We’re suckers for interesting textures in our home decor, but we don’t believe they should be limited to textiles we can touch with our hands. Your floor (and your feet!) deserve just as much attention to detail, which is why we love a jute area rug. With their natural-fiber construction and variety of weaves—from a tight, woven wool–like weave to looser geometric patterns and larger, dimensional loops—jute rugs aren’t just for rustic spaces anymore.
Jute rugs are made from the fiber of Corchorus capsularis or Corchorus olitorius, both sustainable, highly renewable plants that have been grown in the Bengal area of India for centuries, and have since been planted in other, mostly tropical areas of the world. The long fiber of the plant is spun into a coarse thread that is used to make everyday products like rope, twine, hessian cloth, burlap sacks, and chair coverings. These same tough fibers, which are among the most durable of all natural fibers, can be also used to make rugs. They’re often mixed with finer threads from the same plants to create a softer, more relaxed yet still durable area rug.
While jute rugs used to be all about rough-hewn, unadorned neutrals and were the decorating workhorses of cabins, cottages, and rec rooms, they now come in a variety of weaves and tons of sophisticated and eye-catching patterns that make them equally at home in upscale, sleekly contemporary, and eclectic interior designs. With their all-natural fibers and vegetable-ink dyes, they’re a guilt-free, eco-friendly way to decorate, no matter how you switch up your style.
Jute area rugs don’t require much in the way of care, save for regular vacuuming and prompt stain removal. (Large and set-in stains are a job for the pros; protect your investment and don’t attempt it at home!) They’re especially great for living rooms, family spaces, bedrooms, and home offices, and can even be used on covered porches; jute rugs shouldn’t be exposed to moisture, however, since this this can encourage mildew growth, so keep them out of the kitchen, bathroom, basement, and patio. Likewise, you can hang your jute rug to air out for a day or two, but avoid leaving it in the sun, as ultraviolet rays can weaken the fibers and make them brittle.
We’re loving all the new varieties of jute rug weaves, and the depth of character they add to rooms. Which one would you most like to try in your favorite space?