Did you know all the fabrics that we use are made with the natural sources? For example, cotton with cotton balls, coir from coconut husk, wool from sheep and other animals, and the list goes on.
Burlap is also one of those fabrics. It is made of jute plant or sisal fibres. This natural fabric with loosely woven fibre follows the sewing requirements of other loosely woven fabrics.
In the present, people seldom make dresses with burlap fabric; rather, it is used for other purposes. However, it has been widely used in the past as soldiers’ clothing in the German army. Notably, German soldiers from specific Hesse region had a uniform made of jute fibre. In fact, the name Hessian came from the same origin.
History of Burlap Fabric
The ancient Indians discovered the benefits of the jute plant plus its fibres. They made paper and rope with it. It was not famous until 1793 when some English merchants exported 100 tons of jute plant, which increased its popularity day by day.
This resulted in the opening of a first-ever jute mill in 1855 near Calcutta, India. Subsequently, in the span of just a few years, the industry expanded to Dundee, Scotland.
Experts in Dundee discovered the possibility of tough yarn production with jute plant and became the centre of large jute fabric and yarn spinning. By the end of the 19th century, Jute spread in countries like America, Russia, Italy and Germany. Jute was an Indian Production, but the British introduced it to the world.
Started just from India, today Jute plant is grown in various parts of the world including India, China, Bangladesh, Brazil, Myanmar and Thailand due to its growing popularity.
Properties of Burlap Fabric
Since burlap is made of Jute plant or sisal fibres, it has a coarse material as compare to other fabrics like cotton or polyester.
Vulnerable to Shedding:
The Jute plant used in it makes it vulnerable to shedding small fibres.
Because of the plant used in its production, it can naturally occur some blemishes.
Out of Shape:
The burlap fabric can easily stretch out of shape.
This fabric has a Frequent one-way pattern.
Most of the Burlap fabric comes in a thicker form which makes it bulky.
Due to the nature of this fabric, it often has slubs. Slubs can be troublesome while sewing; it can cause deflection in the needle and can break it and crook stitching.
Uses of Burlap Fabric
Three major uses of Burlap fabric are as follow:
Burlap can be used in agricultural packaging. Jute fibres can make a durable and extremely strong sack. Its durability and strong quality make it perfect for carrying grains, cement and coffee beans etc.
Sandbags made with burlap filled with sand can be useful for making embankments in order to divert floodwaters.
Artists use burlap as a substitute for linen and cotton as a working surface or stretched painting. It is also used as a mask and for beheading mask in horror fictions.
Caring for Burlap Fabric
Burlap is a sensitive fabric. It can be unraveled if washed and used roughly. Therefore, we recommend you to hand wash it.
The Burlap fabric should be washed in cold water. It should be noted that hot/warm water can shrink it. For getting a delicate textile, you can use liquid detergent (gentle, with no excessive chemicals).
Soak it for five minutes. With the use of hands, stir the fabric slowly for making dirt disappear. Remember, water should be cold and running while rinsing it and twisting, or squeezing it can damage the fabric. If you follow these basic instructions, you will end up having a long-lasting Burlap fabric.
Where to buy Burlap Fabric
We recommend buying Burlap fabric at Fabric.com.