Woven Burlap and Wool Basket

Woven Burlap and Wool Basket

Recently I was sent some free burlap products to try out from BurlapFabric.com. They sent burlap in different colors, bags, strapping and a table runner. I gave some of these items to the women in my surface design group to play with and we will have more examples of using burlap soon.

Burlap Products from BurlapFabric.Com

Here’s a photo of some of the burlap I got. You can see more of their products here.  They also sell cheesecloth and broadcloth.

Burlap Strapping

I decided to try out some of the strapping that they sent. I used the smaller 2″ variety in the center of the photo. It took me a while to figure out who I was going to use it and then I was cleaning out my studio and ran across a tutorial on how to weave a basket from brown paper bag strips. Thus the idea for using the strapping along with some beautiful wool yarn that my friend Nanci had given me was born.

Project Supplies

So I thought I would show you how I created the basket. I am not a basket maker or a weaver so I was just making it up as I went along. I did use some paper strips to work out how long the burlap strapping needed to be and that I had enough for what I wanted to make. I ended up using 6  pieces of strapping that were 16″ long. I used about one half of the skein of yarn that was originally 90 yards long. The yarn is a hand dyed merino wool yarn.

Burlap Strap Weaving

To start, I wove the burlap strapping together to make the bottom of the basket. I wanted it to be sturdy and wasn’t too sure of my weaving skills so I decided to sew the bottom pieces together on the sewing machine.

I pinned the strips together making sure that there wasn’t any space left between the strapping. Then I sewed around the edge of the woven square. Hopefully, you can see the stitching on the photo on the right. I used cotton thread that was nearly the same color as the strapping so it would just disappear.

Next, I decide to fold in the edge pieces where I would begin weaving so that my basket would have a distinct “right angle” from the bottom to the edge. I ironed along the fold so it would make a sharp edge.

Unfortunately, all the weaving photos I took were all blurry. It was a bit difficult taking photos and weaving at the same time. I did leave a long tail of yarn when I started weaving. I’m not really sure why I did this but it came in really handy. Since I haven’t done any basket making or weaving, it took a bit for me to figure out how to get this to work. I kept fiddling around until I started using the long tail of yarn to wrap around the weaving yarn so that it would be the opposite direction when I went around the basket again. Otherwise, it kept ending up not being the opposite over and under direction when I did the next level of weaving. I’m not sure this is making sense to anyone but me or if it was because I had an odd number of straps or what.

Corner with Weaving Long End In

Here is the corner I am talking about. All the other corners are smooth but this is where I used the tail end of the yarn to start the next round of weaving. You can also see in this photo that I folded the top edge of the burlap strap and tucked it under the yarn on the inside of the basket.

Ironing Folded Top Edges

Once I had tied off the yarn end and tucked it out of sight, I ironed the top folded edge too. I am sure there is some specific way you are supposed to end your weaving but I just made it up and hoped for the best.

Sewing Top Edge

I then put the top edge back under the sewing machine and stitched it down.

Top Edge Stitching

Here you can see the stitching at the top of the basket.

And here’s the finished basket. It’s actually very sturdy and I love the yarn. I had been saving it for the right project and it worked very well for this basket. I hope anyone who is a basket maker or weaver will forgive my ignorance in the process 🙂

Thanks to Pearl at BurlapFabric.com for the supplies. It was fun trying out something I don’t normally use! There will be more burlap posts in the future showing what my friends did with their ideas for using burlap in fiber art.




25 thoughts on “Woven Burlap and Wool Basket

  1. Excellent idea, Ruth. The basket turned out great. It does look sturdy and looks very decorative with this lovely yarn you used. Hope you show us other photos of how you used burlap.

  2. For not being a weaver, I think you did great! I really like the yarn too…it’s a pretty color scheme. I once made a basket using wet-felted wool ropes about the thickness of a finger, sort of in the style of a pine needle basket, with raffia used to stitch it together in a traditional design. Not my loveliest work…I might try it again someday because I like the concept. This was a good experimental project, though, and the basket looks quite useful as well as being attractive. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks! The burlap strapping really gave it the form, I think that is why it worked out. Not sure I could have done the yarn with raffia as it would have been past my skill level 🙂

  3. You did a grand job and ended up with a very attractive, and practical, basket. It would make a lovely gift for a knitter/crocheter as it would sit nicely on the floor beside a chair to contain a current project and balls of wool.

    1. Thanks Lyn! That sounds like a good use for it. I think I even know who I might gift it too with that idea in mind.

  4. Beautiful! A great use of the yarn, the color scheme was perfect with the burlap. Its an interesting fabric. I have a bunch if it but in yardage. I did use some for a background on a picture which now has to be removed since it bubbled. This looks like more fun.

    1. Thanks Marilyn! The yarn did go very well with the burlap. The burlap does bubble when felted but creates a cool texture. The nice thing about the strapping was the edges didn’t fray like they would with yardage.

  5. So neat that you tried something new, and that it came out so well! And the color scheme of the yarn goes perfectly with the strapping.

  6. You are full of ideas Ruth ! I love the way you get around the corners !! It looks warm with the straps around.

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