I bought a yard of this beautiful burlap to make table runners for my sisters for their Easter tables. Burlap is so popular right now for all different kinds of crafts and sewing projects. Burlap has a vintage look, it’s inexpensive, versatile and I love it’s texture and these days burlap comes in many colors and prints. But it has it’s drawbacks– it’s somewhat of a notoriously difficult material to work with. Burlap is messy and leaves little fibers all over, and if not cut in a certain way, it will fray and unravel.
If you just cut it with scissors in what you think is a straight line, even a slight cut to the right or left of one of the threads, can cause a myriad of other threads to just fall out or unravel from the piece.
Here is the trick to cutting burlap with scissors.
1. Lay the burlap out on a flat surface and measure to determine exactly where you want to cut the burlap.
2. Choose a thread line that you want to be your edge. Use a pin or needle to pull that piece of burlap up away from the rest of the fabric. Pull on that thread until you have pulled it all the way out, and you have a long strip where the thread once was. You may need to use your scissors a few times to get the thread out all the way.
3. The rest of the burlap will start to scrunch up as you pull.
4. When you can get your finger around the strand you pulled up, pull it all the way out of the fabric. Now you will have a space where there is no vertical strand.
5. Cut on that line and you will not only cut the burlap straight, but also prevent it from fraying. This creates a straight line across the burlap. Cutting burlap this way gives you a nice clean cut and eliminates straggly edges.
6. While cutting this way will stop the burlap from fraying. Often times a little frayed edge is wanted. In that case you can pull a couple of additional threads to achieve the frayed look. If you want to ensure no other strands come loose, sew a zig zag stitch on the raw end. This will prevent any further fraying.
The burlap I purchases to make Easter runners for my sisters was heavily painted which meant the threads did not pull easily. I finally resort to using a rotary cutter and acrylic ruler to get the desired width.
The runners were quick and easy. After I cut them the desired width I sewed jumbo varigated pastel ric rac on the long edges.
I left the salvages alone. . They had a cute little frayed edge that I liked
Want to get out some of the wrinkles? You can iron burlap on medium-hot heat. Wrinkles still not coming out? Lightly mist with water and then iron.
Use a spray bottle filled with water to lightly dampen the burlap before you cut it. This helps prevent some of the dusty mess.
Burlap is available in most fabric stores. I got my burlap from my local JoAnn’s. You can also order it online and buy it in bulk.
Have Happy and Blessed Easter!