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Topic: Can I sew BURLAP?  (Read 1716 times)
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PinkBalletShoes
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« on: July 06, 2005 02:28:44 PM »

I wanted to make my mom a traditional tote bag, and I was wondering if I could use a burlappy type fabric as the outer material, and a cotton blend for the inside. I don't know if it will work, if anyone has sewn with it before, etc. If anyone has had experiance sewing it, should I not use it? Thanks, guys!
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LRS
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2005 02:45:11 PM »

Burlap is not easy to handle, but it can be done.  There are two big problems:  (1) it ravels and falls apart and (2) it's hard on your hands.  Here are some recommendations:

1.  Pick a pattern with a few, big, simple pieces.

2.  Cut out the pieces and immediately finish the edges.  I don't think serging or zig-zag will do it - depends on the weave of the burlap and your machine.  But you can try that on some scraps.  Use a very wide stitch, but pretty short stitch length. 

If that doesn't work, bind the edges.  Use home made or commercial binding tape to enclose each edge.  If you've got some experience, you could make bias tape out of the lining fabric. 

3. Completely line the bag.  If you've got burlap straps, line the strap too, rather than facing it with more burlap. 

4.  I seem to be saying this once a day on Crafster, but I'll say it again.  Consider throwing the fabric in the washer and dryer before you make the bag.  If you do this, zig-zag the edges so they don't fall apart.  This may shrink and soften the burlap.

LRS
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« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2005 12:25:13 PM »

I usually finish the edges of unravelly fabric with hot glue before I sew. Just know that a lot of people are allergic to burlap (I got hives on my fore-arms at least weekly when I worked at Beverly's) and burlap has a really distinctive smell, a lot like a jute rug.
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PinkBalletShoes
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« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2005 04:30:15 PM »

Thanks guys. I decided against burlap after I tried washing it (before I started sewing with it) and it unraveled and gave me something to pick out of my washer for 2 hrs.  Cheesy So I bought some nice canvas and made my tote with that instead. Thanks!
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