Natural Linoleum
Linoleum is made from a blend of natural materials that offer durability and premium feel—it’s an ideal material to expand our desk pad lineup. Read more about how it’s made, and why it’s not what you think of when you hear ‘linoleum.’
Linoleum: Not What You Think It Is
Linoleum was discovered accidentally in the 1850s, when the inventor noticed a film forming on the top of an open bottle of linseed oil. He coined the word ‘linoleum’ for the durable flooring he created from this discovery, based on the latin word for flax (linum) and oil (oleum). However, over time the name became generalized, and in the 1950s and 1960s, natural linoleum was widely replaced by synthetic, plastic-based alternatives, usually made with PVC (polyvinyl chloride). This synthetic version is what most people think of when they hear the word linoleum, but the two are very different materials.
The Medium Matte Desk Pad in Navy Blue runs the entire width of a standard desk, pictured here with maple wood double-wide monitor stand.
Using natural linoleum, rather than the synthetic alternatives, allows us to build a desk pad that really works well for your workspace—it’s durable and protects your desk, with the right premium feel. Adding a laminated cork bottom gives it a little extra cushion. It’s smooth surface feels great to touch. It’s antistatic, avoids fingerprints, and is a pleasure to write on.
How It's Made
Natural linoleum is made from a mixture of pure oxidised vegetable linseed oil and natural pine rosin, mixed with wood flour and calcium carbonate (usually from limestone). The furniture-grade product we use has a tooth similar to high quality paper, and a smooth feel.
Infographic showing the composition of natural linoleum: Linseed oil, pine rosin, and wood flour combine to form the sturdy composite.
Infographic showing the composition of natural linoleum: Linseed oil, pine rosin, and wood flour combine to form the sturdy composite.
How It’s Used
Linoleum has seen a resurgence in recent years, and is now incorporated in cutting-edge furniture designs. Because it’s natural, moldable, durable and comes in a wide array of colors, it can be applied to a wide range of designs.
Examples of natural linoleum in other applications, including colorful kitchen counters and unique coffee tables.
Photos are © Forbo Group. To see more designs and uses, click here.
Define Your Space
Our desk pads provide subtle, effective organization of your workspace, creating functional boundaries and zones. Available in four sizes so you can dial in your space.

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