Designers and clients come back asking for these beautiful and textural weaves year after year despite some shortcomings. They accept jute fibers’ limitations, while embracing its most unique characteristics such as its natural softness, distinctive luster, intriguing woven patterns and great eco story. Plus, jute rugs are fun to play around with due to their timelessness and affordability. We believe there is a perfect application for this natural fiber in every home. Let us help you find the right application for your jute rug or set you up with a great alternative for your project.
What Is Jute?
Jute is a bast fiber because it comes from the stalks as opposed to the leaves of the plant. That plant’s name is Corchorus, and it grows in the monsoon climates of India and Bangladesh. The tropical wet and warmth work the long fibers day in and day out. This process transforms jute into one of the softest natural fibers in the flooring market. But it also decreases the strength of the individual fiber.
Are Jute Rugs Soft?
The wet, tropical climate is the reason why jute fibers are one of the softest natural fibers we work with. Just take a barefoot walk on sisal, seagrass and jute, and your feet will vote for jute every time. Maybe it is also because of the nubby knots that give your feet a little massage with each step. And who wouldn’t want that? To sum up, jute rugs are super comfortable to walk on. They add a layer of cushioning and warmth to hard wood or tile floors. This insulating property is a welcome feature for basement offices or rooms on top of a garage.
Are Jute Rugs Eco-Friendly?
Jute is a fast-growing, rain-fed crop with little need for fertilizer or pesticides. It grows extremely efficiently, meaning farmers can plant multiple crops a year on the same piece of land. Jute biodegrades and composts really well, leaving no toxic substances to be taken care of. As a consumer, buying jute is just another way of saying, “I care for the environment and support products that are sustainable.” As a homeowner you opt for jute to keep a clean, green home. Read more about our commitment to sustainability here.
Can Jute Rugs Get Wet?
Our quick answer: Avoid getting your jute rugs wet! Water releases oils in jute that will brown the fiber during the drying process. This presents a challenge not only for cleaning spots, which we address later, but also for perfect placement of your jute rug. Do not place your newly purchased jute rug in moist environments or where spills are likely to occur. Cross bathrooms, kitchens, mudrooms or uncovered outside patios off your jute rug list. In addition, moisture combined with warmth makes jute rugs susceptible to mold and mildew, decreasing the strength of the fiber. So a jute rug for your vacation home in Florida might not be the best idea.
What rug would we suggest for humid or spill-prone conditions? As all natural fibers don’t like to get wet, we point you towards synthetic materials. Our synthetic sisals do very well indoors. They mimic the look of traditional sisal while being super easy to clean. For a more modern look or splash of color indoors or out, check out our outdoor rugs and modern synthetics made from vinyl and/ or polypropylene. Some of them can even be pressure-washed.
Do Jute Rugs Shed?
Yes, jute rugs shed a lot, especially when they are new. Jute is most likely the natural fiber that sheds the most. Hence, jute’s unique softness comes with a price—the price of routine maintenance. Regular vacuuming with a strong suction will do the job. Don’t use a beater bar as it will only destroy the fibers’ cohesion over time. Also know that if you place your jute rug on top of a dark tile or hardwood, you will have to sweep a bit more often than with other types of rugs. There is one more tip we usually pass on to our customers who love jute: Get yourself a high-quality rug pad and place it underneath your jute rug. This will reduce surface friction and shedding. Plus, it increases cushioning and absorbs noise nicely.
Are Jute Rugs Good for Dogs?
Although jute is the softest material among our natural rug fibers—and pets love soft—we do not recommend it for rooms that are frequented by dogs. Pets scratch, gnaw and shed, have messy paws and sometimes, although nobody wants to admit it, have accidents. For all of these reasons, you need a rug that is durable, easy to clean but still snug enough to find approval from your four-legged friend. If you don’t want your cat’s claws to get caught on a chunky jute or your rug starting to smell after a couple of mishaps, do yourself a favor and choose a better suited weave.
If you want to stay with a natural, classic look, we suggest our sustainable SynSisal® made from ECONYL®. It resembles natural sisal in aesthetics, smoothness and strength; besides, it is super easy to clean. For customers who dare to invite bold colors or arresting patterns into their home, we ask them to browse our woven vinyls or anywhere assortment. If nothing strikes you, feel free to chat with our team of experts to get fresh ideas.
Are Jute Rugs Good for Allergies?
It all depends on how severe your allergies are and what type of jute weave you like. Allergies are caused either by aggravating proteins such as dust mites, pet dander and mold—or by air pollutants. All our natural jute rugs are untreated and thus, emit no toxins. When it comes to aggravating antigens from dust, pets and mold, we suggest a more tightly woven jute. Take a look at our herringbone-patterned Grenada or elegantly classic Martinique and Tobago. The tightness of these weaves keeps allergy intruders on the surface for easy removal. Additionally, equip your vacuum with a HEPA filter and use it one to two times per week. This will keep your home environment fresh and clean.
If your allergies are fierce, you might want to stay away from all natural fiber rugs. They do shed at different degrees, where jute is on the higher end of the shedding scale. Any shedding will aggravate your allergies even more. If you like the natural look, you might want to check out our exclusive SynSisal®. It is a synthetic sisal that mimics the look of natural sisal without the limitations that come with a natural material. SynSisal® is made from 100% regenerated nylon with low VOC contribution. It even qualifies for LEED points. Invite the natural look and feel into your home while still breathing with ease.
Can Jute Rugs Go Outside?
In general, keep your jute indoors. It doesn’t hold up well in warm and humid environments. Water or any other spill will literally stain jute. Also jute is the least durable among all the natural fibers used for flooring. Sorted by strength, sisal leads the pack, closely followed by seagrass, wool and then jute. A rug that goes outdoors should be robust, water repellent and easy to clean. A tightly woven, flat area rug made from UV-stabilized polypropylene or woven vinyl will last a long time outdoors. There is one scenario in which a jute rug outside would be o.k.: if your patio is covered and you live in a dry climate. For everything else, take a look at our expansive outdoor rug collection. From muted tones to colorful, we offer a style for any taste.
How to Care for Jute Rugs?
Rule number one: Vacuum your jute rug regularly! Strong suction is o.k.; but please, do not use a beater bar as it will destroy the cohesion of the jute fibers over time. Routine vacuum cleaning will remove not only the obvious dirt and debris but also the fine dirt particles that lodge between the fibers and cause additional wear. Plus, it helps to stay on top of the shed fibers.
As discussed before, liquid spills are a different kind of beast. Water will brown your jute. Dirt particles, carried to the top by a spill, will leave a dark stain. If a spill occurs, act immediately. Blot spill with white paper towel or a clean absorbent cloth. Do not rub! Rubbing will only work the liquid deeper into the fiber. Scoop up solids. Then, work inward from the edge of the spot to prevent excess spreading. If you need to spot clean, we recommend using a dry-cleaning agent. Pretest your cleaning agent in an inconspicuous area and proceed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Professionally clean as needed. Never steam clean or wet-shampoo your jute rug. We have detailed care guidelines for natural fiber rugs on our homepage.
One final tip and proactive step: Get yourself a coarse walk-off mat for your front door to minimize outside dirt from being carried inside your home. Plus, use a high-quality rug pad to reduce surface friction and shedding.