Burlap is big lately. The nubby textured natural textile popped in abundance over the last 14 months or so: stitched into pillows and plied with feedbag signage, upholstered onto furnishings and finished with a throw, pimped with nail heads and primed for a wall covering. Some of these ideas are sure to be short lived as who really wants to sit in a chair whose covering one can feel right through her pants! Yet, I urge you to take a long look at the material as an option for panels. Why? Quite frankly- price and low price means possibility. Burlap runs about 5$/ yard. 5$/yard is not just affordable, it is flat cheap. I am cheap and even I paid $25/yd for the fabric on my living room curtains. What the low cost of the material allows for is in fact luxury. Seems like that sentence did not make sense right?
Okay, I'll explain using a recent project in Cashiers, NC where a very wise client asked for burlap curtains. Because the fabric is $5/yd, we could afford to buy loads of it and got to use an almost decadent French pleat some might reserve for silks and taffetas in order to create a very full rich look. We treated our burlap panels to the works including interlining, blackout lining and gorgeous trim (that is backordered for 6-8 weeks, BUMMER, but good things are worth waiting for, so we will). Hang on, don't let me lose you already. This particular client has 2 large windows in one room that are 13' wide, it will take 50 yards of fabric to properly treat the windows. Even if we chose an affordable $30/yard fabric, we would still be out $1,500. Instead we spent about $250 on burlap and spent the rest on fabulous trim, lining, and pleats. Do take a look at some of these killer looking applications of the humble earth friendly textile.
A French Pleat, also known as a triple pleat or a pinch pleat. 3 names. I know, right. Decide already. They didn't teach us this stuff in interior design school either and I am getting confused.7.
My earlier examples did not feature trim, but how about some pom-poms for a playful bit like this Birmingham designer did for the Cashiers Showhouse bedroom (I forgot the designer's name, but I remember BHam. I love this room, if you know the designer, give me a shout).
Or how about a little inset tape trim? Looks pretty fly if I don't say so myself.
Images: 1. unsure 2. Cote de Texas 3. Elle Decor 4. unknown 5. A Boys and Girls Club 6. An example of French pleat 7. Claire Watkins 8. room by Monday's House of Design, Claire Watkins.