Tag Archives: Fabric

Craft Workshops at the Melbourne Craft Fair

I recently went the the Melbourne Craft Fair. It was so exciting, a day on my own in the world of craft! Time absolutely flew, but I managed to squeeze in 3 workshops over the day. I was very proud to come home at the end of the day with my loot.

At the Brother stand I made a teapot pot holder which was really cute. At the Bernina stand I made an Orange free motion embroidered pillow complete with piping. I would love one of those machines!
And then I made a lampshade with No Chintz from Sydney. I choose a Marimeko fabric to cover it, which was gorgeous. It was my favourite make of the day, and I also bought a kit to make a pendant shade for our dining area at home. They’re super easy to make, I would recommend buying one of these kits and making your own if you are looking for a new lampshade.

It was such an awesome day, my soul was full by the end of the day! I was so inspired, I decided that I am going to have a stand at the Brisbane Craft Fair 16th-20th October. I will be selling my range of Burlap Bag Lady beginner sewing patterns and also memberships to The Handmade Swap. So if you are planning a day at the fair be sure to come past and say hello at The Handmade Swap Stand F18. I’m so excited!

Prevent Burlap from Shedding – a Case Study

Here are some tips on how to prevent Burlap from shedding and the print from fading when sewing and crafting with Burlap Sacks.

One of the questions I most frequently get asked is how to wash Burlap and prevent shedding and fading of the print. So I thought I would do a little case study to explain the process.

Firstly, I never wash my Burlap sacks prior to sewing with them. Often they have been cut open and the loose threads will shed and go everywhere. If you are a clean freak, and just can’t possibly stand the thought of ‘dirty Burlap sacks’ in your craft room, then I recommend hand washing only. Put some detergent and warm water in a tub and then dunk each sack into the water. Swish it around and then rinse it under a tap to remove the detergent, and hang it on the line. If you wring it out, be prepared to iron, iron, iron to get it flat again. The great thing about Burlap is the loose weave so even if you don’t wring it out and just hang it on the line it should still dry in a couple of hours.

That said, let’s now assume you take my advice and don’t wash prior to sewing. Move straight on to making up your item and ensuring you secure all loose edges.

So I have taken the example of this cushion cover I made from a Burlap Sack. I sewed it up and then went ahead and washed it.

Before washing

Next step was to heat set the ink. The branding on the sacks is not designed to be permanent, and that is the roulette of sewing with Burlap. Some inks will bind really well to the Burlap and will be there forever, others will wash out. You need to accept this.

However, to give you ink the best chance of surviving the washing process, it is nest to heat set teh ink first. To this I covered the printed area with a sheet of baking paper and then using a hot iron, iron over the top of the baking paper for about 10 seconds on each spot.

Once you have heat set the inks, place the item into an old pillow case and secure the top with a rubber band. Put it in the washing machine on a cold cycle with detergent (no bleach).

When the wash is complete undo the rubber band and pull out your Burlap item. All it to dry flat and then iron it again to get it flat.

I found that my pillow case actual had no shedding. This is because all the raw edges were secured prior to washing. As you can see there are no loose fibres inside the pillow slip when I removed the Burlap.

The inside of the pillow case once I removed mu cushion cover

The ink did fade a bit, but I think that just adds to the worn vintage feel, see the before and after photos below (a bit more iron ing required for the after photo!).

Before
After

So I hope this has helped ‘shed’ (excuse the pun) some more light on the process of washing Burlap!

I would love to hear any tips or experiences you have had washing Burlap.

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.