5 Ways to Keep Burlap From Unraveling

For our Fall Issue that is coming out in two days, I did a series of crafts with Burlap & Lace and I wanted to share with you, 5 ways to keep burlap from unraveling.  One of the things I’ve learned is because of the loose weave on this fabric it ravels easily and can quickly become a pain to work with.  Though there are plenty of projects that beg for the raveled look.

Before you pick your burlap project think about the following things: There are different types of burlap some of them are light and thinly weaved and some are thick…..

Burlap can be itchy. It can also be linty.

So you  may not want a tablecloth made of this material. I’ve seen some cute tablecloths made of burlap but I can’t imagine sitting around the table, having it touch my clothes and body.  I made a table runner and that was perfect since it didn’t come in contact with us when eating dinner.

I will be showcasing some fabulous burlap crafts that we created here at our “studio”(that’s what I like to call our patio), on Wednesday so stop by or follow us here  or via Facebook so you don’t miss a post.

How to keep burlap from unraveling:

5 Options:

1. Use masking tape on the backside of the burlap.

2. Use fabric stiffener or even modge podge would work.  Remember the more you use, the stiffer it becomes so if you don’t want it too stiff dilute it some. This is the method I used for my no-sew table runner that I can’t wait to share with you. (stop by again on Wednesday).

3. You can run a simple straight or zig zag stitch through it with your sewing machine. Make sure there is at least 1/2 an inch from the edge.

4. Small amount of hot glue or silicon glue around the edges.

5. Use binding tape and either sew it or glue it on.

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  4. For better understanding, we peel an apple; we do not unpeel an apple.

    The edge of material ravels, or does the edge of material unravel? It was confusing to read your material wondering what you truly meant by ravel or unravel and which was which.

  5. Great tips, Mari, and a classy response to the grammar critique (I am a technical writer, so I definitely know how challenging that can be)! Another tip that might save you from hours of having to use a tweezer to clear the aftermath of sewing the burlap’s edges on your machine: put a layer of tear away or lightweight stabilizer under the burlap when you get ready to put it through the sewing machine. It’ll keep the feed dogs and bobbin race a little cleaner, plus it will stabilize and enhance the edges of your burlap masterpiece. I like to do this with any loose-weave fabric that I know is likely leave a mess behind in my machine.

    • Vickie, Thanks for the tip and the encouraging words. I’ll have to try that when I sew my burlap. ~mari

  6. I plan on making a lightly stuffed burlap snowman ornament for this coming Xmas and was trolling the internet looking for ideas to keep the edges from unraveling and came across your website. While reading the comments it dawned on me why not use one-sided fusible web. You can iron it onto the back side of the burlap. I have used the web on materials that fray and it worked great. I have some on-hand that I bought from JoAnn’s and will try my own suggestion. Hopefully, it will work.

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  9. Hi there, thank you for all that. Now my questions are
    1) which midge podge would I use?
    2) what ratio modge podge to water so my burlap doesn’t get too stiff?

    Again thank you. I am trying to make burlap runners for my daughters wedding.

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