So, basically this is where I trawl through Pinterest to see what people are pinning, and discover that I'm apparently living in a parallel universe to everyone else. I'm not quite sure where the obsession with making things out of hessian came from (or burlap, as our friends across the pond call it), but it seems to show no sign of abating, and this loose weave fabric beloved of potato growers everywhere has been elevated from functional to fashionable over the last few years. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that if you have a grain-sack cushion you're a bad person - although you do have a distinctly uncomfortable sofa - but it's a slippery slope, and I'm just trying to save you from the inevitable and all-encompassing addiction which follows.
It all starts so innocently. Exhibit A: The stylish cushion.
Vintage grain sack, stylish font [French for extra ponce points] To be found on a neutral white or beige sofa, with rustic accents. Perfect for that Homes & Antiques or Country Living Spread. Slightly malodorous but the smell is easily masked with a Jo Malone candle.
Acceptable alternative is the brighter version, with pleasing vintage graphics. Rustic but still colourful, perfect for the charmingly retro and eclectic interior.
Exhibit B: The Unintentionally Ironic Cushion
This version is available from notonthehighstreet.com. It's ticking a lot of trendy boxes. Typewriter inspired font, dictionary definition, looks like it should contain swedes in a 50s green-grocers. But - is no one else seeing a dichotomy here? A hessian cushion is not going to be 'snug'. Root vegetables do not need to be 'warmly cosy', hence burlap is not your go-to fabric for comfort. Surely the 'optional 38 x 38cm duck feather filled pad' is pretty much irrelevant once it's put inside the world's least comfortable material?
Exhibit 3: Taking it to the bedroom
Ok, so what we call cushions, Americans call pillows, right? Pillows are what we sleep on here in the UK, so 'burlap pillow' just means cushion, doesn't it? Or not.
What the hell happened? How have we gone from being advised to keep our faces wrinkle free and our hair shiny by sleeping on silk pillow-cases, to actually thinking "Yes, I'll get some quality shut-eye on that old flour sack. If it's good enough for the dog, it's good enough for me!". Even the teddies look pained.
Obviously once you've accepted burlap beauty sleep it's easy to allow house-room to the following:
Miss Haversham's house. If she lived in a barn.
Roman blinds, hillbilly style
Burlap lightshade. With bows.
And of course burlap is for all seasons:
nose-bags Stockings. Mmm, festive
Just the ticket once Santa has filled them with oats and barley.
When good crafting intentions go very very bad. These are apparently 'burlap eggs' - no, I don't know why either - although they look more like they were left in the corner of his hutch by the burlap Easter Bunny
So, your home looks like Wurzel Gummidge has taken up residence, but you're just not finished with burlap. Having toughed up your skin nicely on your hessian cushions, it's but a short skip and a jump to allowing jute into your wardrobe. I understand, I do. I mean, there's a new film out about Marilyn Monroe, the original poster girl for the potato sack dress:
and maybe you saw Project Runway when they had their budding designers send burlap dresses down the catwalk. Even Demi Moore wore a hessian style bustier on the cover of Elle last year:
Ashton, you're an idiot
Yup, you're going to rock the flour sack look like a farm-girl during the Great Depression. Let's just see what's available shall we?
$120 by Gretchen Elsner. It's got pom-poms!
Gosh, it's like Katharine Hepburn never left us.
These trousers will 'never die'. Not even if stabbed repeatedly with a pitchfork.
The 'Fatale' by Gee Wa Wa. A mere $264.95
Gok Wan appears to have gone mad with a glue-gun again.
I am undecided as to whether these were more hideous before or after the 'be-burlapping'
Vintage WW2 novelty 'sugar and spice' knickers
[apologies to the person who saw 'burlap panties' come up in their stats as a result of this post]
Whoop! You went out in your finery and snagged a hot guy [literally, those trousers catch on everything] with similar interests.
You've dated a while, you're buying a
yurt home together, and finally he pops the all important question. Will you be my burlap bride? Yes, there's no reason why the most important day of your life and the most scratchy fabric of your life shouldn't also be joined together in holy matrimony. In fact there are entire Pinterest boards devoted to this very scenario. [Disclaimer: many of these rustic chic ideas are indeed very lovely, I agree. I'm just trying to point out that not EVERYTHING needs to be made from a sack]
Buttonholes. Burlap and thistle. "What an interesting combination of textures" says the wedding writer. Yes, prickly and scratchy just screams 'wedding' to me [nettles optional]
Who is getting married here? Daisy the Cow and Fergus the Bull?
Wedding cake, with extra fibre.
Available from Etsy.
"Perfect for that romantic bohemian bride who's going for a
breath-taking and romantic look on her special day"
[Doubles up as an eco-friendly nest for your chickens afterwards]
Get me to the Church on time...Arrive in style in a burlap pick-up
No need to press or preserve your bouquet afterwards
The blushing burlap bride and her hessian husband
So, what's the verdict - am I swimming against the tide here? Should I be planning my sister's burlap baby shower? Or are you also over the stinky sacking? Let me know...
PS. Thanks so much to everyone who has voted for me so far, I really appreciate it. And hello to all my new followers, do say hi and I'll try to check out your blogs.