Chapter 1: Introduction to Burlap Fabric
You may be familiar with cotton, canvas and polyester fabrics and may be wondering ‘what is burlap?’ as it is not as common as other types of fabrics. We will look deeply at what burlap is, what is burlap made of, and what burlap is used for among other details we think you should know about burlap.
What is burlap made of? Burlap is a woven type of fabric made from a jute plant. Jute plants grow to be over 10 feet high and their fibres can be processed for different purposes.
This plant is better suited for warm areas just like rice. Therefore, the majority of the world’s burlap is produced in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Chapter 2: How Burlap Fabric Is Made
The following are the processes involved in making burlap fabric:
- Harvesting- Mature jute plants are harvested manually.
- Defoilating- Harvested jute fibres are defoliated, a process that removes unwanted parts in the jute plant.
- Retting- Retting is the process whereby the non-fibrous material from the stem and skin of the jute stalk is removed.
- Separating and combing- After the jute stalk is retted, the long silky fibres are separated and combed to form long fibres.
- Spinning- The fibres are spun into yarn.
- Finishing- The fibre may be treated with chemicals to dye it, which provides it with water resistance or fire resistance properties.
- Weaving- The spun yarns are woven into fabric.
Properties of burlap fabric
Burlap is a rough fibre that is not suitable for clothing. Its roughness and durability are rather ideal for industrial and other applications.
Burlap absorbs water easily and dries quickly. It is also highly resistant to wear and tear.
Burlap is a plant-based fabric, which makes it biodegradable, thereby, causing no harm to the environment.
Burlap is thick and flexible, therefore, it is easy to work with.
Burlap is highly breathable but does not retain any form of heat.
Burlap is strong and has an excellent construction that helps it to withstand wear and tear.
Burlap can withstand continuous wetting and drying while maintaining its strength.
Burlap is versatile which is why you can find it in different sizes, weights and designs, making it suitable for making different products.
Chapter 3: Uses of burlap fabric
Burlap is a rough fabric and thus not suitable for apparel applications. Burlap has been used for centuries as an industrial material.
Burlap is used as sacks for transporting vegetables, grains, fruits, and other farm products.
Burlap is also used in agricultural applications where is it used as a protective measure against erosion on farms.
This fabric is also used to make protective wrappings around the roots of juvenile trees. Since burlap is biodegradable, saplings can push their roots through the burlap bags without difficulty.
Due to the roughness and durability of burlap fabric, it is used as upholstery for outdoor furniture, curtain, rugs and canvas.
Burlap is used in making DIY crafts and reusable purses, totes and bags.
Burlap bag products and their uses
Burlap is a versatile fabric which is suitable for making different types of bags. Burlap bags include shopping bags, tote bags, wine bags, makeup pouches, cooler bags, tote bags and drawstring bags.
Burlap shopping bags are used for grocery shopping. A burlap shopping bag is spacious with durable handles that make it suitable for grocery shopping.
Burlap wine bags are used for wine presentation, packaging and gifting.
Burlap makeup pouches are used for storing makeup and beauty products.
Burlap cooler bags are used for storing or transporting hot/cold food and beverages. A burlap cooler bag has thermal insulation within the bag that preserves food temperature.
Burlap tote bags are used for multipurpose functions. This type of burlap bag can serve as a beach bag or a daily errand bag. It can store as many items as possible.
Burlap drawstring bags are used for gifting at birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and graduation ceremonies.
Chapter 4: Environmental Impacts of Reusable Burlap Bags
Disposable plastic bags are taking their toll on the environment, hence, the continued advocacy for more reusable shopping bags.
Burlap bags are made with natural jute fibre, thereby leading to quick decomposing when no longer in use. Hence, eco-friendly bags like burlap bags are a necessity.
Why are burlap bags a better alternative to plastic bags?
Jute plant is easily grown without harming the environment. The plant grows efficiently within a few months and does not require the use of chemicals like fertilisers and pesticides.
Jute plant also contributes to the environment in that it is biodegradable. It also releases gases that help to enrich the soil.
When jute is finally processed to achieve burlap bags, they also have no negative impact on the environment. Burlap bags are durable and reusable, this means that you can use a single burlap bag over a thousand times, unlike a plastic bag.
Used plastic bags end up in the ocean, river and canal, causing harm to the ecosystem.
This article has explained and answered some of your questions like: What is burlap? What is burlap used for? And some other questions about burlap bags.
We mentioned that burlap is made from jute plants cultivated in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
The properties of burlap include high strength, durability, resistance to wear and tear, quick absorption and drying were also mentioned as properties of burlap fabric.
We also mentioned the products from which burlap is made such as furniture, sacks, ropes and different types of bags.
Finally, we discussed the environmental benefits of reusable burlap bags.