The next phase of my project is to test some jute fabric (yay, exciting!) as possible replacements for produce bags.
I bought some burlap fabric from the local fabric store and cut out squares for testing. One square will be the control, one square will be hand washed, and the other will be machine washed.
Since it is a natural woven fabric, the ends started to fray right after I cut them. I solved this by serging the edges.
Test 1 – Hand Washing
I used dish soap and tap water to wash the square sheet in the sink. I noticed that the burlap fabric got weaker and thinner in the centre as I was pulling and tugging at the sides. The serging thread came loose in the corner a bit. I let the fabric air dry afterwards and noticed that it had shrunk in size
Test 2 – Machine Washing
I put it into the washing machine on a normal cycle along the rest of my laundry. Similar to the hand washing, the fabric shrunk in size after the wash. However, the serged corners really frayed after the machine wash.
To try next:
- Try making fabric swatches with rounded corners so it can be serged in one go. This may eliminate the fraying corners
- Try making bags to the same size as product bags and test them in the store
- Research costs of plastic and burlap bags