I fell in love with burlap several years ago thanks to Ballard Designs. They were one of the firsts to feature burlap fabric with their skirted table rounds. Some even fringed! Oh my! After that, I gravitated to anything burlap--especially lampshades.
My burlap phase expanded to include vintage grain sacks from Europe. At the Alameda Antique Show I found a dealer who had 7 sacks, all the same. I paid $25 a piece for them! Maggie of "Maggie's Slipcovers" was brave enough to make them into slipcovers for two Parsons chairs. She is from Hungary and remembered the grain sacks from her childhood. Using these sacks for upholstery material is a challenge as some of them are 50 to 100 years old! You can find these for sale on Ebay. There is a dealer who specializes in vintage European grain sacks, mangle cloths, linen, flax etc. Check her out!
Close up of the fabric for the Parsons chairs. Notice the rough texture. So wonderful!
Another handmade lampshade from a vintage German grain sack. Also found at the Hillsborough Antique Show.
This lampshade is a reproduction. I'm starting to see more and more grain sack reproductions. Have you checked out Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware recently? They have jumped on the burlap/grain sack bandwagon! Pottery Barn has pillows, table runners, lampshades, etc. All of which I'm afraid to admit I bought! Restoration Hardware has Belgian linen and grain sack pillows too.
Which brings me to one of my purchases I probably should have left alone. Originally, I found this burlap pendant light in Anthropologie. There was very little information about it and it was so expensive. But I couldn't stop thinking about it. Then I happened to find the same light for sale on Ebay for half the price. So I bought it. It is HUGE! I plan to hang it in our home in Asti over the kitchen island. I haven't quite made the commitment yet, so it sits on the floor still.
Is it the times? It just seems that the design trend these days is leaning toward the natural fabrics, slipcovered linen sofas and chairs, aged wood and seagrass rugs. Lots of texture. It has been called Gustavian, Belgian, European boho, etc. Either way, I love it and want to change everything now! It is time to simplify........