Can Jute Rugs Be Used Outdoors?

Natural Area Rugs Blog Staff

Natural Area Rugs Blog Staff

We often get asked whether Jute rugs are ok to use outside. We hope the following information will help users decide if it is safe to use Jute rugs in their on porches, patios or any outdoor setting.

Jute run on outdoor patio

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An Overview of Jute Rugs

Before we can get into determining if Jute Rugs are a good outdoor rug candidate for the outdoors, we first have to understand what Jute is. Jute natural fiber is the byproduct of a plant called a jute plant. The jute plant is very common in Asian countries and India. Because of its popularity, the jute plant is a very sustainable resource. Because of its tremendously fast growth rate, the jute plant is a renewable resource. Jute is one of the fastest-growing plants in the world. The jute plant is a member of the Mallow family. The plant has long, glossy leaves and can grow up to 13 feet tall. The roots of the jute plant are harvested and spun into yarn. In some cases, the yarn is woven into rugs. The jute plant has many other uses, including rope and paper.

Jute natural fiber rugs are a great choice for any room in your home. Jute rugs have come a long way in the past decade and have become an integral part of the home decorating scene. They are now available in a wide range of styles, colors, and sizes, making them the perfect addition to any room in the house.

Jute Rugs Durability

Jute fiber rugs are very durable, which is great if you have little ones running around or pets. They also tend to be very thick and heavy. This makes them great for areas that get a lot of traffic, like stairs. Jute rugs can be a good choice for areas where you want the rug to last for years. Compared to other types of flooring, jute rugs are less likely to crack, tear, or wither when they come in contact with liquids. 

Are Jute Rugs Waterproof?

If you’ve ever wondered if jute rugs are waterproof, you’re not alone. It’s a common question. Jute rugs are not waterproof, meaning that they don’t repel water. However, natural jute rugs are made from natural fibers. As a result, they are absorbent. However, wetness and moisture to Jute rugs can be hazardous. 

Jute Rugs and Rain

Jute rugs will not hold up under heavy rain or water. They can be ruined very quickly by heavy rainfall or by water soaking through them. If you’re considering a natural jute rug as your outdoor rug, consider one that is not made from 100 percent jute. It should be made with other fibers mixed in. This way, it will have a greater chance of holding up under heavy rain and water.

Jute rug fibers release oils that can cause the fibers to turn brown when they’re wet. This presents an interesting cleaning challenge

Jute Rugs and Mold

Jute rugs are susceptible to mold because of their high absorbency and propensity to soak up moisture. The fibers can act as a sponge for liquid spills or rain and will allow them to soak up the liquid and spread it throughout the rug. This is especially true in areas where the rug gets heavy use. They can also trap moisture between the fibers of the jute, causing mold to grow. In fact, mold can grow on a jute rug within hours if not allowed to dry completely. 

To help prevent mold from forming, the best practice is to keep the jute rug in a place where air can circulate freely. Jute rugs can be known to shrink as they dry out, which can lead to a loss of the rug‘s shape. Even further adding to the challenge of keeping them dry and washing if stained. 

Do Jute Rugs Fade from Sunlight?

Jute rugs tend to fade easily as a result of exposure to sunlight. The fibers are made up of natural oils. As a result, they are prone to fading. Over time, the oils from the rug will break down and cause the rug to fade. This is why it’s important to protect your Jute rug by storing it indoors. When you store it indoors, you protect it from the damaging effects of the sun.

You could get by with using a lighter color jute rug outdoors vs a darker color and if not set in direct sunlight, but proceed with caution. 

Will a Jute Rug Ruin My Deck?

In certain situations, a Jute rug may damage a deck. We’ve seen instances of wood decks getting damaged by Jute rugs. Due to Jute rugs wanting to abord water, if left a wet Jute rug is left to sit on wood, it could lead to mold and may start weathering or rotting the wood. For this reason alone, the recommendation is to not use Jute rugs on wood decks. 

Maintenance-free/composite decking has become very popular over the years. This type of decking is rot-resistant so it may perform better against wet Jute rugs

Unlike synthetic fiber rugs, Jute rugs can feel scratchy, especially if they are 100% jute. This could potentially lead to scratching of the composite decking. This is not ideal. A rug pad could help in that circumstance. 

Jute rugs that are mixed with other fibers are typically much softer. So this may be more ideal if you want to prevent scratching.

When Can Jute Rugs Be Used as an Outdoor Rug?

Jute rugs CAN be used outdoors, however, there are some stipulations. 

  • Covered porches or patios are ideal to help protect against rain and sunlight.
  • Wood Deck? If you have a wood deck, Jute rugs will not be ideal if the rug becomes wet as it can ruin the wood. Jute rugs may perform better on composite decking, but consider a rug pad of some sort to prevent scratching of the deck. 

  • Geographical location. If you live in a high moisture area or even if it may only occasionally become damp, use caution before you buy an expensive jute rug for an outdoor setting. Same situation if you live in an area that sees snowfall. The recommendation would be to NOT leave it outdoors during the winter months. Instead, consider bringing it indoors during these months.  

To wrap things up, Jute rugs can possibly be used outdoors, but only if it’s protected from heavy rainfall, sunlight, and snow. Proceed with caution if using on wood decks and do not let the Jute area rug see high amounts of moisture. You have to really consider your investment and if you really want to be putting a natural fiber area rug you fell in love with, in potential danger. 

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