Today as I was going through my stash of fabric, I came to some burlap that I had put aside. It is one of those fabrics that one does not use everyday, yet has the ability to be used in a variety of projects, from home decor of curtain and table linens to nifty gift items. It is also not one of those fabrics I spontaneously purchase, as it needs to have a purpose.
Well, in my stash, I had some that was given to me a few years back by a friend who was no longer going to be sewing. It is always a blessing to be the recipient of such generosity!! So, anytime I acquire new fabric, I tend to sort and place it with like fabrics in a labeled box.
Unfortunately, one of the drawbacks one encounters with muslin, is that when stored it can obtain an odor that is unpleasant. In addition, although left in the bag I received it in, I forgot “why” I left it in it’s bag. It just had an “odd” smell. So, I’m thinking she had stored it for some time as well.
Since I am still on a fabric diet, only visiting fabric stores when I absolutely need something for what I might be working on, I made the decision to utilize this fabric. Those who know me know that I have a hard time of disposing of any type of fabric unless it is of poor quality.
Well, the first thing I had to do was get the smell out of it or toss it. I could hang it outside in this gorgeous fall weather, but even when hang drying my laundry during this season, I run the risk of a damp scent that to me is unpleasant. So, I decided I had nothing to lose. I made the decision to wash it. I had three pieces, and decided to test this method of getting the smell out on the smaller ones.
I used a 1/2 cup of powdered detergent, maybe a 1/4 cup of bleach and put the wash on the small cycle using cold water. Success?? Well, sort of. One pieces came out great, the other still had an odor of oil. I believe this was because she had stored her fabric in her garage prior to bringing it my way. But, I was encouraged that the stains came out, so I decided, one more try and this time with fabric softener. This time it WAS a SUCCESS!!
The burlap came out clean and soft. I choose to air dry on my dryer rack versus using the dryer. I just did not want to chance ruining what I had accomplished. Of course I had to trim off the frayed edges, but now I have lovely burlap to work with. Now to wash the large piece so I have that to work with as well to work on the few projects I have in mind that this fabric will be perfect for.
NOTE: I did find that packaging states that your burlap should be drycleaned. With the success that I had with washing at home in my washing machine, I think I will stick to this method.
I will be sure to post some tips on how to cut burlap, as well as the projects I make with it.
~ Putting Thread to Fabric ~
Laura ~ Seams To Me
Davina Dawn Sewing Specialties
Laura D. Field
Reflective Tapestry of Life
Writer, Blogger, Proofreader, Freelance contributor