Carpet Alternatives – Jute

In the third installment of our series on carpeting alternatives derived from natural plant fibers, we will discuss an ancient form of carpeting just emerging in the western hemisphere as a popular rug of choice.

Jute, utilized as a common backing for carpeting and rugs for decades, is finally coming into its own as one of the softest and finest floor covering materials currently available. Second only to cotton as the most manufactured material in many parts of Asia, Jute has long been regarded as a fine and elegant carpet. It is derived from the Jute plant and spun into shiny fibers. Jute plants are readily found throughout India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and China. Different weights of yarn create varying textures of fabric. Because jute is soft, it is ideal for bedrooms or sitting rooms but not a practical material for areas which may experience heavy foot traffic.

Naturally a neutral brown color, Jute can be bleached to a cream hue, or dyed and woven to create colored patterns. Regardless of your preference, the options are numerous and easily obtainable. Even the most discerning consumer will undoubtedly be enchanted by this silky floor covering. Surprisingly durable, it is somewhat resistant to spills; however, Jute should not be installed in an environment containing excessive moisture. Stains can be cleaned with a damp cloth although steam cleaning is not recommended. Jute rugs don’t require much maintenance or excessive cleaning because of their stain resistance. You can also use a rug beater to clean Jute. Additionally, if your rug is dirty or stained, we recommend spot treating in lieu of harsh cleaners or abrasive agents as Jute can be rather delicate in this regard. You can also use basic preventative measures such as keeping pets away from a jute rug and placing the rug out of direct sunlight to avoid fading.

Although Jute rugs and carpeting are somewhat prohibitive for homes with small children or pets, they are extremely versatile in the appropriate setting and will complement any décor. And, since Jute is both eco-friendly and easily replenished in its natural environment, it is a natural choice for the “green” consumer!