Monday, January 12, 2009
Loose Weave Burlap for Shredding
Burlap makes a very good nesting material. The problem is that the typical burlap that you get from craft shops or re-cycled feed stacks is a very tight weave. I made it more difficult by meticulously cutting uniform squares or rectangles. Then I would recruit grandkids or co-workers to help me shred. I would even ask for "shredded burlap for Christmas"!! Long hours and sore fingers resulted from the burlap shredding ordeal, even though I wore hospital gloves!
To make it unbelievably easy, buy the loose weave natural burlap that is sold in many garden shops. They sell the loose weave so it lights through but is effective as a plant wind screen or shrub protector. It is also used as a tree wrap or for soil erosion control.
Loose weave Natural Burlap is made by the Dewitt company (www.dewittcompany.com). It is sold in 3' x 24' rolls and costs approximately $12. I talked with my local garden store manager Bobby Bilyeu 316 942-1443 and he says"he is willing to ship it anywhere in the world". They will also add it to their web site www.johnsonsgarden.com.
I do not wash the burlap. I just cut it in long strips on the bias and pull. Cutting on the bias means that the strands are diagonal to the cutting line. If you are unsure of what it means to cut on the bias, ask any seamstress to show you.
E-mail from Dorothy related her experience with the loose weave burlap. She did not like the natural jute smell so she shred it and then washed and dried it inside a pillow case (basted shut) and it turned out great. She also learned from the Dewitt company that many Lowe's stores carry their brand of natural burlap as well as it is available on line at www.catalogclearance.com.