The Full Wiki

Burlap: Wikis

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


(Redirected to Hessian (cloth) article)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rug making on burlap.

Hessian (pronounced /ˈhɛsɪɛn/) (or burlap in the U.S.)[1] is a coarse woven fabric usually made from jute[2][3] or other vegetable fibers.

The name 'burlap' appears to be of unknown origin[4][5]. However, it may originate from the Indian city of the same name. The name 'hessian' is attributed to the use of the fabric, initially, as part of the uniform of soldiers from the German state of Hesse.[4]


Hessian was first exported from India in the early 19th century[2]. It was traditionally used as backing for linoleum, rugs, and carpet[2].


Hessian is often used to make sacks and bags to ship goods like coffee beans. It is breathable and thus resists condensation and associated spoilage of the contents. It is also durable enough to withstand rough handling in transit; these properties have also led to its use for temporary protection of setting cement and concrete by the construction industry.

Due to its coarse texture, it is not commonly used in modern apparel. However, this roughness gave it a use in a religious context for mortification of the flesh, where individuals may wear an abrasive shirt called a cilice or 'hairshirt' and in the wearing of sackcloth on Ash Wednesday.

Owing to its durability, open weave, naturally non-shiny refraction, and fuzzy texture, Ghillie suits are often made of hessian. It was also a popular material for camouflage scrim on combat helmets of World War Two. Until the advent of the plastic "leafy" multi-color net system following the Vietnam War, burlap scrim was also woven onto shrimp and fish netting to create large military camouflage netting.

As hessian, it has been used by fine artists as an alternative to canvas as a stretched painting surface.


  1. ^ TARIFF TALK HURT HESSIANS OF INDIA; Traveler Tells of Blue Times in Ca... - Article Preview - The New York Times
  2. ^ a b c Woolley, Tom (1997). Green building handbook: a guide to building products and their impact on the environment. London: E & FN Spon. pp. . ISBN 0-419-22690-7.  
  3. ^ Woolley, Tom (2000). Green building handbook: Volume 2. London: E & FN Spon. pp. 96, 100, 108. ISBN 0-419-25380-7.  
  4. ^ a b Simpson, J. R.; Weiner, E. S. C. (1989). The Oxford English dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. . ISBN 0-19-861186-2.  
  5. ^ Oxford English Dictionary Online - entry for "burlap"

Simple English

Burlap is kind of fiber. It is often found woven into sacks, and used to carry bags of food and other medium-weight objects.

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address