Saturday, December 10, 2016


B is for BURLAP

Continuing with my alphabetical listing of textile terms (see my blog “ARALAC”, 11/12/16) today is the letter B.

I have already written several “B’s”  :Batik
                                                           Burton (Virginia Lee)

There are many other "B" textile references: buckram, brodade, Berlin work, but our subject is BURLAP.

Also called Hessian, Burlap is a coarse, rough, heavy plain-weave fabric made from jute or hemp fiber..The fabric was first imported from India in the 19th C. The term Hessian refers to the coarse, heavy uniforms worn by the Hessian troops of Hesse (Germany)

  Because it is known for its durability and strength, poor grades of the fabric are used for sacking and upholstery backing, however it frays easily and has poor washability.

Better grades are bleached and/or dyed and are used in the craft industry.  For years burlap has been used as the ground fabric for rug hooking.  With special finishing treatments burlap can become a smooth, attractive finishing fabric.

This burlap has been patterned for rug hooking.  Commercial kits are available with pre-printed designs.  Originally, of course, rug hookers created and drew their own patterns on the ground fabric (perhaps from used sacking).

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