Real Hessian Sacks from around the world
What is hessian?
Hessian is a natural material that is made from the fibres of a jute plant. It is a coarse material that can be woven with other vegetable fibres to make a variety of practical products such as sacks, rope and nets.
It was originally used in uniforms for German soldiers from Hesse. This is where the material gets its name as the soldiers were called ‘hessians’.
How to care for hessian – can it be washed and dried?
Depending on how you plan to use the hessian may depend on whether you choose to wash it. If you’re using it for household items, it is a good idea to wash the fabric as the sacks come from all over the world and won’t be completely clean.
Washing it is a lot easier than you might think, follow these easy steps:
- Wash the fabric on its own to avoid the fibres getting on clothes or other laundry.
- Only use half the amount of detergent you usually would to avoid excess suds getting stuck in the fibres.
- Select the most delicate setting to avoid the fabric fraying or unravelling.
- Once its finished, check to see if all the detergent has been washed out. If there is some left, you may want to put it on another rinse cycle.
To dry the hessian sack once you’ve washed it, we recommend letting it air dry outside if possible. This is the best way to keep the material intact without damaging the fibres.
Putting it in the dryer is risky as it may unravel the fibres or cause fraying.
What can hessian be used for? DIY inspiration…
One of the best things about hessian is its versatility. It can be used for so many DIY projects that the whole family can enjoy.
Here are the ways we used it at the Adams + Russell roasters:
- Bags – Hessian is a naturally strong material so is great for all types of bags. We created tote and wine bags which would be a lovely gift for a friend.
- Cushions – Hessian cushions are an easy way to add a rustic feel to your living room. Or, because it is such an inexpensive material, use them for outside cushions to add extra comfort.
- Rugs – This material is incredibly resilient and strong, so it is a practical option for rugs. Use the design on the front of the sack as a feature for your rug.
- Lamp shades – for this all you need is a cheap lamp shade, glue and scissors. It’s so easy to transform a boring lamp shade with a coffee sack.
For more inspiration and photos, take a look at our ‘How to work with Hessian coffee sacks and DIY inspiration’ post.