Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Working with Burlap

What's a girl to do with 10 yards of burlap? That's the question I asked on my facebook page a few days ago after purchasing a bolt of burlap. My hubby wants me to make him a ghillie suit (you know the suits hunters wear for camouflage). Uh no, sorry sweetheart. I was thinking more along the lines of wreaths, a background for button art, table runners, etc.

Who knew there was a right and wrong way to cut burlap? The manager of our local fabric store showed me how to properly cut burlap so I thought I would pass it on. It's easy and makes so much more sense.

1. Line up the selvages
2. Measure your desired width of fabric along the folded edge and make a small snip with your scissors
3. Once you've made the snip, you will see two loose strands. Start gently pulling on the top strand. This will bunch up the burlap and show us where the grain is.
4. Keep pulling the strand and with your other hand grab the top of the burlap. Pull the strand completely out.

5. Find the second strand on the underside of the burlap and repeat the above steps.
6. Now you will see the grain. Cut along the grain through one layer at a time.

See easy and straight, right?

I've heard conflicting info about whether or not burlap is washable. I am one of those people who must get to the bottom of these pressing questions. Ha!

I cut a strip of burlap, ran it through my serger using a regular stitch width. Then realized that the burlap may fray through the wide stitch. So I set my serger to the shortest stitch width and ran one side of the burlap through. I put the strip of burlap into my front load washer on the gentle cycle and dried it as I normally would. I did not have lint or a huge mess in either my wash machine or dryer.

This is after washing, drying and ironing. As you can see the wide stitch width didn't hold.

But the short stitch width did hold. Success! The burlap came out of the dryer very wrinkly so ironing was definitely a must. It didn't have that chemically smell anymore though.
*Update*: I did have someone ask a question about the texture of the burlap after washing. It did makes the burlap a bit softer and not as stiff.

I can't wait to show you all the fun burlap projects I have been making!

Linking up to these fab parties!


  1. Thanks for the tip about cutting burlap! How did the texture change after washing? Will you be washing more?

  2. Thanks! I've had issues cutting burlap so this is very helpful!

  3. This is good to know for future projects. I have yet to work with Burlap :/

  4. I just got 10 yards from Michaels and can't wait to create with it....I'm anxious to see some of the things you make!

  5. Defintely good to know! I've never worked with burlap and after reading this I'm less afraid to!

  6. This is so awesome! I would love if you would share this at the Crazy Cute party happening right now! I've got an awesome giveaway this week, too! :D

  7. You had me at "burlap". I'm also a burlap addict. I'd love it if you'd link up to my Home and Family Friday linky party.


  8. Most excellent. Good info to know. Kudos for your perseverance. Whatcha making?

  9. First, I want to thank you for following my blog. I love making new friends.

    I've been wondering about washing burlap, so thank you for sharing. I keep seeing pillows made out of burlap & think they must be so stiff and itchy. What's your take?
    :) CAS

  10. I need these tips because I'm convinced burlap hates me! I see all these great ideas around blogland and try to get my burlap on and hates me. I'm really a nice person burlap!

  11. I love that you have great photos to show what the heck it is that you are talking about. I might just have to become a follower!!! Yep, think so!!!

  12. Then realized that the burlap may fray through the wide stitch. So I set my serger to the shortest stitch width and ran one side of the burlap through. remalladora


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