Who would have ever thought that the humble jute fabric known as burlap would become such a hot decorating item? It’s been wildly popular for some time now and is used for all sorts of decorating accessories and accent pieces.
However, this isn’t the same burlap that you may have bought potatoes in or used to wrap young tree roots in the garden. No, this new incarnation of burlap is available in various widths, weaves and prints. You’ll find it on the shelves of almost any fabric store and many craft shops also offer burlap embellishments like ribbons, garlands and wreaths.
Burlap can have a bit of an odor. Yes, you can pre-wash it, but by doing so you’ll remove the sizing that keeps it crisp. You can try spraying it with an odor neutralizer or allowing it to air out for a few days to allow the smell to dissipate.
Burlap is also rather messy to work with, and constant vigilance is required to keep your work area, sewing machine and yourself semi-clean. Every time you cut the fabric, you’re left with a light dusting of jute fibers that quickly blow everywhere. The inside of your sewing machines becomes a haven for these fibers and can quickly become thickly coated with the messy fuzz.
After every sewing session with burlap, get out your vacuum cleaner, your cordless hand-held vacuum and a can of compressed air. Use the vacuums to remove the fuzz from your tables, floor and your clothes. Then use the compressed air to clean out the inside of your sewing machine.
If you’re sewing a big burlap project, use that canned air frequently. You’ll be amazed at how quickly the fibers build up in your sewing machine.
Burlap is very hard on your scissors. If you’re cutting a lot of burlap, you soon feel your scissors becoming dull and find them harder to use. Buy a good sharpener to keep your blades sharp and cutting easily. Your hands will thank you.
When you’re done with your burlap sewing projects, you may wish to have your scissors professionally sharpened. It’s well worth the cost to get your blades back to their razor-sharp edges.
Working with burlap is great fun and is a simple way to give your home an informal country look. Use it for pillows, table runners, wall hangings and other simple and carefree decorating projects to make your room its casual best.