This is one of those posts that I have wanted to write for soooo long. I have several burlap projects on my blog, yet I never showed you how to prepare your burlap so it’s easier to work with. I’ve got this down to a science so let’s talk burlap! I admit that I was late to the burlap party but when I finally arrived, I realized how fun it was. Burlap has many good qualities, along with some bad ones. Thankfully I think the good outweighs the bad.
The very best thing about burlap is that it’s budget friendly. At almost 50 inches wide, most of the time you can find it for $2 – $3 per yard. It’s neutral in color and goes with many different decor styles. Burlap has come a long way in the last few years. It’s now available in different colors and prints. I fell in love with the print above with the birds and the branches. This pic is what my burlap looked like right off the bolt. Very stiff and very smelly. Let me show you what to do to fix that!
How to Wash and Dry Burlap
I usually buy burlap in lengths of 3 to 5 yards. I wash each length in my washing machine with the regular amount of detergent. It has never harmed or clogged up my washer in any way. I also add fabric softener to the rinse cycle and lower the spin cycle to medium. I try to catch it as soon as it’s finished so no wrinkles set in. I dry it on a normal dryer cycle but make sure your lint catcher is completely clean before you dry any burlap. The lint and fuzz from the burlap will fill it up. After it comes out of the dryer, I head outside and shake the daylights out of it. More fuzz comes out and the good thing is it’s outside and not in your house. Here is what burlap looks like after being washed and dried.
The ends will be a mess and it will be wrinkled. The next step is to iron it. I use my regular iron on the hottest steam setting. I spritz it with water a section at a time and then just start ironing. This 3 yard piece took me about 15 minutes. It won’t be completely smooth but it will lay pretty flat and be much easier to cut.
How to Cut Burlap
Cutting burlap is easy. All it takes is a little practice and you will be a pro. Here are the steps:
2. Find where you want the cut line to be and make a small snip in the burlap.
3. Pull a thread from where you made your snip. Just keep tugging at it and the burlap will start to gather. Gently pull the thread until it comes completely out of the burlap. If it breaks don’t worry. Just find where it broke off and start pulling from there.
4. You will see a sort of channel where the thread used to be.
5. Carefully cut along this channel from one side to the other.
6. You now have a perfectly straight end to your burlap.
I washed a small piece of the bird burlap to see if the pattern would fade and it did a little. I decided to go ahead and wash the whole piece and I love the way it turned out. It’s faded and looks very vintage. I plan to make table runners from it and will be back to show you the how-to very soon. Super easy I promise.
I used to be a burlap skeptic but after working with it I am completely won over. If you are skeptical, just give it a try. You might surprise yourself and end up liking it too!
Note: I found the bird and branch burlap at JoAnn Fabric. Click HERE to take a look.
Click these handy links for more burlap inspiration!