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Natural Fiber Rugs: The Pros and Cons

So, after reading our last blog, you decided on purchasing a natural fiber rug. After choosing a natural fiber rug, you probably realized that there are a wide variety of different fibers that you can choose from. Which one is best for you? Well below, we are breaking down a handful of the popular natural rug fibers in hopes of helping you answer that question. Today we will be talking about wool, cotton, and jute natural rug fibers.

Ava collection pile shot showing the wool area rug.
The Ava collection is a wool made collection.

Wool Rugs

Wool, as you probably already know, comes from sheep farming. Wool rugs compete with synthetic fiber rugs because they share some similar qualities in the durability department. They are soft to the touch and can last a very long time. But with that in mind, they do have their own share of questions that could cause a buyer to want to avoid them.

Living room scene featuring a wool area rug from the Ava collection.
What the Ava collection might look like in your home.

Pros of Wool Rugs

Wool rugs are great due to their durability and softness. Wool rugs can last for a very long time as long as they are properly maintained. Thanks to their popularity, you will be sure to find a wool rug in the style you want if that is the route you choose to go. Wool rugs are a great natural fiber to choose if you want the durability of a synthetic fiber while still going in the natural direction.

Cons of Wool Rugs

Wool rugs do not hold up too well in moisture. So if you need a rug in an area that tends to be humid, you may want to avoid a wool rug and go with another option. Wool also tends to shed, which means that if you have kids who like to play around, you may need to utilize a lint roller often. Wool can also be difficult to clean at times, especially if a spill isn’t cleaned up quickly.

While wool rugs do have their handful of maintenance concerns, their durability and softness are something to be praised. Wool is a great choice for many homes, just keep in mind the cons of wool before making a wool rug purchase.

A closeup of the details of a wool and cotton rug from the Liberty collection.
The Liberty collection uses cotton as part of its makeup.

Cotton Rugs

Cotton rugs are made by processing the seed pod of the cotton plant into yarn. The yarn is then used to create the rug. Cotton rugs come with quite a few advantages, but just like any other rug we have talked about, they also have some downsides that need to be considered before purchase.

Cotton and wool area rug placed in a living room.
What the Liberty collection might look like in your home.

Pros of Cotton Rugs

One of the best things about cotton rugs are their affordability. In comparison to other natural rug fibers, cotton is one of the easiest on the wallet. Cotton is also easy to clean, as it can be thrown in the wash (note: only machine wash if manufacturer of the rug recommends), which is something other rug materials are not able to handle. Cotton also tends to be static resistant, if that is something that interests you when making a rug purchase. While cotton does have plenty of upsides, we also must discuss the cons of cotton rugs.

Cons of Cotton Rugs

Cotton rugs are cheaper for a reason, you tend to sacrifice durability when buying cotton. After long periods of time, cotton may have issues with wear unlike some of the other natural fibers used to make rugs. Cotton also has issues with staining at times due to its absorbability. While this can be countered by machine washing, it is important to keep in mind.

Cotton rugs are great because they are easy to purchase and can be thrown in the washer to be cleaned, but of course anytime you go cheaper, you open the possibility of buying a product that won’t last as long as you’d like. If you are looking for something on the cheaper end, cotton fiber rugs might be your best option, but do consider how long they might last you before making a purchase.

Pile shot close up of one of the rugs in the Shay collection that uses jute.
The Shay collection uses jute as one of its materials.

Jute Rugs

Jute rugs come from the weaving of the dried plant fibers of the jute plant. Jute rugs tend to be a tan color, the natural shade of the dried jute. Jute is an interesting natural fiber that is tough like hemp and flax. But just like wool rugs, even though it’s durable and looks nice, doesn’t mean it is perfect.

Pros of Jute Rugs

Jute rugs, like wool, are very durable. Jute rugs tend to be on the cheaper end due to the fact they are manufactured out of an abundant resource. They are also echo-friendly because of that, which is a nice little bonus. Jute can last for a long time, are non-flammable, and don’t produce static, a great option for high traffic in-home areas. While jute is built to last, there are a few maintenance items to keep in mind that could prevent a rug from lasting its longest.

Cons of Jute Rugs

Jute rugs issues stem from their problem with moisture. They cannot be steam-cleaned or spot cleaned due to how they hold moisture in. Mold can pop-up as a problem because of this, so it’s best to avoid any area or any activity that might lead to your jute rug encountering moisture and humidity. They can also tend to have issues with sun discoloration. It is recommended that you rotate the rug to help even out sun-wear if it is a rug that will be exposed to the sun often. While jute rugs may be vulnerable to moisture, they are still great rugs to own. They are pretty affordable and last a long time, so their upside truly balances out the cons.


Overall, all types of rug fibers, natural or synthetic will have a handful of problems that need to be considered. However, they all have great upside, so it’s all about finding out what material is best for your use and your home. We hope you found this month’s blog useful! We plan on sharing a blog about synthetic fibers’ pros and cons in the future.

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