Jute rugs are amazing. They look good, they’re sustainable, durable, and fit pretty much any space – small or large, calm or busy. No wonder they’ve been around since the 3rd millennia BC!
We recently released our very own Jute Rug Collection – our Sefer design, with a strong tight flatweave is great for high foot-traffic areas and our Otto design – a chunkier option with a Soumak weave is perfect for spaces that need texture and warmth.
With that, we’ve decided to put together a guide on what jute rugs are, how to pick the perfect one and how to care for it so it lasts for years and years.
What is jute?
Jute, also known as Golden Fibre, is a material that comes from the bark of the White Jute Plant. It is grown in the tropical zones of India and Bangladesh and, as you would imagine, thrives on rain & water. The growing period takes about 4 months, after which the plant is harvested once a year.
Is jute sustainable?
Long story short – pretty much everything about jute is sustainable. Jute grows without the use of fertilisers & pesticides. A hectare of jute plants consume around 15 tonnes of carbon dioxide and release 11 tonnes of oxygen. It enhances the fertility of the soil it grows in, which is so beneficial for crop rotation. Finally, it's biodegradable & recyclable.
How are jute rugs made?
Jute rugs are woven, either by machinery or by hand. But how do you get from the green bamboo-like plant to that beautiful organic rug in your living room? Well, first the fibres get extracted from the plant by submerging them in water for 30 days to make the stem dissolve (a process called “retting”). The remaining strong fibres are washed and dried. Thanks to the jute fibre strength, it can be spun into durable yarn or threads which are then woven into a rug. And finally, it lands in your beautiful living room!
How do I pick the right rug for my space?
Think about the usage, look and feel of the space where you’re going to place the rug.
For high-to-medium foot traffic areas like the hallway, house entry, home office or dining area, we recommend going with a tight flatwoven rug that won’t easily get damaged or stained. Our Sefer rugs fit this brief perfectly and are available in three sizes plus the runner to fit any space’s needs.
For those areas that need some texture or added softness and warmth like the living room or bedrooms, pick a soft chunky texture. Our Otto rugs hand made with a Soumak weave have got that beautiful thickness & bounce to make your feet feel instantly comfortable.
When choosing the colourway – look at other tones in the room and the mood you would like to create. Lighter natural-toned rugs will suit bright and airy spaces and areas that need grounding with earthy tones. For drama and mood, a darker hue works well, or use a brighter green rug for a standout centrepiece.
How do jute rugs compare to rugs made of other materials?
We may be biased but we seriously believe there’s no better rug option than a jute rug. Here are some of the benefits:
- provide a natural organic feel
- versatile in texture and design
- strong & durable
- have a great noise insulation capacity
- don’t become misshapen easily in any kind of temperature or setting.
Jute rugs are quite rough, will they make my place feel cold?
You’ll be surprised by how soft these jute rugs are! While some jute rugs can feel a bit scratchy, the weave and quality of our Otto and Sefer rugs make them soft and beautiful to walk on bare feet. Natural materials also do wonders to bring warmth to a space. Small details like our signature three stripes and textural fringing instantly make the rug feel more playful and elegant.
How long do jute rugs last?
That really depends on the traffic level of the area you place it in and how well you take care of your jute rug. Quality is another important factor. Rather than choosing a mass-produced machine-made rug, invest in a quality handmade option. Saardé jute rugs are handcrafted in India and each item is carefully checked for quality. Treat them well and they will last you for years.
I have children and /or a cat or dog, will my rug get destroyed?
We have more great news – these tough guys were made for homes with kids and energetic pets. For pets, we would recommend a tighter weave, but rest assured other natural fibre options are unlikely to last nearly as long as jute. If you’re allergic to pets - tightly woven rugs are an amazing option as they don’t let the allergens sink into the fibre, making them easier to remove with a vacuum.
What are the best care tips for jute rugs?
Jute rugs have a natural tendency to shed when you first buy them - this is just a natural part of the wearing in process and will stop after a short period of time and a few good vacuums. Just avoid the vacuum from sitting on top of your rug for too long or catching the edges to avoid breaking the binding.
Now and then a loose or long fibre (known as a sprout) may appear on the surface or edge of the rug. This can easily be trimmed with a pair of scissors.
For acidic stains (yes, we’re talking about wine) – use soda water to neutralise the acidity followed by immediately drying the wet patch with a hairdryer to avoid colour change.
Finally, a curved corner, which can happen in high foot traffic areas, can be easily fixed if you dampen it slightly and evenly weigh them down. Follow these simple guidelines and your rug will last for many years to come!