What is a Jute Rug and Why are They So Popular?

Natural Area Rugs Blog Staff

Natural Area Rugs Blog Staff

Your trusted source for Natural Area Rugs inspiration & information. ~ Nurturing your home with nature ~

If you are looking to add some interest to your room then it is worth investigating the world of jute rugs. These natural fiber rugs are extremely versatile and are available in an incredible variety of shapes and sizes. They are easy to maintain and care for, and many people prefer them to traditional carpet. In this informative post, we cover what jute rugs are, and why they are such a big deal in the world of rug design. 

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What Makes a Jute Rug, a Jute Rug? It's in the Fibers

jute plants
Rows of jute plants

Jute is a plant that is native to Bangladesh and India. The plant itself is fairly unassuming, with long green leaves and yellow flowers. But the jute fiber (known as Hessian) that come from the jute plant are strong and durable, making them perfect for weaving into rugs.

Jute is a sustainable crop, and the plant’s fibers can be used to make a variety of different products, from clothing to paper. The plant is also used to make jute rope, which is popular for use in gardening and other crafts.

History of Jute Rugs

Jute rugs have a long and rich history. 

Jute has been around for a long time- people in the Indus Civilization used it for textile and floor mats as early as the 3rd millennium BC. Nowadays, you can find jute rugs that are more ‘modern’, but the original idea came from this era.

The 18th century was a boom time for the jute rug industry, with numerous jute mills being set up in that century and the next. However, the 20th century wasn’t so good for this industry, with a decline in popularity. However, this trend has reversed in the 21st century.

Today, jute is a common material used to make rugs and various other upholstery and décor. It’s a coarse vegetable fiber that needs to be handwoven with exquisite craftsmanship and skilled artisans. Once the strands are made, manufacturers can use them to create jute area rugs.

How are Jute Rugs Made?

Wet jute fibers have been hung for drying in the sun.

The process of making a jute area rug is actually quite simple.

First, the jute plant is harvested and the fibers are extracted. 

The fibers are then soaked in water to swell them up. This is called “retting” and helps to break down the plant’s outer layer.

After the fibers are separated, they’re washed and dried. This is done to get them ready for manufacturing, which requires them to be clean, dry, and in their raw state.

After that, they are woven into a rug or mat. Either handwoven or by machine. 

Pros and Cons of Natural Jute Rugs


Eco Friendly: 

Jute rugs are made from natural fiber, so they’re definitely eco-friendly. Plus, they’re also biodegradable and recyclable. So when you’re done with your jute rug, you can just throw it in the compost (given its not treated with chemicals). 

Long Lasting & Durable:

Jute rugs are a great option for anyone looking for a durable and long-lasting rug. They’re perfect for high-traffic areas like entryways or living room.


Jute rugs are a great choice for people with allergies, as they are hypoallergenic. Jute is a natural fiber that is resistant to dust mites and mold, making it a great option for people with allergies or asthma. 

Easy Cleaning & Maintenance:

Jute rugs are a popular choice for many homeowners because they are easy to clean and maintain. Jute is a strong, natural fiber that can be cleaned with a vacuum or a mild detergent. You can also spot clean jute rugs by blotting spills with a clean cloth. To keep your jute rug looking its best, vacuum it regularly to remove normal shedding and everyday dirt and dust. 



One of the main cons of jute rugs is their absorbency. So they might not be the best choice for areas that tend to get wet, like kitchens or bathrooms. 

Tendency to Shed:

Jute rugs have a tendency to shed, which can be a bit of a nuisance. If you’re not careful, you might end up with jute fibers all over your floor. These rugs require more regular, maintenance cleaning than other rugs. 

Scratchy Feel:

Jute rugs are often praised for their natural and rustic look, but they’re not without their drawbacks. One of the biggest complaints about jute rugs is that they can feel scratchy and rough underfoot. If you’re looking for a rug that’s going to feel soft and plush, jute is probably not the right material for you.

Why Interior Designers Love Jute Rugs


For starters, natural jute rugs are incredibly versatile. You can use them in any room in your home, from the living room to the bedroom. Plus, they come in a variety of colors and styles, so you can find the perfect one to match your home decor.

Jute rugs are a great way to add texture and visual interest to your home decor.

They’re also perfect for layering over other rugs or carpets. And because they come in such a wide range of colors and styles, you can really have fun with them and experiment to find the perfect look for your space.


Jute rugs are the perfect way to add a touch of luxury to a room without breaking the bank. You can find a decent-sized jute rug for under $200, which is a great price considering some rugs can cost thousands of dollars.

The Best Jute Rugs You Can Buy to Complement Your Home Decor

Here are some of the best jute rugs you can buy to add a touch of style to your home

Jute Rugs FAQs

Are Natural Jute Rugs Soft?

It depends. Some jute rugs are soft and plush, while others are more stiff and rough. It really depends on the type of jute and how it’s processed and woven. If you’re looking for a soft and cozy jute rug, make sure to do your research and choose one that’s made of soft jute fibers.

Can Jute Rugs Get Wet?

It’s not recommended that you get your jute rug wet. If it does get wet, it’s important to dry it off as soon as possible. Wet jute can mildew and start to rot.

Jute rugs can turn brown when they get wet because the fibers release oils. 

Do Jute Area Rugs Shed?

Jute rugs are made from natural fiber, so they will shed some. However, they are not as prone to shedding as other types of rugs, such as wool rugs. Jute rugs will shed more when they are first new, but after a few vacuuming sessions, the shedding will lessen.

Is a Rug Pad Required for a Jute Rug?

No, a rug pad is not required for a jute rug, but it can prolong the life of your rug by preventing it from slipping and bunching.

Jute is a natural fiber that is durable and resilient, so it can withstand heavy foot traffic without showing signs of wear. However, jute rugs are not as soft as other types of rugs, so they may not be as comfortable to walk on with bare feet.

If you want to add a little cushioning to your jute rug, you can use a rug pad.

Can Jute Rugs Be Used Outdoors?

Although jute plants grow in humid climates, jute rugs don’t do well in moist conditions. This is because the fibers are very susceptible to mold and mildew. Moisture will cause the rug to break down and wear out much faster than it would in a dry setting.

If you’re looking to use a jute rug outside, the best option is to keep it in a covered area. That way it won’t get wet in the rain and you won’t have to worry about bringing it in and out due to changes in the weather.

Can Jute Rugs Be Washed?

You shouldn’t steam clean, wet shampoo, or wash jute rugs—any method that drenches the natural fiber will damage and discolor it. If the rug is heavily soiled, the best course of action is to have it professionally dry cleaned.

Do Jute Rugs Fade in Sunlight?

Jute may yellow and fade when exposed to sunlight, so keep that in mind when deciding where to put it.

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