Jute comes from a type of hibiscus plant in which the fibres are used to make a fabric. One of the most well known uses for this fabric is jute bags and sacks. Due to the plant characteristics, jute is usually an inexpensive but sturdy fabric making it ideal for carrying heavy items however it can also be used for fashion purposes such as purses and beach bags.
If you would prefer to make your own jute bag rather than purchase one, you are in luck because jute bags are relatively easy to make. There are even versions you can make that do not require a sewing machine; however, please bear in mind the following method does require a sewing machine.
- Jute twine
- Jute fabric
- Sewing machine
- Measuring tape
- Straight pins
Decide how big you would like your jute bag to be and cut out a square of jute fabric that is around twice the size you would like the finished bag to be. Ensure that your square is nice and even with straight edges otherwise you could end up with a wonky bag at the end.
In order to stop the jute fabric from fraying you will need to reinforce the fabric weave along the edges. To do this, you will need to use your sewing machine to sew a straight stitch along all four edges of the jute fabric square. If you skip this step then you run the risk of your jute bag fibres in the fabric unravelling meaning your jute bag could fall apart.
Once you have stitched along all the edges of your jute fabric, you should fold it in half. The fold should represent the bottom of your jute bag and there will now be 3 open edges.
Of these 3 open edges, you should pin together the two edges either side of the folded edge. Thus meaning that the bottom of your bag is the folded edge and the remaining open edge will be the top and entrance to your bag.
Once you are happy with the pinning of the sides of your bag you can stitch it in place, you should use a straight stitch and stitch roughly ½ an inch from the edge of the fabric to create a suitable seam.
To neaten the top edge, which will be the entrance to your bag, you should fold down the edge around the outside of the bag and pin in place. Then again stitch along the edge of the fold using a topstitch, leaving ½ an inch from the edge.
Cut a length of twine to represent how long you would like the handle to be (adding an extra inch or so). Pin this to the outside edge of the bag and double stitch it in place, similarly attach the other end to the opposite side of the bag and repeat the process.
Once your handles have been attached and all your pins have been removed you can now turn the bag inside out to reveal the jute bag’s finished appearance. All the seams and stitching should be on the inside of the bag.
Making your own jute bag can be a fun and inexpensive way of making your own bag, following this method should help you to create a sturdy bag.