Rugs for the garden

Rugs for the garden

Outdoor rugs made from recycled polyester or plastic are great for impromptu picnics or sprucing up your deck or terrace for that al fresco lunch party

Weaver Green rugs are made from recycled PET plastic bottles

An outdoor rug is just the thing to perk up your exterior space and provide a dry surface to sit on. Weaver Green (see above) offers in/outdoor rugs made from post-consumer recycled PET plastic bottles and designs range from traditional kilim-style to colourful contemporary. For a swanky designer range of large area weatherproof rugs woven, check out Spanish rug company Now Carpets' range by Inma Bermúdez, which are woven in India from recycled polyester. For cheap and cheerful water resistant outdoor rugs, check out Fab Habitat's range of recycled plastic rugs at Cuckooland or WayfairPrices from around £37. 

We've not been a nation of outdoor rug users, but with some very attractive products on the market we're definitely starting to see the point to them.

They can make an outdoor space look far more attractive, provide a safe surface for toddlers to crawl around on, and be nice to sit or lie on.  

If you're after a weatherproof carpets with that real designer oomph, check out the eco-friendly kilim collection by Inma Bermúdez from Spain's luxury contemporary rug company NOW Carpets. Hand-woven in north India using recycled polyester, these rugs come in three stunning designs, Ethnic, Triangles and Mosaic, in a range of colourways.

NOW Carpets is a fair trade and ethical producer and it's a member of Rugmark, which ensures no child labour is used in carpet manufacture. These kilims - which can be machine washed..hooray -  are intended for indoor use too, so you can enjoy them year-round. Prices from around £1,200. Three sizes: 6x9ft, 8x10ft, 9x12ft. (Shipping to the UK is available: email the company for info on how to buy).

Fab Habitat's new Lhasa blue and brown recycled plastic rug - find this US brand in the UK at Wayfair.co.uk
Triangles rug from NOW Carpets, now carpets.com
Fia plastic rug by Sweden's Pappelina. The plastic used isn't recycled but the carpet is recyclable
New for 2017 - in/outdoor Kilimanjaro rug made from recycled plastic by Fab Habitat at Cuckooland
Weaver Green rugs are very soft and tactile - made from PET plastic bottles, they feel surprisingly wool-like
Mosaico rug in beige from NOW Carpets. Made in India from recycled polyester yarn
US brand Fab Habitat make rugs from recycled straws in India. Buy them in the UK at Cuckooland, from £45
Shore Rugs' modern designs are woven in London using custom-made silicone cord. Long lasting and weather resistant, they're non slip so need no underlay. From around £200. shore rugs.com
Inma Bermudez rugs, such as Mosaico pictured here, for NOW Carpets are hand-made in India and are perfect for indoor use too

Online UK retailers Cuckooland and Wayfair have eco-friendly outdoor rugs in lots of bright colours and exuberant designs from US ethical brand Fab Habitat. Its rugs are made in India, woven from recycled plastic, including used polypropylene straws. Rugs measure 1.2x1.8m and they are very affordable, with prices starting at around £37. They're UV stabilised so won't fade and are mildew-resistant. Use indoors too and Fab Hab rugs are also great to take to beach.

Another company that uses recycled PET plastic bottles to make rugs is Devon based Weaver Green. Their rugs come in a good range of styles and sizes and are well priced. We've seen the products and can vouch for their quality - and can say you honestly wouldn't know they're made from plastic bottles!

 

 

A Shore Rug, woven in London using silicone cord. Prices from around £200
Cancun turquoise rug by US eco brand Fab Habitat, at Cuckooland
Recycled plastic straws become wonderful Fab Habitat rugs

You can also find terrific washable in/outdoor plastic rugs by Swedish manufacturer Pappelina, which sell in the UK at Cloudberry Living for £95. Pappelina says it buys high quality plastic from a Swedish manufacturer with eco accreditation and that while the plastic the rugs are made from isn't recyled, the rugs are recyclable.  

Another stylish outdoor rug collection can be found at Shore Rugs, and its soft, tactile and indeed stunning products are hand-woven in London from custom-made silicone cord. Silicone is a good material because it's incredibly sturdy and resistant to extremes of temperature - though its eco merits are strongly debated, it tends not to be considered a petro-chemical plastic because it contains silica. 

In her book 'Plastic Free', Beth Terry offers this easily understandable description of silicone:
 
'First of all, silicone is no more 'natural' than fossil-based plastic. It is a man-made polymer, but instead of a carbon backbone like plastic, it has a backbone of silicon and oxygen. (Note that I'm using two different words here: silicone is the polymer and silicon, spelled without the "e" on the end, is an ingredient in silicone.) Silicon is an element found in silica, i.e., sand, one of the most common materials on earth. However, to make silicone, silicon is extracted from silica (it rarely exists by itself in nature) and passed through hydrocarbons to create a new polymer with an inorganic silicon-oxygen backbone and carbon-based side groups. What that means is that while the silicon might come from a relatively benign and plentiful resource like sand, the hydrocarbons in silicone come from fossil sources like petroleum and natural gas. So silicone is a kind of hybrid material.'(Terry, p. 277)
 
Thus, while most plastics have a polymer backbone of hydrogen and carbon, silicones have a backbone made of silicon and oxygen, and hydrocarbon side groups - all of which gives them plastic-like characteristics.

So if your deck's looking dreary, your lawn in languishing or your patio needs perking up, a woven plastic rug could be just the ticket.

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