Burlap – Quality vs Character

I know most people just think that burlap is burlap and its simply rustic but there is another side to burlap.  I refuse to refer to any burlap as “bad” because I don’t believe it’s ever bad.  Some just have more character ;).   There is a HUGE range when it comes to quality though and depending on what look you’re going for this can be very important.

I work a lot with burlap (insert shameless promotion here:https://www.etsy.com/shop/NaptimeDIYer).  Most of my sales are curtains and I offer both the high-quality and the rustic.  I’ve been getting a lot of questions on the difference between the two so I decided to offer some clarification.  When purchasing material its hard for me to even tell the quality from pictures. Here’s a picture of the material I use primarily:

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This is a 10 ounce upholstery grade jute burlap.  I like to use the better more tightly woven burlap for pillow covers especially because it won’t stretch and fray as easily.  I also use this for most of my curtains and all of my lined curtain.  It offers a lot of texture and character without screaming “rustic”.  Many want burlap that though and that’s where this fabric comes into play.

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The rustic is still a jute burlap but is a bit more loosely woven and has much more variation and character.  I also use this for curtains but its too loosely woven for pillow covers.  See the difference?

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Both lovely but very different!  When buying fabric or goods online made from burlap my suggestion is to pay attention to the color and weave.  Better quality natural burlap is generally lighter and more consistent in color and a tighter weave and the rustic tends to be more gray and loosely woven.  Best option is to see it in person and touch it! Or smell… big difference there too.

Cleaning Butcher Block Countertops With Thieves Oil

I love butcher block.  When we bought our current house I knew that I wanted them in my kitchen and couldn’t afford to do the whole kitchen in solid surface.  We went with butcher block in my cooking areas and quartz on the eat in bar which works really well.

We chose the John Boos oak butcher block and I couldn’t be happier.  It gets abused and I’m not great about oiling it as often as I should but it still looks great.    I don’t use a cutting board EVER.  I cut everything right on my countertops.  The down side of this is that sometimes it gets a little stinky.  Like I can taste onions when I cut a pineapple on the countertop even if I wiped it down first.  I just found my solution though…  Thieves oil!

This is the one I use  http://www.youngliving.com/en_US/products/essential-oils/blends/thieves-essential-oil

All I do now is wet a rag and spray 1 pump of theives oil.  I bought mine in a spray bottle which is really convenient.  It is a blend of several different essential oils but I can mostly smell the clove.  I don’t use any cleaning products or soaps on my countertops other than the thieves oil.  No onion smell anymore!

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