Hessian, burlap in the United States and Canada, or crocus in Jamaica, is a woven fabric usually made from skin of the jute plant or sisal fibres, which may be combined with other vegetable fibres to make rope, nets, and similar products. Gunny is similar in texture and construction.
Hessian, a dense woven fabric, has historically been produced as a coarse fabric, but more recently it is being used in a refined state known simply as jute as an eco-friendly material for bags, rugs and other products.
The name "hessian" is attributed to the historic use of the fabric as part of the uniform of soldiers from the former Landgraviate of Hesse and its successors, including the current German state of Hesse, who were called "Hessians".
The origin of the word burlap is unknown, though its earliest known appearance is in the late 17th century, and its etymology is speculated to derive from the Middle English borel, the Old French burel and/or the Dutch boeren, in the latter case perhaps interfused with boer. The second element is the Dutch word lap, "piece of cloth".