Sunday, February 14, 2016

Does burlap work in contemporary decor?

Ideas for using burlap in crafty, country decor have taken over my Pinterest feed lately.  My own decor is a mix of contemporary and mid-century modern with a generous application of contemporary art.  Burlap just doesn't seem to fit with that mix.  But wait...  just tell me something doesn't work, and I am on a journey to prove otherwise.

 Currently in my art practice I am questioning public expectations for certain materials.   Perhaps that's why I am thinking about burlap.   All those country/homey pins for burlap  got me thinking about raising the ante, by taking burlap  out of its country comfort level.

So let's explore the question.

I like burlap because it ...
  • has texture;
  • is a natural fibre from the jute plant;
  • is a renewable product because of its source;
  • is  available in several  neutral colours and can be dyed; 
  • is relatively inexpensive;
  • can be used without sewing;
  • accepts paint well;
  • comes in a variety of widths and qualities;
  • has an open weave for introducing  different materials into design. 

On the other side are several drawbacks...
  • it is smelly; 
  • cheaper varieties are very coarse; 
  • it is usually stiff and doesn't gather well; 
  • the weave is uneven

Here's a collection of commercially produced products using burlap.  Obviously, this isn't the burlap you wrap your trees with in fall!

There are also lots of options for DIYers or to purchase from sites like ETSY. 


Window Treatments 




Now it's your turn....

1 comment:

  1. This is the type of information I’ve long been trying to find. Thank you for writing this information.
    Country Decor


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