Embroidering on Hessian/Burlap Fabric

Hessian/Burlap is a divisive fabric.  Most people either love it or hate it.  Personally I grew up on a farm where Hessian/Burlap was used to hold the wheat we grew. These days, there is an old world elegance to it, and many people are using it as a décor fabric in their houses.

If you are going to delve into the world of Hessian/Burlap,and you wish to merge this with embroidery, there are a few things to take into consideration.

Pick the place.  Hessian/Burlap is not the fabric to use to re-cover your couch (not the layer you will sit on at least), nor would I want my pillows in Hessian/Burlap, as I would find it too scratchy.

Where I have seen it used successfully is in table runners,trim on tea towels, the good old Santa Sacks (my favourite), and even in bunting and shopping bags.

Stablilize.  This is probably one of the most important factors when embroidering Hessian/Burlap, which stabiliser should you use.  Personally, I find that the weave on Hessian/Burlap is generally uneven, and fairly loose.  For that reason, I like to use a cut away stabiliser, so that the embroidery is stabilised for the life of the item.  When I have tested other stabiliser options on Hessian/Burlap, they have not stood the test of time, and will warp, or begin looking strange after washing when I have used wash away(for instance)

If you are finding that your design is “sinking” into the burlap, you can use a layer of wash away on the top of the Hessian/Burlap,however I have not found this necessary in my stitching.

Clean the Machine! This is a tip that many may not know. Hessian/Burlap leaves a LOT of fluff and fibres everywhere.  Once you have completed a Hessian/Burlap project, take the time to clean the machine of all extra fibres and oil your machine to continue it’s good use.

Design Choice. Strangely enough, almost any design can be used on Hessian/Burlap with the right stabiliser.  I have seen lace style designs, thick satin, and even applique come away with a great look with Hessian/Burlap – once again, it is more about the stabiliser than the design.

I hope this has inspired you to try your own Hessian/Burlap project.  At this time of the year, it is a great time to collect up some Hessian/Burlap Christmas sacks from the discount stores, and customise them for a loved one.

The steps to complete your embroidery on Hessian/Burlap is:-Press your Burlap/Hessian to keep smooth

Press the Hessian Sack to keep a smooth surface
Firmly hoop the hessian, along with the stabiliser on the back.  Ensure it is all completely in the hoop, and as straight along the gran as possible.
If possible, remove the free arm section of your machine, so that the bulk of the embroidery can sit underneath the arm.  Ensure at all times there is no doubling up of fabric underneath the hoop.

Once you complete your Hessian/Burlap project, feel free to share pictures in the comments area below. We would all love to see.

Until next time, have a Stitchin’ Day.  Julie.

My completed Santa Sack, ready to go!

Related Posts

No Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: