver products that perform as great as they look. Every Merida rug is third-party tested for durability and color fastness before it goes to market.  

  1. How does it feel? A rug should feel as good to the touch as it looks on the floor. Like your favorite lived-in wool sweater, the beauty of a natural rug envelops the senses, and deepens over time.

When sourcing yarns for Merida’s Atelier collection, art director Sylvie Johnson turned yarn samples in her hand as she walked around the studio, to ensure they passed the “feel test.”  

  1. Color gradations. The most beautiful colors are found in nature, which is why we hand-select the finest wool yarns that are prized their natural beauty and texture. Mixing undyed with dyed wools creates depth through contrast, similar to the way negative space in a painting gives depth to the images in the foreground. Where man-made rugs are uniformly flat in color, natural yarns reflect slight changes in color.

Many of our rugs are woven with a blend of dyed and undyed yarns, resulting in depth of color, texture, and character that we call “perfectly imperfect.” 

  1. Beauty is sustainability. A high-quality natural rug can last for decades, an investment that is passed from generation to generation. In a world choking on disposable goods, we believe that natural products of quality are good for the home, and good for the planet.
For 40 years, Merida has been weaving natural fiber rugs from rapidly replenish-able materials. After decades, our rugs continue to deepen in character and beauty, and are still in use in homes and hospitality settings around the world.
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