What are Doormats Made Of? A Easy Reference Guide to the Most Common Products Used
A question that often gets overlooked when considering a new doormat for your home is; “What are doormats made of and how does that affect its performance?” To answer this question and to offer the readers an easy reference guide here are the three most common types of doormat materials used in the marketplace today.
Let’s start off with one of the more popular types of material used in the production of doormats: Olefin® Indoor/Outdoor carpet. Olefin® is a strong durable synthetic material that is extremely stain and chemical resistant compared to nylon, which is another synthetic material used to produce doormats and rugs. Since Olefin® is a synthetic material it was manufactured to have various traits that work well in carpets, rugs and mats application. It is manufactured to be extremely resistant to mildew and moisture-related damage because it has a low absorption rate. These characteristics it makes ideal for use in doormats that can function well both indoors and outdoors. In most cases doormats made with Olefin® synthetic fibers have bound stitched edges to make certain that the mat will not unravel over time which helps increase the longevity of the mat. In addition care is extremely simple as all you have to do is hose them off and scrub them lightly with a brush. Once done cleaning simply lay the mat flat to dry. These simply measures can help your Olefin® doormat stay looking fresh and new for a long time.
Another product that many people who have shopped for doormats have heard of, but few are actually aware of the meaning, is Coir. What exactly is Coir one might ask? Well the simple answer is that coir is the fibers extracted from the husk of a coconut and then used to make mats and other assorted items. To extract the coir fibers from the husk takes a number of steps. First the husks are seasoned by soaking them in pits or in nets in slow moving bodies of water. This soaking process allows the bristle fibers of the husk to be separated from the shorter mattress fibers underneath the skin of the nut. It is then dried and combed to make certain the two are separated completely. A process called needle-felting is then used to create pads of curled brown coir that can then be dyed, painted, cut and shaped to the desired design. An 18”x 30” coir Doormat uses the husks of approximately 40 coconuts to make and are 100% natural and biodegradable, great for those looking for a Green doormat option. Care for these mats is simple, just shake them out when some of the fibers appear to be coming loose and put back in place.
Lastly one of the most prominent products that are used in the manufacturing of doormats especially mats with intricate designs and pictures are doormats made from Polyester with either a vinyl or rubber backing. Most people have heard of polyester and most likely own many things made from it, but what exactly is polyester. Polyesters include naturally occurring chemicals, such as in the cutin of plant cuticles, as well as synthetics through step-growth polymerization. Natural polyesters and a few synthetic ones are biodegradable, but most synthetic polyesters are not.
That is a lot to swallow so what does that actually mean? It basically means that Polyester is a blend of synthetic and natural fibers, although its can be made with just the synthetic portion as well. These blended fabrics in general can provide specific advantages over natural fabrics,
including improved wrinkle resistance, durability and high color retention. By using polyester you can make doormats with superior water, wind and environmental resistance compared to plant-derived fibers that will break down over time. This makes them extremely durable and long lasting. Most often polyester doormats are Rubber backed and because of the porous nature of polyester they can be permanently dye printed and made fade resistant. To clean these types of Welcome Mats all you need to do is hand wash or hose them off and then let them air dry flat.
These are just three of the most common types of products available in the making of doormats today. There are still others that find their way into commercial & industrial mats and perhaps there will be a follow up article in the near future to investigate the materials and advantages of those products as well.