What is burlap?
Burlap is a material that has a coarse texture coming from the strong fibers used to weave the material. It’s very durable, which is why it’s handy for all sorts of outdoor projects. It’s also heat resistant. It usually comes in the natural beige, light brown color but it’s easy to dye it, so a lot of colorful burlap fabrics are also available.
Burlap isn’t used for clothing because the material is rather harsh and itchy. Instead, it’s used for sacks and bags mainly, as well as for gardening, covering objects and constructions, etc. It’s considered an eco-friendly material, which is why the usage of such bags, sacks, and other products has been popularized nowadays. Burlap is also an affordable material.
What is burlap made of?
Burlap is a woven fabric which is usually made from the skin of the jute plant. It can also be made from hemp and flax fabrics. Those are the cases when the material is made from the natural fibers. Synthetic fabrics are also used for making burlap. The material is known as hessian or jute in other parts of the world but the term burlap is typically used in America and Canada.
Jute is a plant with a 8 to 12 feet long stem once it’s fully grown. It naturally has golden color and shine. It’s durable and biodegradable. The stems of the plant are bundled and steeped or soaked in water. This is the initial part of the process during which burlap is treated.
When it becomes soft, the tissues are stripped, washed and dried in the sun. These strips are then carried to a mill where the jute is turned into burlap by blending the fibers for creating a sort of a yarn. This yarn is then treated and pressed, thinned again, after which the fibers are twisted and spun. After that, the yarns can be wrapped in spools or they can be turned into burlap material with woven threads. Dimensions of this material can vary, so the material can be adapted to fit many different projects. The threads can be woven to be quite tight, especially if the thread used for making the burlap is quite thin.
Although the primary use of the material is in the industry where burlap sacks are used for carrying all sorts of things, from coffee beans to cement, the material is used in many other areas. One of those is art, where we have canvases made from burlap. It’s also used in DIY projects, crafts, gift wrapping, home decor, etc.
Types of burlap
Depending on the type of projects you are interested in, there are different types of burlap available. Those narrower are perfect for craft projects, such as door wreaths, gift wrapping, bows, and other accessories. Starting from 1-inch wide burlap ribbon that looks like this:
If you do need a wider version, perhaps 3-inch burlap would suffice:
Sewn edges are great to prevent fraying.
For other projects and tasks such as wrapping flower pots in the garden or covering the furniture, you’ll need a wider piece of burlap, such as this one. It’s 60-inch wide burlap available as folded (from 1 to 3 yards long) or in a roll (from 10 to 100 yard long).
Burlap can also be in some custom shapes, in which case it’s ready for crafting. Here’s an example of burlap banner with 15 identical pieces strung on jute rope with 7×5 Inches flags. It’s ideal for painting, creating a custom message, perfect for parties, weddings, baby showers or any other type of celebration.
What to make out of burlap?
Burlap is great material for all sorts of crafts and DIY projects, which is why we want to recommend a list of resources where you can find amazing ideas to put burlap into good use.