How to Sew Burlap

Burlap fabric is popular to use for tree skirts, table runners, craft projects, and more. It can be a little difficult to work with due to it’s loose weave and tendency to fray. Here are some tips for sewing burlap fabric.

How to Sew Burlap

When cutting burlap, it helps to pull out one of the strands where you want the cut to be. Then just cut right where the strand was for a nice straight finish.

1-10 Remove a thread where you want to cut so it cuts evenly

Make sure to use a heavy duty needle when sewing burlap. Set your machine to a short stitch length so the stitch catches all the fibers and strengthens the seam. To keep the edges even, you may want to use a walking foot or wide presser foot.

2-10 Use a heavy duty needle and a short stitch length

Burlap tends to fray a lot, so it helps to use a serger or zigzag stitch along the edges. You may also want to use fray check afterwards.

After sewing burlap, you’ll probably want to wipe down your machine because there will likely be a bunch of loose fibers.

3-11 Finish the edges with a serger or zigzag stitch, and wipe down the machine afterwards

Useful Links

Check out our selection of burlap fabric.

Questions & Comments

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What thread should you use for sewing burlap by machine?
A shopper on Mar 16, 2019
When you upholster with burlap how do you keep it from shedding?
A shopper on Feb 4, 2018
BEST ANSWER: Burlap is not intended to be used as an upholstery fabric on the outside of furniture, but some people do use it in this way. It's just the nature of jute burlap that it sheds, though some more than others. We suggest our Sultana burlap because it has the tightest weave and sheds the least:

You could try spraying the burlap with a light fabric starch to prevent shedding as much as possible. The other option is to use another fabric that looks like burlap, like linen burlap. Like all burlap, it has an open weave, so it's not the best for upholstery, but it could work for some projects.
Natural Irish Linen Burlap Fabric
Natural Irish Linen Burlap Fabric
White Irish Linen Burlap Fabric
White Irish Linen Burlap Fabric
Oatmeal Irish Linen Burlap Fabric
Oatmeal Irish Linen Burlap Fabric