Burlap, or jute, bags are gaining popularity for their wide range of uses and natural look and feel. It's not uncommon to see burlap tote bags at your local farmer's market or grocer as the green movement gains ground. There are a number of retailers that offer various styles and types of burlap at discounted prices.
Consider how you are going to use the burlap bags. Burlap is often used to ship items like coffee or grains overseas. They can also be used in crafts such as creating handbags, reusable shopping bags or stuffed dolls.
Determine the size you need. Burlap bags typically come in come in small sizes used to ship rice or in large sizes used to ship coffee beans. The larger size is good if you need a lot of material. The smaller size is good if you are planning to make alterations to create a tote or handbag.
Decide whether you can reuse old bags or whether you need brand new materials for your project. If used bags are preferred, they can be purchased at UsedBurlapBags.com (see Resources section). These bags are slit open and have been used to ship coffee, but are great for craft projects. If you are shipping food items, it's best to use new burlap bags. New bags can be ordered in bulk quantities from United Bags, Inc. (see Resources section).
Choose the style and color of the burlap bags you want to purchase. Most burlap bags have similar styles and colors, however, some retailers offer more diversity. You can choose from a selection of styles, colors, and sizes at BestPakCompany.com (see Resources section).
Many local farmer's markets and health food stores sell burlap tote bags made from used coffee or grain burlap sacks.
Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., Robin Coe has reported on a variety of subjects for more than 15 years. Coe has worked on environmental health and safety issues in communities across Ohio and Michigan. Coe holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism with a double-major in international politics from Bowling Green State University. She has also received training and experience as a nurse aide.