Carpeting made from natural fibers can be put into 2 categories cellulosic and protein. Cellulosic means it is made from plant based materials and protein equals animal based. This article focuses on cellulosic or plant base materials that some carpet backing is made from.

Some of the elements that make up plant based:

  • Can lead to browning or brown discloration
  • degrades with high alkaline cleaning solutions
  • resistant to mild detergents
  • dissolves in strong acids

Plant based fiber sometimes found in the backing of carpet:

  • Cotton– comes from comes from a plant and is usually found in backing of woven carpet. It is rarely ever found on the face side {side you see, touch}.  cotton is very soft to the touch and increases in strength with water,it stains very easily and brown easily. Other downsides include shrinkage and mildew if too much water is used in cleaning process. This fiber is resistant to alkaline detergents and acid will dissolve it.
  • Jute–  this fiber is found in the backings of tufted rugs made in US before the eighties. Some common household items might be walk off mats, area rugs and some wall to wall. It is rough to the feel and becomes weak when wet.
  • Linen– It is extremely rare to find linen in carpet because it doesnt wear well to foot traffic.