How to Cut Burlap

I am always on the lookout for a new material to work with. So, when I recently visited my local Joann's looking for the perfect fabric to make some reusable shopping bags, I was excited to find some burlap. It made me think of our trip to Hawaii a couple years ago. We visited the Kona Coffee plantation. In their gift shop they had plenty of shopping bags and purses made from the large burlap bags they ship the coffee in.

Mmm... Coffee...

Burlap is sturdy and inexpensive, so I decided it would be perfect for my project. I took the fabric to the cutting counter where the girl cutting my fabric shared the trick to making the perfect cut.

Burlap is a coarse natural fabric made from woven jute or hemp. Bags made from burlap are quite durable. The downside to burlap is that as soon as you start cutting, it begins to fray or unravel, especially if your cut is not perfectly along the grain.

 Lay out your fabric.


Cut about 1/2 - 3/4 inch into the burlap close to one of the strands of fabric.


Gently separate a single strand from the fabric where you cut.

Carefully pull that strand out of the fabric.

This is what it looks like when one strand is removed.

This line is the guide of where to cut. Simply extend your first cut up the center of the gap you created by removing the strand of fabric.

If you use this technique along each of your cuts, the burlap won't unravel as quickly. Although you should still be careful when you handle it so you don't pull any additional strands loose.


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The Chilly Dog: How to Cut Burlap
How to Cut Burlap
The Chilly Dog
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