A major decision point when faced with a seemingly never-ending array of textiles is whether to opt for a natural or synthetic textiles material. There is not a “correct” choice here – there are benefits to either (and we will discuss the other side next month).
There is a general perception that natural textiles are more luxurious. Indeed, there is an undeniable appeal to silk and wool blend rugs or a fine leather chaise. However, high-quality synthetic textiles on the market are so well manufactured that they are typically indistinguishable from their natural counterparts. These synthetic options also offer a number of very useful characteristics that decision makers should be aware of.
Synthetic Textiles – Engineered
Engineered textiles perform very well in high use situations. Fibers are generally stronger than the natural equivalent and the materials can better maintain color integrity which results in reduced showing of wear and tear.
Variety is another huge advantage to synthetic textiles. Colors, patterns, weaves, prints, textures, lustre and weight are all available in an array of choices and are often customizable. Suitable options exist for issues such as moisture control, odor control, stain prevention and cleaning, or fire performance. Materials are available that are anti-microbial, non-porous or suitable for sanitization.
While synthetic textiles sold for commercial or industrial applications have minimum fire performance requirements to meet, many engineered textiles will have especially high ratings as the materials are inherrently fire-retardant due to the nature of the material or the construction of fibers.
One last key aspect to consider is the environmental impact of your choice. Conventional wisdom has it that natural fibers are a more sustainable choice due to their being considered as coming from renewable resources. This is absolutely not a hard and fast rule. Not only must the relative lifespans of each product be considered but the use of water and energy through manufacture and transport.
Browse our updated range of area rugs while you contemplate your options!