Jute rugs are made from plants of the genus Corchorus. The two main ones used are Corchorus capsularis and
Corchorus olitorius. They are from India and are grown in the valleys of the Ganges and Brahmaputra, mostly
for commercial purposes. The genus Corchorus are tropical annuals of the Tiliaceae family. Jute rugs
have been used in the west since the 1800's.
The rugs are made from the long fiber strands of the plant and are very durable. Jute rugs are also inexpensive
and soft. They are usually avaiable in many different colors and sizes. It is also naturally water repellant,
as it grows in water. A jute rug can be cleaned with carpet shampoo or soap and water. They can also be vacuumed.
They can stain however, so any spills should be cleaned right away.
Jute is also used for making burlap and gunny sacks, twine, rope, backing for carpet and linoleum, insulation
and the butts are used in making paper.
Jute is mostly grown in India, as it grows in hot, humid climates and needs cheap labor to process. The fibers
harvested from the plant and 6-10 feet long. The flowers of jute are hermaphrodites and are pollinated by insects.
Corchorus olitorius is also used medicinally in places like Egypt. It is also sometimes used in soups, and the leaves
are eaten in India. In some areas it is used to treat many aches and pains and maledies such as dysentery and fever.
It is also high in folic acid.
Jute/Corchorus olitorius grows well in Australia, Egypt, Mozambique, the Philippines, Senegal, and Thailand.
It can be grown from seed which germinate in 2 to 3 days.
Corchorus capsularis is also used to make jute rugs. It is also an annual that grows quickly to a height of 3.5 meters.
It also grows in very fertile soil with a hot and humid climate. C. capsularis tends to branch, making it harder
to get the fibers out of it. Sometimes the plants are grown really close to each othere to prevent this.
In summary, jute rugs make a very nice rug for homes - using all natural fibers!
See the rest of the Rug Decorating Guide series of articles to learn all you ever wanted to know about rugs (and more)!
Natural fiber rugs,
Bear, zebra and other animal skin rugs,
Rugs for specials needs and special rooms,
and Kilim rugs.