A Guide To Natural Fibers, Part 3: Bamboo and Hemp

Bamboo Feet

If you’re a big fan of sustainable materials and environmentally friendly products, then today’s installment of our guide to natural fiber rugs will be right up your alley! In our previous posts, we discussed the differences between sisal and jute rugs, and the unique characteristics of seagrass and coir rugs. Today we’ll be taking a look at two natural fibers that are celebrated worldwide as being among the most sustainably sourced materials out there: bamboo and hemp.


There’s a reason that feng shui proponents consider the addition of a bamboo plant to a room to be lucky – whether growing in a pot or fashioned into a rug, bamboo lends a fresh, inviting touch to any space it graces.

Although some bamboo area rugs can appear to be made from slats of wood,

Bamboo Rug

this fast-growing plant native to Asia is actually a type of grass.

As such, materials can be harvested from the same plant over and over again, without ever having to harm or kill the plant. And that’s why people looking to use sustainable materials in their home décor love bamboo – it’s about as environmentally friendly as you can get.

Bamboo is also one of the most durable materials available for an area rug. Bamboo rugs are water and dirt-resistant, and even have natural fire-retardant qualities. They’re perfect for high-traffic areas of your home, and are extremely easy to clean. Spills can be dabbed up with a cloth, and rugs can be vacuumed with the hose attachment or simply shaken to remove dust and dirt.

And here’s something we bet you didn’t know about bamboo: It’s used to make shag rugs, too! Not just any shag rugs, either, but silky, soft, luxurious shag rugs that are softer than cotton, and have a natural sheen similar to cashmere or silk.

Bamboo Shag Rug

Bamboo shag rugs resist odors and are hypoallergenic, and actually have antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, too, so they make for a healthier environment inside your home, as well as being good for the environment outside your home.


Hemp has gotten a bad rap because of its association with marijuana, but in fact, the plant that hemp fiber comes from is an entirely different variety. Hemp is obtained from a tall, cane-like variety of the Cannabis family, while marijuana comes only from the female plant of a smaller variety.

And this particular variety of Cannabis is another sustainable plant to harvest, as it can grow just about anywhere, with no need for insecticides or fertilizers, so its environment stays free of pollutants. It grows 150 times faster than a tree, while producing four times the yield. If that’s not efficient, then we don’t know what is.

Hemp is easy to dye in all different colors and patterns, so there’s one to fit every home’s décor.

Hemp Rug

The fibers are extremely durable and tough, so hemp rugs are perfect for high-traffic areas of your home. And cleaning is easy, as they can be vacuumed normally, and any spills blotted up in the usual way.

So if you’re looking for a natural fiber rug to perk up your home décor, but want to find something earth friendly to do your part, then look no further than a bamboo or hemp rug. These sustainable rugs will add some spice to your home’s style and last for years and years.