Definition of burlap in English:



mass nounNorth American
  • 1Coarse canvas woven from jute, hemp, or a similar fibre, used especially for sacking.

    as modifier ‘a burlap sack’
    • ‘They beat her with burlap sacks stuffed with beans if she doesn't say the words.’
    • ‘Line the inside with newspapers, tarpaper, burlap, cloth, an old sheet, the kids school papers - anything you might have on hand to keep the contents from falling out.’
    • ‘Use a rough cloth like burlap to rub briskly across the grain.’
    • ‘There were times when I felt it might make more sense to stand in the dark with a burlap sack, yelling, ‘Here, snipe, snipe, snipe!’’
    • ‘Galápagos sharks, hammerheads, blues, duskies - all of their distinctive fins are jammed into black burlap sacks that pile to the ceiling.’
    • ‘We'd bring our apples in burlap sacks, whatever we had, Macs, Baldwins, Spies, some Russets if we were lucky, some wild apples for pungency from the woods and hedgerows.’
    • ‘Somewhere in the distance, barely audible, a tractor trailer loaded with burlap sacks of grass seed pressed its way onto the smooth ribbon of interstate, heading north.’
    • ‘Out-of-state buyers drive here to get their chili fix, selecting fat burlap sacks of peppers to go into the roaster.’
    • ‘If applied and rubbed with a cloth, usually burlap, while still soft, the pores fill and the varnish goes on smoothly.’
    • ‘Nick walked past with a heavy burlap sack over his shoulder.’
    • ‘Two of the works were on burlap, the third on jute.’
    • ‘Laden with burlap bags and potato sacks, they boarded trains for whichever destination they could get a ticket as the death toll jumped by 25 per cent in the Chinese capital.’
    • ‘Set stakes before filling the planting hole, then tie the tree to the stakes with canvas or burlap strips.’
    • ‘Then she removed her lute, which had been placed within and covered by a burlap sack, and began hooking a strap to it so she could wear it without fear it would drop from her grasp.’
    • ‘They were made from second-hand jute burlap and scraps of fabric pulled from ragbags and storage bins.’
    • ‘Virginia dumped the burlap sacks in an alleyway.’
    • ‘If you decide to keep them in the ground outside, sink four stakes in a square shape around each stem, then wrap burlap or another thick material around the stakes.’
    • ‘He previously appeared with a burlap sack over his head as Scarecrow in Batman Begins, and I'm awaiting his inevitable collaboration with David Lynch.’
    • ‘At the base of the camp, a recent avalanche had disgorged burlap sacks, old door frames, mortar boxes, rolls of bailing wire, and pieces of fiberglass.’
    • ‘Her large installation consisted of 16 columns made of various fabrics, including canvas, jute and burlap, the edges of which were charred and the expanses of which were often painted.’
    hessian, sacking, hopsack, hopsacking
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Lighter material of a kind similar to burlap, used in dressmaking and furnishing.
      as modifier ‘a burlap shirt’
      count noun ‘fabrics ranging from hessians to burlaps’
      • ‘Celine has hand-sewn lace onto leather, while American brand BCBG Max Azria adapts the current mania for ponyhair by doing patches of it on burlap, instead of all-over ponyhair pieces.’
      • ‘Much of our clothing comes from them as well - cotton and linen are made from ‘fibers’ of flowering plants, as are rope and burlap, and many commercial dyes are extracted from other flowering plants.’
      • ‘Others, like burlap or grass cloth, are very hard to clean when stained.’
      • ‘You can dye burlap any color you need and then rip it into strips about 2 inches wide and sew them on to clothing (or make clothing from more burlap to wear over your regular duds.)’
      • ‘Lisa's models wear: crop-jacket pant suit; skirt suit in burlap with her signature raffia handwork, her homage to Bahamian straw basket makers.’
      • ‘Each wore an identical grey ankle-length dress made of a rough fabric that reminded him of burlap and white blouses that had turned grey from frequent washing.’
      • ‘He was not terrifying in the least in his appearance; his shirt was made of burlap and his boots were muddy and his trousers were patched.’
      • ‘These draperies, of cream linen burlap, hang in her own West Vancouver home.’
      • ‘Upholstered burlap panels have been strategically used as a soft counterpoint.’
      • ‘Fabric wallpaper are usually made of cotton, linen, or other natural plant fibers, such as grass cloth, hemp, or burlap.’
      • ‘Plenty of people were missing eyes, and he was clad in an uncomfortable woolen shirt and burlap pants that were dyed a moss green.’
      • ‘Popular materials include linen, lace, and burlap, but almost any natural fiber material will do as long as it is clean and lint-free.’
      • ‘Grab an orange shirt, green pants, hiking shoes, burlap fabric, and two pairs of green tights.’
      • ‘Look for a natural fabric with a loose, open weave such as burlap or some types of cotton and linen.’
      • ‘If the chair needs extra support, strengthen the seat by weaving 1 1/2-inch-wide burlap webbing in both directions in the open area of the seat.’


Late 17th century: of unknown origin.