When working with burlap you have to keep several things in mind. It sheds, it is woven very unevenly and when creating a curve or a circle, it's like sewing water (unpredictable).
Here are a few helpful hints when working with burlap. Keep in mind, it will never be perfectly even. I measure then top stitch where I want the unraveling line to begin and cut along the thread line where I want the fraying to end. I prefer not to cross over to another line of thread to prevent uneven fraying. Using a glue or stay-stitch product is good, but it is easier to see a seam line than anything.
You rarely see a burlap tablecloth or runner that is round or oval. They are rectangles and squares, no curves. This DIY is to help you maneuver around that dreaded curve with success. Rectangle tablecloths do not look right on oval tables. The corners drop to the floor and look awkward. Burlap doesn't hang softly, it is a stiff product and has a mind of it's own. Beware of how you use this.
A recent client who ordered a 10' x 6' tablecloth complained that the tablecloth shed all over her guests while sitting at their meal. I believe they all went home thinking a tan cat sat on their lap at mealtime. This is particularly disheartening when sweaters or fancy clothes are worn. Burlap can dig into fabric like a sticker or burr. If there is a baby or toddler at the table, think twice about the burlap. Their faces and sticky little hands will become covered in the loose burlap. Ingesting the burlap or getting it into their eyes can really be a problem.
This client had spills on her burlap tablecloth and called to see if she could wash her tablecloth. She could but it would never be the same. It would be much smaller come out like a misshapen mess. I recommend a squirt of hydrogen peroxide to remove food stains. Rub gently, holding the back with a cloth as well to keep the shape in tact.
I am highly allergic to burlap and it prompts me to do the project quickly to get it out of my studio. I usually make big cuts outdoors to prevent excessive shedding. There is no stopping, it's like a nervous dog - shed, shed, shed.
I am by no means a burlap hater. One forms a different opinion of a product when they have to work with it up close and personal. Other projects can't be in the area of the burlap for fear of shedding on other fabrics. I'm allergic to the red dyes in fabric too, but it doesn't stop me from doing my job. Just sayin'.
Burlap is loved by many as the inexpensive "go-to" product for shabby chic, prairie or country design. It is inexpensive, but let's keep it real. I say, use burlap runners and painter's drop cloth as the tablecloth. The drop cloths come in so many shapes and sizes, while it is easy to launder and sew.
Oh, you don't usually know you are allergic to burlap until you have full contact with it. Keep your guests in mind with all of this too!
DIY Round Burlap Tablecloth