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:


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.


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?


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.


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