Burlap is one of the most affordable sewing fabrics. Burlap can be purchased in most fabric stores by the metre. It usually comes in extra wide rolls and is very affordable. It also comes in a range of colours, where the manufacturer has dyed the natural hessian in to bright and vibrant colours. This is important to keep in mind as not all Burlap sewing and craft projects have to have the natural Burlap colouring. In fact Burlap can be quite striking when the coloured versions are used.
But one of my favourite sources for Burlap is to recycle Burlap Bags. These bags have a lovely worn in quality to them and have the added bonus of making me feel that I am doing my part for the environment. Many manufacturers who purchase food products from primary producers will receive their goods in Burlap Bags. Once the primary produce is removed from the bag the Burlap bags are often discarded as a waste product. If you are interested in sewing or crafting with Burlap I recommend you approach a manufacturer in your local area who receives their primary produce in Burlap Bags, and ask them if you may have some or offer to purchase them off them. More often than not they will be happy for you to take them off their hands as it only costs them money to dispose of them.
I source mine from a local coffee roaster, this provides me with a variety of different markings and stamps on the bag from different parts of the globe which also adds a lovely dimension to my projects. Sometimes I feature the different stamps in the project, other times I just turn the bag inside out for a plain Burlap finish. With the popularity of coffee these days, I think most people will have a coffee roaster within driving distance from their home.
If you can’t manage to source free Burlap bags locally you can also try Ebay. I have often listed excess bags on Ebay and managed to meet many creative and talented people who have bought them to turn into wonderful creations. I will feature some of them in other blog posts. Local trading posts may also have listings for Burlap or Hessian Bags.
Worst case head off to your local fabric store and purchase it by the metre. Whichever way you procure it, you will find that Burlap is an economical material for crafting and sewing. Not to mention it adds such a lovely rustic charm to your finished projects.