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Decorate your dining table with Jute mats

By M. Rakinul Islam

Corchorus

How an industrial war was fought between the Indian empire and the Scottish city of Dundee over a long, soft, shiny Bast fiber produced in the genus Corchorus is indeed a story of fascination. Let us look at one of the most affordable natural fibers; jute, and its influence in the modern design of our contemporary art of DIY dining decorations. The use of jute started way back in the 3rd Millennium BC in the Indus valley civilization and since then found its way to the culture of the East Bengal, precisely in the southwest of Bangladesh. Fast forward to the 18th Century, jute had made its way into a highly sought-after trade, becoming a very popular choice for making twine, rope and matting. It was unique due to its cheapness, softness, length, lustre and uniformity of its fiber.

Through the centuries this one product survived through countless changes in culture and yet created its own tradition, currently jute is available commercially at a wholesale price of $1 per yard. For this DIY segment we are going to look at some easy decorations to enhance your dining space with a touch of contemporary culture. 

Round Jute Placements

When opting for a minimalistic way to decorate your dining and yet have it stand out, jute placement mats can work wonders. Being cost effective, yet highly usable, the jute mats can change the whole outlook of your table giving it a rustic tune.

Things you need:

  • Jute Rope
  • Scissors
  • Glue (Preferably a hot glue gun)
  • Sheet of Paper

Steps:

  1. Start by placing the sheet of paper on a table to avoid mess
  2. Using the hot glue gun and rope, start at the center, then coil the rope around, gluing as you go
  3. Continue all the way to the edge then trim the rope and glue the end in place
  4. Cut off any excess rope

Tip: Make sure you press tightly after every loop to get any extra glue out and maintain rigidity of the décor. When buying jute ropes it is best to acquire the kind made for crafting.

Jute Table Runner

The uniqueness of jute lies in its ability to be multi-functional. Throughout the centuries it has found its way into versatile places of need, a more versatile use comes from the material being made into an affordable dining décor.

Things you will need:

  • Jute garden webbing
  • Hot glue gun or fabric craft glue
  • Sewing machine
  • Colored cotton thread
  • Sharp scissors

Steps-1: Cut 6 lengths of jute webbing each measuring 165 cm and 30 lengths each measuring 31 cm.

Step-2: Arrange the longer strips side by side and then weave a short strip across the end. Apply small amount of glue on each end to hold the fabric together.

Step-3: Continue weaving the shorter strips along the length. It is not necessary to apply glue on each end, just the first and last would do.

Step-4: At the end of all the strips, secure the end strip by gluing on each end.

Step-5: Trim the edges if necessary, then using a sewing machine and colored cotton thread, sew a hem approximately 10mm all the way around.

Tips: To make for a more colorful table runner you can apply glitter on the edge or opt for floral designs on the patch with water color.

Jute Napkin Ring

To complete your set of dining and give it the perfect rustic aura, jute napkin rings work as an easy to make, yet exquisite accessories which are sure to catch the eye.

Things you will need:

  • Natural Jute Roll
  • Luncheon Napkins
  • Hot Glue Gun (Or glue stick)
  • Craft Roll (You can use any disposable double ended, small circular object for proxy)

Step-1: Cut the craft roll in half

Step-2: Place a loop of glue around the top and start rolling the jute string.

Step-3: Apply glue along the roll and wrap the jute cord for the whole length.

Step-4: Cut a piece of jute and wrap around the center of your napkin ring, tie in a knot and fray the ends.

Tips: Ensure any excess glue is removed to avoid damage to the decoration.

Wool & Jute

Now, if a simplistic design is not your style and you wish to create something with a bit more color, we also have you covered! The idea of woolen embroidery on a jute mat is prehistoric in thought, but just like jute this décor idea has created its own fanbase, the idea of stitching your thoughts on your décor and give it life is a lucrative idea itself, but like any creation of the heart, this requires some handy work.

Things you will need: 

  • Needle (The kind specifically made for wool work, can be found on any store selling threads)
  • Woolen Thread
  • Jute Sack (Can be acquired from boutique and block stores or from jute specialized shops)

When it comes to the steps, the variety of design and décor that can be created is limitless. Starting from a table placement to runner, embroidery can be performed on any jute decoration and when it comes to design, the sky is the limit.

It is evident that this décor takes certain skills when preparing, but the designs can be simplistic in nature as well, it gives a colorful tone to a rustic design and elevates the potential of a traditional contemporary design.

To help with wool stitching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alKoaRrNnaM

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