Can You Iron Burlap? Do’s and Don’ts

Welcome to the world of crafting and textiles, where the question on everyone’s mind is, Can you iron burlap? For the creative souls seeking to add a rustic touch to their projects, this query holds the key to achieving perfection. As we delve into the artistry of burlap, a fabric loved for its natural texture and versatility, the iron becomes a trusted companion in the creative process.

Unveiling the mystery behind handling burlap with an iron, we embark on a journey where wrinkles meet smooth precision, transforming ordinary projects into extraordinary expressions of individuality. Let’s explore the art of crafting with burlap and discover the answer together.


  • Iron Burlap with Caution: Use the lowest heat setting and a damp cloth to protect burlap from potential damage during ironing.
  • Avoid Steam: Steer clear of steam to prevent excessive moisture that may weaken the jute fibers in burlap.
  • Test Before Ironing: Always test a small, inconspicuous area to ensure the burlap can withstand the heat without adverse effects.
  • Preserve Burlap Integrity: Practicing careful ironing techniques will help maintain the natural texture and appearance of your burlap fabric.

What is Burlap?

Burlap is a versatile and durable fabric that finds its origins in the coarse fibers of the jute plant. Known for its sturdy and eco-friendly nature, burlap is commonly used in various applications due to its affordability and sustainability.

This woven fabric has a distinct rustic texture, making it a popular choice for crafting, gardening, and home decor. Its natural brown color adds a touch of earthiness to projects, while its open-weave structure allows for breathability and flexibility.

The durability of burlap makes it suitable for a range of uses, including making sacks, upholstery, and even erosion control in landscaping. It is an excellent choice for crafting projects such as rustic wedding decor, DIY gift wrapping, or creating textured wall art.

Burlap’s affordability and biodegradability make it an environmentally conscious choice for those looking to reduce their ecological footprint. In summary, burlap is a simple yet robust material with a myriad of practical and creative applications.

What are the Properties of Burlap?

Here are the properties of Burlap:

  • Material Composition:
    • Burlap is a woven fabric made from natural plant fibers, primarily derived from the jute plant.
    • Its coarse texture is a result of the use of thick, uneven yarns, contributing to its distinctive appearance.
  • Texture and Appearance:
    • Known for its coarse and textured feel.
    • Exhibits a distinctive, open weave pattern that adds a rustic charm.
  • Strength and Durability:
    • Burlap is known for its robust and durable nature, making it resistant to tearing and fraying.
    • This strength is particularly beneficial for various applications, including packaging and transportation.
  • Breathability:
    • One of burlap’s notable characteristics is its breathable nature, allowing air circulation through the fabric.
    • This feature is advantageous in applications like agriculture, where it can be used for sackcloth to store grains, as it helps prevent moisture build-up.
  • Environmentally Friendly:
    • Burlap is considered an eco-friendly material due to its natural composition.
    • It is biodegradable and poses minimal environmental impact, aligning with sustainable practices.
  • Versatility:
    • Burlap’s versatility is evident in its usage across various industries, from agriculture to crafts.
    • It serves purposes such as crafting materials, decorative elements, and even in gardening as a weed barrier.
  • Absorbency:
    • Burlap has good absorbent properties, making it suitable for certain agricultural applications.
    • Its ability to absorb and retain moisture is advantageous in preventing over-drying in specific contexts.
  • Aesthetic Appeal:
    • While its appearance may be considered rustic, burlap holds a certain aesthetic charm that adds character to decorative items.
    • It is often used in event decor, giving a natural and textured feel to the surroundings.
  • Economical:
    • Burlap is cost-effective compared to some other fabrics, making it a preferred choice for applications where budget considerations are crucial.
    • Its affordability enhances its widespread use in both practical and creative endeavors.

Understanding the properties of burlap helps individuals and industries make informed decisions about its suitability for various applications.

Can You Iron Burlap

Can You Iron Burlap?

Burlap is made from jute fibers, which have a lower melting point compared to some other fabrics. If you decide to iron burlap, it’s crucial to use the lowest heat setting on your iron. Excessive heat can cause the jute fibers to melt or become damaged, leading to a compromised fabric.

Before ironing, place a thin, damp cloth over the burlap to act as a protective barrier. This helps to prevent direct contact between the iron and the burlap, reducing the risk of damage. Additionally, avoid using steam during the ironing process, as excessive moisture can weaken the fibers.

Always test a small, inconspicuous area of the burlap first to ensure that it can withstand the heat without adverse effects. If you observe any signs of damage or discoloration during the test, it’s best to refrain from ironing the entire piece.

In summary, while it is possible to iron burlap, exercising caution by using the lowest heat setting, employing a protective barrier, and avoiding steam will help preserve the integrity of the fabric. Testing a small section beforehand is a prudent step to ensure the safety of your burlap item during the ironing process.

Can You Iron Burlap? Vital Do's and Don'ts for Perfect Results

How to Prepare Burlap for Ironing?

To ensure optimal results, it is essential to properly prepare burlap before ironing. Burlap is a coarse fabric made from natural fibers, and its texture and composition require specific care to avoid damaging it during the ironing process. Before ironing burlap, it is important to remove any dirt or debris by gently shaking or brushing it. This will help prevent stains or marks from setting into the fabric.

When choosing the right temperature for ironing burlap, it is crucial to consider its heat sensitivity. Burlap is a delicate material that can easily scorch or burn if exposed to high heat. Therefore, it is recommended to set the iron to a low or medium temperature. It is also advisable to test a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric before ironing the entire piece to ensure that the chosen temperature does not damage or discolor the burlap.

In terms of setting, it is best to iron burlap on the reverse side to prevent any direct contact between the iron and the fabric. Placing a thin cloth or pressing cloth between the iron and the burlap can also provide an additional layer of protection. By doing so, one can minimize the risk of heat damage and preserve the integrity of the fabric.

How to Iron Burlap?

Ironing burlap may seem challenging due to its coarse texture, but with the right approach, you can achieve a smooth, wrinkle-free result. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to iron burlap effectively:

  1. Prepare the Burlap:
    • Begin by spritzing water lightly over the burlap fabric to dampen it slightly. This helps relax the fibers and eases the ironing process.
  2. Adjust Iron Settings:
    • Set your iron to a low heat setting (between silk and wool). Burlap is sensitive to high temperatures, and using a lower setting prevents damage to the fabric.
  3. Place a Damp Cloth:
    • Lay a damp cloth or thin cotton fabric over the burlap. This acts as a barrier, preventing direct contact between the iron and the burlap, reducing the risk of scorching.
  4. Iron in Sections:
    • Work in small sections to ensure thorough ironing. Gently press the iron over the damp cloth, moving it in a back-and-forth motion.
  5. Apply Gentle Pressure:
    • Use light pressure when ironing. Burlap is more delicate than regular fabrics, and excessive force can cause damage or create shiny spots on the surface.
  6. Steam if Necessary:
    • If wrinkles persist, introduce steam by holding the iron a short distance above the burlap and pressing the steam button. Avoid direct contact with the fabric.
  7. Check for Heat Tolerance:
    • Before ironing a large area, test a small, inconspicuous section of the burlap to ensure it can tolerate the heat without adverse effects.
  8. Iron Both Sides:
    • Flip the burlap over and repeat the process on the other side. This ensures uniform smoothing and reduces the likelihood of uneven textures.

Pros and Cons of Ironing Burlap

Ironing burlap can have its pros and cons. Let’s take a look at both sides:


  • Smoothens wrinkles: Ironing burlap can help remove wrinkles and creases, giving it a more polished and neat appearance.
  • Enhances design: Ironing burlap can help accentuate the design or pattern on the fabric, making it more visually appealing.


  • Risk of damage: Burlap is a coarse and delicate fabric, and excessive heat or pressure during ironing can cause the fibers to weaken or break. This can lead to fraying or tearing of the fabric.
  • Loss of natural texture: Ironing burlap can sometimes flatten its natural texture, which is often desired for rustic or vintage-themed projects. This can result in a more refined and less authentic look.

It is important to consider the nature of burlap and the specific project at hand before deciding whether or not to iron it. Taking proper precautions, such as using a low heat setting and a pressing cloth, can help minimize the risks of damage while achieving the desired results.

Alternative Methods to Get Wrinkles Out of Burlap

Steam Treatment1. Hang the burlap vertically. 2. Use a handheld steamer to release wrinkles. 3. Hold the steamer a few inches away from the burlap, allowing the steam to penetrate the fibers.
Wet Towel and Microwave1. Dampen a clean towel. 2. Place the burlap between the damp towel layers. 3. Microwave the bundle for 2-3 minutes. 4. Allow it to cool before checking the wrinkles.
Spritz and Hang1. Spray water lightly on the burlap. 2. Hang it on a clothesline or a hanger. 3. Allow the water to naturally relax the fibers and release wrinkles.
Rolling with Heavy Objects1. Lay the burlap flat. 2. Roll a heavy object (like a rolling pin) over the wrinkles, applying gentle pressure. 3. Continue until the fabric is smoother.
Ironing with a Towel as Barrier1. Dampen a towel. 2. Place the towel over the burlap. 3. Iron over the towel, using a low heat setting. 4. Check for wrinkles periodically.
Fabric Softener and Water Mix1. Create a mixture of water and a few drops of fabric softener. 2. Spray the solution lightly on the burlap. 3. Smooth out wrinkles with your hands.
Freezer Method1. Dampen the burlap slightly. 2. Seal it in a plastic bag. 3. Place the bag in the freezer for a few hours. 4. Remove and let it thaw, allowing wrinkles to loosen.
Tumble Dryer with Damp Towel1. Place the wrinkled burlap and a damp towel in the tumble dryer. 2. Run on a low heat setting for a short cycle. 3. Check and repeat if needed.
Hanging in a Steamy Bathroom1. Hang the burlap in a steam-filled bathroom. 2. The moisture in the air will help relax the fibers. 3. Smooth out wrinkles by hand.
Hairdryer and Damp Cloth1. Dampen a clean cloth. 2. Place it on top of the burlap. 3. Use a hairdryer on low heat to blow air through the fabric. 4. Move the hairdryer in a sweeping motion to release wrinkles.

These alternative methods offer flexibility based on the available resources and preferences, allowing you to choose the most suitable approach for getting wrinkles out of burlap.

Do’s and Don’ts of Ironing Burlap

Use a low heat setting: Burlap is prone to heat damage, so set your iron to a low temperature to avoid scorching the fabric.Avoid high heat: Excessive heat can cause burlap to become discolored and brittle, ruining its texture. Stick to low or medium heat settings.
Use a pressing cloth: To protect the burlap from direct heat, place a thin cloth between the iron and the fabric.Don’t iron directly: Ironing directly on burlap may lead to shiny spots and compromise its natural texture. Always use a barrier.
Iron on the reverse side: Turn the burlap inside out before ironing to prevent direct contact between the iron and any embellishments or prints.Avoid ironing embellishments: If your burlap has decorative elements, such as prints or appliques, iron around them to prevent damage.
Steam sparingly: Lightly steam the burlap to remove wrinkles, but be cautious not to saturate it. Excessive moisture can lead to mold and mildew.Avoid excessive steam: Burlap can absorb moisture easily, leading to a damp feel and potential damage. Use steam judiciously.
Test a small, inconspicuous area first: Before ironing the entire piece, test a small corner to ensure the heat setting is suitable and won’t harm the fabric.Don’t skip the test: Skipping this step may result in irreversible damage, as burlap reacts differently to heat depending on its source and quality.

Remembering these simple guidelines will help you maintain the integrity of burlap while achieving a well-ironed finish.


In conclusion, understanding how to properly iron burlap opens up a world of creative possibilities. With the right techniques, you can transform this humble fabric into a versatile material for a wide range of projects. Whether you’re crafting rustic table runners or personalized tote bags, mastering the art of ironing burlap ensures your creations will stand out with a refined finish.

So, the next time you find yourself asking Can You Iron Burlap, remember, with the right approach, you can elevate your DIY endeavors to a whole new level of sophistication. Explore the potential of burlap today!


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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use a Regular Ironing Board to Iron Burlap?

Yes, it is possible to iron burlap without an ironing board. Alternative methods for removing wrinkles from burlap include using a towel or cloth as a makeshift ironing surface and using a steam iron on a low setting.

Is It Safe to Use Steam When Ironing Burlap?

Using steam to iron different types of fabrics has its pros and cons. When it comes to burlap, it is generally not recommended to use steam as it can cause the fabric to shrink or become distorted. Alternative methods for removing wrinkles from delicate fabrics include using a garment steamer or hanging the fabric in a steamy bathroom.

Can I Use a Clothes Steamer Instead of an Iron to Remove Wrinkles From Burlap?

Using a clothes steamer on burlap instead of an iron can effectively remove wrinkles. However, it is important to note that ironing may not completely eliminate natural creases or folds in the fabric.

Will Ironing Burlap Remove Any Natural Creases or Folds?

Ironing burlap can effectively remove natural creases and folds, but it may not be the most suitable method for removing stubborn wrinkles. Alternatives to ironing burlap include using a clothes steamer or dampening the fabric and allowing it to air dry.

Can I Iron Burlap With Decorations or Embellishments on It?

Ironing burlap with delicate decorations requires caution. When ironing such fabric, it is essential to choose the right ironing board to prevent damage. Follow proper techniques and guidelines to ensure successful results.

Can you put burlap in the dryer?

Drying burlap in a machine dryer is not recommended as it can be too harsh on the fabric. The preferable method is to hang the burlap in a well-ventilated area, either on a clothesline or over a couple of chairs. It may take several hours for the burlap to completely dry. After drying, shake it to remove any excess lint.

Can I steam burlap?

Burlap can be easily ironed using a standard steam iron.

Can you iron burlap without wrinkles?

To eliminate wrinkles from a burlap tablecloth, one can try using a steam iron on a low setting. Gently iron out the creases, ensuring to place a thin cloth over the burlap to protect it from direct heat.

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