Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Cutting Burlap On The Bias

Loose weave natural burlap manufactured by the DeWitt company, and sold at many garden centers and large chains such as Lowe's. Rolls are 3' X 24' and sell for less than $10.

The loose weave makes it easy to shred especially when cut on the bias. Avoid the temptation to cut with the grain in short little rectangular pieces.

To cut on the bias, begin by cutting off one corner.

Cut strips, noting the strands need to be coming diagonally from both sides. The last strip can be cut up a little further but as you approach the edge the strands stop coming diagonally.

Where the strands are no longer diagonal, cut across.

Turn the part where strands are not diagonal and cut the corner off like in the beginning.

Continue cutting long strips on the bias.

To shred, start at the strip end and pull in the center of the end so that strands come from both directions.

It goes pretty fast when you cut on the bias and use the loose weave burlap! I use to buy burlap at the clothing goods store and it was a tight weave that was designed for bulletin boards. I would make my fingers sore struggling with shredding it and it would take me hours! It was such a monumental task that my friend Doyle Johnson, put shredded burlap on his Christmas Wish List!

It can be used without washing and makes a nice woven nest. Natural burlap does have a slight smell but soon airs out.


Rich said...

Hi Linda, I was glad to see this on your blog, I have been buying the rolls of burlap at Lowes for a couple of years now, and it sure makes shredding it easier. I used to buy it at the fabric store and it was a oain with the tight weave. Now I find it a good winter night project that can be done while watching TV in the evenings. Congrats on your Judging assignment for the National. Rich

Leng said...

I used to use burlap rice bags which were very tightly weaved and that was a pain. It wasn't worth saving 10 bucks to go through the hassle. The loose weave burlap makes it so much easier to shred and the diagonal cut is a great idea. I'll have to try that the next time.

Rich said...

Linda, while we are on the subect of nesting materials, do you make your own felt liners? If so where do you get the felt, and what do you ask for as far as the felt? Rich

Linda Hogan said...


I like my felt to be thick so that is stays put in the nest without glue or basting, even when the hens rustles around. I haven't found thick felt although if I did I would cut my own.

I buy my felt liners from ABBA. Seems like each year I buy more with the double or triple nests per cage and changing the nest when the chicks are about a week old. Not sure what I pay, seems like 50 cents each? They are so sturdy that each year I wash them in the automatic clothes washer and dry in the dryer. These are a dark gray color.

I have purchased some that were tan from some other company but when I washed them, they fell apart and were not usable.