Burlap is the term in North America for cloth made from hemp, flax or jute fibers. The fiber used to make burlap is grown across Central America and Asia. This material has enough hardness to be used as a building material and flexibility for sculpture and looseness for growing crops. Such same qualities make the material the best for use in crafts.
Craft Ideas Using Burlap
Loose weave burlap can be used for carpet backing and decorative floor coverings. In fact, they can also be used be embroidered with yarn in order to create decorative wall hangings, doilies, napkins and table runners. People can also try adding shredded burlap for paper pulp to come up with a flexible and stunning draping paper which resists tearing. Weaving or braiding burlap yarns can create beautiful burlap jewelry which can also be added with jewelry findings, polymer clay, shells or glass beads.
For another project, burlap can be molded like paper mache in order to create lamp bases, bowls, sculpture and platters. Fine-weave burlap can also be stretched on a frame such as canvas and used for making decorative burlap ribbon and gift bows.
Where Burlap Grows
Flax and jute grows in soil that is alluvial and sandy. Cultivation of jute occurs across India, China, Thailand, Bangladesh and Asia. Heavy water is needed for cultivation making the process work best in countries that have monsoons which offer most of the rains. The process improves soil instead of needing fertilizers. It is possible to recycle post consumer burlap through strip composting and paper making. A construction site can be pegged with burlap to allow grass to grow back more quickly while soil erosion and subsidence is being prevented.
How It All Started
People have used burlap for many things like clothing and sacking as well as the rigging and sails of ships. The material can also be used for adornment, shelter and penance from the sins or for mourning the departed. According to the records from the Bible in Genesis, Jacob wore sackcloth and tore his clothing in order to mourn for Joseph, his son, as his other sons brought the bloody and torn coat of Joseph proving his death. During the World War II, burlaps were used for carrying ammunition saving the lives of many soldiers. Moreover, NASA has used burlap in space as a medium to grow basil and lettuce. Perlite outperformed burlap is used a nutrient medium to grow plant in space.
How People Can Benefit from Burlap
- Flexibility- Burlap is known for its flexibility. It can be used for making dimensional art if it is soaked in fabric stiffeners like acrylic adhesive, starch or wall sizing. Wrapping burlap around an armature will result in it becoming a free-form sculpture’s base.
- Texture- The looser weaves of burlap offers stability to hooked or woven rugs. Burlap overlays on any wall creating warmth and giving interest to a sheetrock’s plain expanse. The material has the ability to add texture by being chopped and used to ink or paint.
Author Bio: Shawna has been known for his amazing craftsmanship. She has many tutorials about making burlap ribbons in the internet.