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What Is Jute Backing On A Rug - How It Holds Compared to Alternatives

The backing on a rug determines much about its performance and lifespan. The absence of a proper backing can even make a rug unsafe for your home. You must be familiar with latex or rubber rug backings. But what is jute backing on a rug and does it make a difference?

What Is Jute Backing On A Rug?

Well, Jute backing is a layer of woven natural fibers that attach to the underside of the rug. It provides support and structure while maintaining its shape. Jute backing also makes the rug wear-resistant, heat-tolerant, sound-dampening, long-lasting, and environmentally friendly.

Have trouble deciding whether to go for a rug with synthetic or jute backing? The following discussion can surely help you make the right choice.

What Is Jute Backing On A Rug
Jute Backing On Rug

Understanding Jute Backing On Rugs

Jute backing is essentially a layer of interlaced warp and weft jute threads. The weaving technique creates a strong alternating pattern of coarse natural fibers.

Afterward, the layer is either stitched or glued to the underside of the rug during the manufacturing process.

Let's consider some of the rug types that usually have jute backings and how it helps them -

Wool or Cotton Rugs

Natural fiber rugs like wool or cotton can benefit much from Jute backings.  

Firstly, it strengthens and stabilizes the rugs. More importantly, it complements the natural aesthetics of these rugs which you can’t do with synthetic backings.

wool rug

Low Pile Rugs

A flatweave rug has a low pile. As a result, it is thin and can easily bunch. The strong and thick jute backing can prevent this from happening. Plus, it will add more material to the otherwise thin rug.

Hand Crafted Rugs

Rugs made from braiding fibers together have great decorative appeal. 

Some of them are valuable family heirlooms crafted, repaired, and passed down through generations by the very hands of the great-grandmothers. So, there’s an emotional factor as well.

hand crafted rug

However, being handmade also makes the rug susceptible to easily becoming unbraided. Jute backing can provide adequate support and keep the rugs intact.

Area Rugs

When you put a rug in a high foot-traffic area, it has to bear constant stress. Jute backings help distribute this stress evenly so that the area rug doesn’t wear out early.

Berber Carpet

The construction of Berber carpets involves dense loops. As a result, they have a structure that won't do well with a thin synthetic underside. 

berber carpet

Therefore, manufacturers often choose jute backings for these rugs.

7 Reasons To Choose Jute Over Other Rug Backings

Excellent stress resistance and heat tolerance are two main reasons to choose jute backings for rugs. In addition, it makes a rug more soundproof, moisture deterrent, anti-slipping, and environmentally friendly.

Resilient To Stress

Jute fibers have high tensile strength. Which means it can hold its own against significant stress before breaking. As a result, rugs with jute backings don’t stretch or deform easily.

Plus, your children, guests, and pets can walk or run over these rugs all day and still, it would maintain its quality.

Heat tolerance

Rugs with jute backings are the safest choice for warmer floors and spots where the sun hits directly. 

The insulating properties of jute make it tolerant to above-average temperatures. Plus, being breathable, they don't trap heat.

In comparison, typical plastic, rubber, or latex backings don't tolerate heat that well. Prolonged exposure to sunlight or a warm floor can melt them. 

In that case, you might find these rugs making a sticky mess on your floors.

Also, the lack of breathability can make synthetic rugs trap heat. Thus, leading to technical issues for floors with heating systems.

Better Anti-Slip Properties

Jute backing makes a rug less susceptible to slipping, and therefore safer, compared to synthetic materials.

One of the reasons for this is the rough texture of a jute fiber at microscopic levels. For instance, it shows numerous nodes and markings across its body, longitudinally.

Meanwhile, a cross-section reveals polygonal cellularity. Also, the inconsistent cell walls of the fiber contribute to irregular thickness. 

Overall, this microscopic roughness helps the fibers grip a surface better than smooth synthetic materials.

The weave of the jute backing is also a contributing factor. Its interlocking pattern restricts movement on floors.

Moisture Resistance

Jute rug backings handle moisture better than other natural fibers. For instance, a cotton backing might absorb and hold onto moisture for a long time.

This leads to mold, mildew, and eventual deterioration of the rug. A moldy rug can also cause respiratory problems for your family and pets. Rugs with foam backing might experience the same problem.

Jute backings also absorb some moisture but they dry out quickly. Plus, the breathable structure of the backing allows easy evaporation.

Sound Dampening Qualities

A rug with a jute backing will be quieter than other types. The dense fibers along with the tight weave can easily absorb and reduce the intensity of sound waves. 

Meanwhile, the porosity of jute helps in sound diffusion and cutting down noise transmission.

As a result, your room’s acoustics will greatly improve when you put a rug with jute backing in it. 

Plus, dampened foot sounds can be quite peaceful if you have active children at home.

Comfort and Cushioning

Jute backing can make a rug noticeably more comfortable. Compared to synthetic materials, these natural fibers are much more flexible and soft. 

As a result, the overall shape of the rug can easily conform to your feet when you stand on it.

Moreover, a jute backing’s natural texture makes the rug deeper and richer. This enhances the sensory experience underfoot when someone walks over it.

Meanwhile, synthetic backings tend to be much flatter. Thus, they don’t add much cushioning to the rug.

Less Toxic and More Biodegradable

Since it’s a natural fiber jute backing, it can easily degrade into the soil when you throw the rug away. 

This isn't the case with plastic or similar rug backings. They won’t degrade and block waterways or reduce soil quality.

Also, jute backings are healthy for your home environment since they don't release any toxic gas.

Meanwhile, synthetic materials in rugs can keep giving off Volatile Organic Compounds for years. 

These include benzene, formaldehyde, and other substances which can cause long and short-term health complications.

Final Thought

The same rug is better with a jute backing than a synthetic one. You will be able to use the rug for longer while making your home safer and healthier.

However, regular cleaning is mandatory to preserve your rug even if it has a robust jute backing. Use a strong suction to clean your jute-backed rug. Be sure to use a gentle setting and avoid a beater bar.

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