Burlap vs Hessian vs Jute – What’s the difference?

When I first started working with Burlap (or Hessian as we call it here in Australia), I was bombarded and confused by terms such as Hessian, Burlap and Jute. They seemed to be used interchangably, but I wasn’t sure what the exact difference was. So I went to a reliable source in our digital world – Wikipedia.Wikipedia.com defines Hessian as follows: 

Hessian

(play /ˈhɛsi.ən/), or burlap in the US, is a woven fabric usually made from skin of the jute plant or sisal fibres, or may be combined with other vegetable fibres to make rope, nets, and similar products. Gunny cloth is similar.

Hessian, a dense woven fabric, has been historically produced as a coarse fabric, but more recently it is being used in a refined state known simply as jute as an ecofriendly material for bags, rugs, and other products.

The name “burlap” appears to be of unknown origin. The name “hessian” is attributed to the use of the fabric, initially, as part of the uniform of soldiers from the German state of Hessen who were called “Hessians.”

So it turns out they are all interchangable. I will refer to it as Burlap in this Blog, however if you come across jute or hessian cloth, rest assured it will be perfect or any of these projects.

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