Working with Burlap

Burlap has been unbelievably popular for a few years now.  Projects using burlap have ranged from simply wrapping a wreath form in it to covering table tops, making pillows and drapes, and even reupholstering.  One thing anyone will tell you who has worked with it is it is IMPOSSIBLE to cut it straight if you don’t use the correct technique.

The first thing you might want to do is use a spray bottle filled with water and dampen your fabric, especially along the area you will be cutting. This will help prevent what I call ‘burlap dust’ from invading your space.  Next, if you want to cut a straight line, make a snip in the selvage and pull the thread out.  Your fabric will start to bunch up like this:

burlap tips

Just keep ‘unbunching’ the fabric as you’re pulling the thread and before you know it the thread will come out and you will have a line like this:

working with burlap

Go ahead and cut along the line and you’re home free.  Well, almost.   If you want to have a fringed edge, you will need to sew a line of stitching.  So let’s say you want your fringe to be one inch deep. Sew a straight line of stitching one inch from the edge of your fabric.  This will prevent the fabric from fraying beyond that point.  You will need to pull out the threads one by one, so the deeper the fringe, the more time it will take.

burlap tips

I did a short fringe for the sides of what would end up being a simple table runner, but for the ends I made them much longer and tied them.

how to make burlap fringe

fringed burlap

So here it is. My new table runner, on my new stenciled rug next to my new drapes and fixed table!  WhoooHooo!!

log cabin decorating with burlap

Have you ever worked with burlap?  Do you have any tips to share?

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