Saturday, July 19, 2014


I went to the fabric store today and came across this:

Nothing good can come from this.

My eyes! My eyes! 
For the love of all that is sacred, WHY?  WHY? WHY?

Whose idea was it to slap metallic designs all over the most hideous fabric known to humankind: Burlap?

It didn’t stop there.  There were 3 shelves of the stuff—plain, dyed and most terrifyingly, printed.   Printed with “olde tyme” images, John Deere tractors, the Eiffel Tower and mustaches, mustaches, mustaches. 
Mustaches, Leaves, Olde Tyme Bicycles...

Paris, Chevrons, John Deere and...

More horrifying than those designs was this one. 
For the love of Uncle Walt, WHY?
For the love of Mike, why Pooh? (To experience the full effect, click on this Pooh link to see it on their website.)   

WTF and WHY?

I took these pictures because I knew I was going to want to describe the horror to some friends of mine who have seen what I have seen and know what I know. But once I got home, I heard my calling to blog this so that the whole world can know.

Would you look at that?   

London, Union Jacks and other sacred British symbols.

Is that Union Jacks being desecrated by 100% jute burlap?  I couldn’t find them on the website, but they did have Amurrican flag burlap on sale. 


I am a survivor of the Great Burlap Scare of the 1970s.  And I am here to testify that there is no reason to revive the ubiquitous use of burlap in crafting and decorating. 

Pinterest is infested with the stuff.  Apparently it’s “trendy” to use it in wedding reception design with Mason canning jars. 

It was used in the 70s for all manner of groovy banners in churches and pads the world over—usually decorated with inspirational quotes in obscenely colored felt. 

I understood it was used in those days because it was the cheapest fabric one could find and, I suppose, the hippies thought it would go nicely with the macram√© plant holders—that they lovingly knotted with even more jute to hang their spider plants from.   

But you can see from the signs, it isn’t cheap any more.  So what is with its renaissance?
Have we learned nothing in the 40 years since?  Why must we repeat the mistakes of the past?   

Burlap is itchy, rough and crispy.  No human skin wants to touch it in a pillow, upholstery or, heaven forbid, a napkin.  The burlap of today is treated with mystery chemicals that leave a funny smell on it.  Try and wash those out and the whole thing will fall apart. 

If you want an over-priced fabric with some texture, why not check out linen? It is sturdy, can be found in a variety of weaves and wears really well.  Even better, it can touch human skin with no ill effects. 

Please young people and/or hipsters and/or crafters, I beg of you! Learn from my generation's mistakes.  Walk away from the burlap.  Explore the wonders of other fibers and weaves.  Trust me.  There will be too many digital photographs of it that will leave you shamed in the years to come.  (At least we don’t have too many pictures of our felt and burlap follies—thank goodness photography was expensive in those days)

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