Burlap In The Garden

As gardening season comes around, you may be interested in what materials can help enhance your gardening experience. An inexpensive and cost-conscious material, burlap is one textile that provides multi-purpose services in your garden pre, during, and post planting season.

From seed to blossom, this biodegradable and permeable fabric is the perfect gardening companion. Below you’ll find a list of the various ways burlap can help make your gardening season more cost and time effective.

Before planting

Alternative Mulch: Burlap’s durable yet permeable nature creates an excellent mulching fabric for your flower or vegetable gardens. In the harvesting areas, you can lay down strips of burlap to help limit the erosion of your soil and to assist with moisture retention.

While planting 

Direct seeding in mid-Summer: Using burlap for direct seeding helps improve germination rates. Laying strips of burlap down over newly sown seeds will help keep seeds from being washed away during rain storms, and it will also prevent evaporation. Once the seeds have begun to germinate, be sure to remove the burlap.

After planting

During the colder months, you can use burlap to help protect some plants like hydrangeas, boxwood, and figs. By taking strips of burlap and wrapping them around your plants, you can provide an extra measure of protection against brutal winter winds and weather conditions.

In addition to weather conditions,wrapping strips of burlap around the trunks of your plants will add an extra layer of protection against pesky nibbling creatures that also take refuge in your garden.

For vegetable gardeners, burlap provides an excellent material for food storage after harvest. Thanks to fabric’s porous quality, burlap bags are an ideal way to store onions and potatoes.

Happy gardening!


Woven Poly-What?

Woven polypropylene is a multipurpose material that’s commonly used in packaging, textiles, flood and erosion control, levees, and construction. The recyclable, environmentally friendly material is unique in that it’s easily formed and shaped, allowing it to serve numerous purposes.

Woven polypropylene can be broken into two parts: the material and the style of production.

The first polymerized polypropylene occurred in the lab of Phillips Petroleum chemists, Hogan and Banks, in the early 1950s. The mass-commercialization of polypropylene began soon after. Today, the material is the second most important plastic, expected to exceed a revenue of over USD$145 billion by 2019. Polypropylene is most frequently characterized by its chemical, flame, and rot resistance.

When polypropylene threads are woven together, they create a very light but incredibly durable material. This method allows the material to maintain its strength while providing a breathable climate for the contents of your woven polypropylene bags.

Woven polypropylene bags offer a number of advantages:

  • long lasting and reusable
  • naturally tear-resistant
  • better burst strength compared to plastic bags
  • won’t degrade in wet conditions
  • can be laminated to provide added moisture barrier

Woven polypropylene is most commonly used in sandbags for flood control, however they’re incredibly multipurpose thanks in part to their durable and reusable nature. Some of these purposes include traffic control, gravel and aggregates, feed and grain storage, debris removal bags, clothing, and packaging and shipping among others. If you’re interested in how woven polypropylene might be of use to you, or you’d like to request a quote, please visit our contact page.

The Flood Control Staple

When a flood’s about to arrive, so are the sandbags. Over the years, sandbags have been made from a variety of materials, including burlap and polypropylene as well as a few others. Once manufactured, the bags are filled with sand or soil, and placed strategically about a city to prevent more flooding where possible. Volunteers are instructed to build “dikes” or “levees,” and often times, these piles of sandbags will be seen near rivers and bridges for added, and necessary, flood prevention.

Sandbags have been used since the 18th century, when they were traditionally used for military purposes. First more commonly made of burlap, times have progressed and sandbags are now popularly made from polypropylene plastic, and are sent to flood-endangered areas by the thousands. With its history of devastating floods, Iowa and other Midwestern states have many businesses and organizations that volunteer to send sandbags to the affected areas, and citizens band together to fill the bags before the floods hit.

Sandbags have continued to retain their popularity thanks to three main advantages. When preparing for a flood, bags and the sand to fill them are considerably inexpensive, and can easily be brought empty to the site and then filled with sand upon arrival. After the flood has passed, sandbags are easily transported and stored once emptied, though there has been a voiced concern about the possible contamination of the sand from floodwater. In constructing and deconstructing sandbag efforts, it’s of utmost importance that volunteers follow directions, like those in the video we’ve posted below, for the safest and most effective levees and dikes.


Getting The Most From Cotton

Though you might be most familiar with cotton as a clothing fabric, the non-allergenic natural fiber has many purposes. The cotton plant is one of the most economical crops because nearly every part of the plant can be utilized: lint, cottonseed, linters, stalks, and seed hulls.

One cotton bale alone can produce 250 single bed sheets, 1,200 t-shirts, 215 pairs of jeans, 2,100 pairs of boxer shorts, 3,000 nappies, 680,000 cotton balls, or 4,300 pairs of socks. Pretty useful, huh?

Since cotton doesn’t irritate sensitive skin, its softness is preferred in making underwear and other clothing worn close to the skin. Cotton’s adaptability allows it to easily blend amongst other fibers and synthetics, and its also extremely receptive to dyes. Cotton is also used in making tents, car tire cord, fishnets, and book binding.

In addition to clothing, cotton makes an ideal medical product. Its adaptability allows the fabric to hold up to 27 times its own weight in water, and it actually becomes stronger when wet. Because of these properties, cotton is often used as a bandage or swab in the medical environment.

From the cotton seed, you can use the oil for cooking and the seed as feed for livestock—surprisingly, cottonseed provides a wealth of energy for livestock. Cottonseed can also be used in a number of industrial products like soap, margarine, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, paints, rubbers, water proofing materials, and candles.

At Commercial Bag and Supply, we order bulk rolls of cotton that can be cut and sewn to your exact dimensions. To learn more about our manufacturing process or to request a quote for your next project, please contact us here!