Monday, March 25, 2013

How I Iron Burlap

I made these for family members to remember a summer beach reunion
Looking at my blog stats this morning I see that a lot of people end up here from Google looking for directions on washing and ironing burlap. I've already done a post on washing burlap and it touches on ironing burlap but I decided to write something more detailed.

Just about every bag I stencil and sell has been ironed.  I try to wash my bags in batches of 90 or so before I start to iron. I suppose I could take photos but I'm pretty wet and drippy after washing the first five bags or so. Then I go on to iron.  Before you try this at home you should know that wet burlap will have an odor and that is true with ironed burlap. The odor subsides as it dries.

 I have two different techniques I use to iron. Which one I use depends upon how lazy I am the amount of time I have and the amount of wrinkling on the bag. Whenever possible I prefer to use the first method.

[Method 1] The way is to iron while the burlap is still wet from hand washing. I use an iron on the hottest setting and iron my burlap in the garage. Be careful, this method emits a large amount of steam and heat. I iron both sides of each bag and spend extra time on the wrinkled area. Using spray starch will get wrinkles out in a jiffy. After ironing I hang the bags up on a multi-skirt hanger and place under a ceiling fan to facilitate the drying process. Burlap can take a looong time to dry so be aware of that when you get started.

[Method 2] Because I wash so many bags at a time, some are not going to get ironed on washing day. After they dry, they are placed in a pile for ironing at a later time. When I need to iron a few I iron them in my kitchen on my ceramic counter. I use a hot iron and pour some water on the burlap (I've broken the steamer in the iron I use) ironing directly on the counter. Again I do both sides using spray starch when needed and hang up to fully dry.

[Alternative Method] Toss the bag in an unheated dryer and fluff along with a clean towel. It doesn't matter if the towel is damp or not.  This generates a lot of lint. The bag will be softer but may still have some wrinkles.

If all else fails, place the burlap flat and stack some heavy books on top. Eventually the wrinkle will flatten out.


  1. Thanks, I had no idea how to iron it, sounds like getting it wet is the key. Thank on the congrats!


  2. Have you ever tried freezing the wet burlap and ironing it when you need it? It worked for my Mom, of course she was ironing shirts. ;o)

    1. I use the fridge all of the time for my dress pants that need ironing. I'd have burlap in there too but it's not big enough. Mr Vintage says we have burlap everywhere already!

  3. Thank you so much! I will have to try this wet method. I have an entire mess of wrinkled burlap I was getting ready to throw away. I washed it all like all the fabric I buy, put it in the dryer and forgot about it. What wrinkles!!