Sunday, October 14, 2012

How to Wash Burlap and Remove Wrinkles


In addition to the bags I hand stencil myself, I sell a ton of plain bags. In most cases I wash and steam iron the bags I stencil and sell. In the case of the plain bags, I just can't do that and sell them for the $3.00 price tag. I've seen potential buyers reject a bag due to a fold telling me it's a flaw. It's not a flaw, it's a wrinkle!

You can get wrinkles out by simply hand washing the bag. Use a sink full of tepic water, swish the burlap around but do not wring.  Place it somewhere to dry flat and smooth out the wrinkles [if any] with your hands.  If you can't wait, toss it in the dryer on low but check on it frequently {if you over dry the bags you'll get some tightness near the seams} You'll get a ton of lint this way but it will give your bag a nice texture. The more you wash it, the softer burlap becomes.

Personally, I like to toss them in on fluff for a few minutes after they dry flat if softness is important. My friend Joy, uses her washing machine to wash them and allows her bags to soak in a fabric softener before the final rinse. She then tosses them in the dryer and the textural softness she gets is incredible. Personally, I'm afraid to abuse my washer by washing burlap in it. Mr. Vintage doesn't know that some bags get the dryer treatment. He'd be sure that I'd burn the motor out. So be careful if you take this route.

To iron you'll need a hot iron with a steam setting. Set the iron on its hottest setting and keep it moving as you iron. You can add a little vinegar to the water in the reservoir to help you get the wrinkles out. It will smell when you do this so iron your burlap outside if possible.

If you absolutely have to have a plain washed bag contact me and I'll sell you one for $5. However I think most of you thrifty souls will want to wash your own. {I'm crossing my fingers on this one, I have all I can handle right now just keeping up with what I do.}

Cheers

13 comments:

  1. Good to know
    You r very creative and i have totally loved seeing your creations
    Best of luck in your business
    Thks for sharing info too
    Have a blessed day. HUGS

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  2. Great advice Kitty!! I was wondering about washing them.

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    1. Many people do and it's no big deal. Washing makes them softer. Using the dryer makes them softer still. I don't use fabric softener but if you did, over times it takes on a very soft feel.

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  3. This may be a dumb question- but here goes- Do this directions apply to the burlap grain sacks that I buy (used) AND burlap by the yard?
    So far I have not washed any of them. So I am glad to gain this knowledge about the washing and drying of them.
    Thanks bunches....

    Cheri
    Curtain Lady Design

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  4. Hi Cheri, I'm not a fabric expert but I would totally use this method with burlap grain sacks. I only buy really clean ones as I resell. It won't hurt to try on really dirty ones. If they have a bad moldy smell, it might not by easy to get the smell out. For larger amounts of burlap, put a clean sheet down over a clean driveway on a sunny day. It will dry from both sides but it will still take a long time to dry. I usually use this trick in the morning on a hot, sunny day.

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  5. Ok, thanks so much! The bags don't seem "dirty" -but if people ask about washing them I wanted to have an answer! They did have a grain sack smell of burlap- that I noticed initially- but I did "air them out" in the sun for a day or so. I have a tote bag cut out ftom a grsin sack and the lining is of a black and white check. I have not prewashed any of these fabrics. So I may just go ahead and make this one.
    Thanks so much!

    Cheri

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    1. *sorry about typos- I am typing on this kindle touch screen- which has a mind of it's own! Lol!

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  6. You're welcome. I do know a fabric expert that I run into from time to time. She is Margaret, a dealer at Adjectives Market.

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    1. Kitty, the ones that you stencil on, can they be washed like this and softened with fabric softener..or will the stencil come off....Thanks my friend...Amy Watson

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    2. Hi Amy,

      I am not sure because I don't use fabric softener but I think you would run the risk of losing some of the stenciled design.

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  7. I bought some burlap with paris motifs stenciled in black at JoAnn Fabrics. It said not to wash it but the smell and the shedding made it impossible to for my intended use of covering the seat of a chair and foot stool. I just decided to "go for it" and washed it on the gentle cylcle with bleach (to help get rid of the smell) I washed it three times then put it in the dryer on the cool setting with several dryer sheets, then ironed on the back side with spray starch...seems like it will work for the chair and stool cover now...the bleach didn't change the color of the burlap or the stenciling at all and really helped the smell diminish...the black Paris stenciling that was on it is perfectly fine! Seems like a lot of steps but I love the burlap with stenciling and think it was worth it!

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  8. Thank you for this information. It was really helpful as I have a large coffee bean bag and I wanted to get the wrinkles out of it.

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