Sisal vs. Jute Grasscloth: The differences and benefits

Each type of grasscloth offers textural and visual variances that result from the unique fibers used in the production process. In this article, we will be exploring two of our most popular grasscloth types and delving into the differences between jute and sisal. If you’re considering installing grasscloth in a room, this can be your guide to deciding between sisal vs. jute wallpaper.


Sisal vs. jute: Exploring the differences


Side by side pictures, the first with a wall covered in blue grasscloth with tulips in front, the other a group of sisal grasscloth samples


What is sisal?

Sisal material is a grasscloth wallpaper made from the fiber of the agave plant. It produces a stiff material that gets harvested and woven into a smooth, fine texture with an elegant and natural look. As the most popular type of grasscloth in our collection, sisal can be used to create a soft and inviting interior, as the fine weaving of the fibers creates a subtle effect, and the texture of the material absorbs natural dyes evenly to create a fairly consistent-colored surface. 

One of the distinct attributes of sisal grasscloth is how well the material takes color. The fine fibers are dyed and woven, then backed onto eco-friendly paper, which can also be dyed to create a uniform colorway like the soft aqua-hued Aegean, the deep indigo of Inkwell, or the pale pink Blush. For a visual effect with greater contrast, the base paper can also be dyed a different color than the sisal fibers, like with the natural-looking colors of our Linseed or Acacia. These two colorways will emphasize the variety in the natural fiber, since some fibers will absorb color differently, giving the surface a naturally textured look in the weft–the grasscloth fibers that lay horizontally on the surface–as it shows changing thicknesses and color absorption. In a colorway like Atlas, the variegated look of the fibers is intentional, weaving in multiple parts of the sisal plant to achieve the multi-sisal fiber look. 



Side by side images, the first one at a cigar shop with a wall covered in jute grasscloth, the other a group of jute grasscloth samples


What is jute material?

Jute is made of a long, shiny plant fiber that is harvested and spun into coarse strong threads, often featuring  hand-tied knots. Unlike Sisal, which is more fine and subtle, jute fiber is often used to make a bold textural statement, while still adding an elegant backdrop to any interior. When considering the differences between sisal vs. jute, the latter takes slightly longer to produce because of the harvesting, hand-knotting, and weaving process. Within our jute collection, there are two types: raw and woven. Raw jute–like Grackle, Coast, Hessite, Pyrite, or Rex–uses the husk of the plant and does not feature knots. Each of these colorways retains a distinctly natural feel, with a strong coloration of the wood-looking raw fiber husk showing through. By contrast, the woven jute cloth fibers result from a more processed origin, where the inside of the plant is used and then hand tied into knots, as shown in colorways like Puka or Dungaree.

Jute grasscloth also can display a wide range of weaves, with some falling on the tighter end and retaining their heavier weight, such as Maritime or Puka. Others have a finer jute texture with a tight, more refined weave such as Halyard, Dungaree, and Heron. Finally, colorways like Teacake, Hessite, and Abalone have a metallic rub which emphasizes the variety in the fibers of the jute grasscloth depending on how the light hits the surface. Each of these metallic colorways utilizes a single fiber type and the variation that appears in the surface is purely a result of the natural variety of jute fiber.



Side by side images, one is of a traditional bedroom with gray grasscloth wallpaper and the other is a close up of a corner of a frame against chunky wallpaper


Sisal vs. jute: Important similarities

When considering sisal or jute grasscloth, their textural and fiber differences stand out. However, it’s important to keep in mind that they share essential fundamental qualities that are consistent with all of our natural grasscloth options. So, whether you choose sisal vs. jute, both options will be:

 • Eco friendly and crafted by weavers that use renewable plant fibers within a low-energy production process.

 • The result of an intricate process of human touch, with subtle color distinctions across the fibers.

  • Installed using a standard wallpaper paste. We recommend partnering with a professional for the best results.

  • Bringing a subtle, elevated feel to any interior design with a coziness that enhances the atmosphere of any room.



    Side by side photos the first showing three pastel grasscloths the other is of a chunky black grasscloth wallpaper install with a ukulele and painting


    FAQ about sisal vs. jute grasscloth

    Here are answers to some common questions about the material qualities of sisal vs. jute grasscloth:

    1. Is jute soft or scratchy? Woven jute options like Maritime are often softer than the raw options which can have a scratchy texture, such as grackle Grackle and Coast as they retain a thicker material from the jute husk. To avoid a scratchy effect on the walls, consider installing grasscloth above wainscoting so that it only makes up the top half of the room.

    2. Is sisal softer than jute?  The thinner fibers of typical sisal grasscloths give it a slightly less textural surface than jute options.

    3. Is jute cheaper than sisal? Typically, our sisal options are the most affordable, with the exception of the metallic colorways.

    4. Which is better: sisal or jute? Neither option is an objectively better grasscloth, but if you are looking for a more streamlined or sleek feel, then sisal will bring less visual texture to a space.


    As you explore the options available when it comes to grasscloth wallpaper, check out our resources about styling, installing, and measuring. If you have any additional questions about sisal vs. jute grasscloth, please feel free to reach out to a knowledgeable member of our team.