We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Burlap Curtains?

By Marty Paule
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Burlap curtains can make an interesting and unusual window treatment. Their rustic and rough-spun look will complement a variety of informal settings, from recreation rooms to college dorms. Burlap looks best among other natural fibers and textures, but can also provide an interesting contrast when coordinated with smooth, modern designs and surfaces. Burlap's pluses include its relatively low cost and ability to provide filtered light. Potential cons in choosing burlap curtains include a limited range of color choices, fabric width, and potential shrinkage, as well as dustiness, and smell.

In settings such as a rustic farmhouse or mountain cabin, burlap's highly textured surface coordinates well with country-style furniture and natural materials. An exotic touch can be added to a family or recreation room by using burlap coffee sacks bearing their original stencil marks. Coarsely woven burlap allows some light to pass through it, making burlap curtains a good choice when they do not need to block all exterior light while providing privacy.

Since burlap is usually made with natural hemp or jute fibers produced with little or no pesticides, it is an eco-friendly window-covering option. Extremely durable burlap will last indefinitely and is resistant to tears. Burlap is also extremely economical, making it a good choice when decorating on a strict budget.

Due to their rough texture, burlap curtains tend to hold dust and can be somewhat difficult to clean. They can also shed a considerable amount of fiber. Burlap shrinks significantly during laundering and residual shrinkage should be factored in when sizing curtains. Burlap also lacks the soft textures and attractive drape of other textiles used in making curtains. Due to its lack of drape, burlap will be more attractive when used to cover smaller windows rather than in floor-to-ceiling treatments.

Burlap can be hard to find in attractive decorator colors and may require some special sizing for windows. In some settings, however, its natural, brownish color will coordinate attractively with other shades. As a natural fiber, burlap can be readily dyed in a wide range of shades. Depending on the type and color of dye used, the curtains may fade during sustained exposure to direct sunlight. Burlap is typically sold in widths that are narrower than traditional drapery fabrics. As a result, the process of assembling draperies can involve more sewing and seams.

While burlap is known for its ruggedness, burlap curtains can become brittle and stretched out over time. Some burlap specifically produced for decorating purposes is treated to minimize brittleness, fiber shedding, and sagging. Due to its earthy odor, burlap fabrics are also sometimes given a deodorization treatment.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon268169 — On May 12, 2012

I made burlap curtains for my kitchen window years ago and love them. The original scent was pretty yucky for the first few weeks, but went away. They do get dusty and since they can't be washed, I shake them out and vacuum them every few months or so.

The backsides have faded from the natural fiber color to a strange red/orange color, but the side I see is still good. Also, they don't have a "swooping" look when tied back, but look great bunched in the middle with wide ribbon.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.