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This week I want to show you a couple of feedsacks I found some time back. The thing about these two feedsacks were the fact they still had the original labels attached. I love the fact that the paper labels were still there. These were not one of my thrift-ed bargains....but sometimes the items warrant a little more spending than normal.
I found this poem on line and thought it fitting to add to this post..and no, I don't recall ever wearing feed sack underpants....and isn't that so sad....to have missed that error in time by a few short years.
The Flour Sack - A Poem
When I was just a maiden fair,
Mama made our underwear;
With many kids and Dad's poor pay,
We had no fancy lingerie.
Monograms and fancy stitches
Did not adorn our Sunday britches;
Pantywaists that stood the test
Had 'Gold Medal' on my breast.
No lace or ruffles to enhance
Just 'Pride of Bloomington' on my pants.
One pair of panties beat them all,
For it had a scene I still recall-
Harvesters were gleaning wheat
Right across my little seat.
Rougher than a grizzly bear
Was my flour sack underwear.
Plain, not fancy and two feet wide
And tougher than a hippo's hide.
All through Depression each Jill and Jack
Wore the sturdy garb of sack.
Waste not, want not, we soon learned
That a penny saved is a penny earned.
There were curtains and tea towels too,
And that is just to name a few,
But the best beyond compare
Was my flour sack underwear.
I found this information on line about feedsacks and thought it was interesting so I thought I'd include it in this post.
.....The thrifty farm wife quickly discovered that this cotton bag was a great source of utilitarian fabric to be used for dish cloths, diapers, nightgowns and other household uses. Manufacturers decided to take advantage of this and started offering sacks in various prints and solid colors as a marketing ploy to create loyalty. It would take three identical sacks to make a dress, for example, and the farmer just might be induced to buy more that way.
It was not hard for the farmer to purchase his goods in feedsacks. The flour industry consumed the largest share of the feedsack market with more than 42 percent. Sugar was next with 17 percent followed by feed, seeds, rice, and fertilizer. These feedsacks came in different sizes, and the quality of the cloth varied with the item it carried. Sugar sacks, for example, were much finer in weave. By 1914, sacks came in 10, 6, 4, 3, 2 and 1 pound sizes, although these sizes varied by manufacturer. President Roosevelt standardized sizes in 1937. A 50 pound feedsack measured 34 x 38 inches. A 100 pound sack measured 39 x 46.
I have been to several flea markets where the vender claims the swatches are actual feedsacks. The paper labels were easily removed from a feedsack and even with older ones the label has often been removed. So how do you know for sure you are buying an authentic feedsack. The weave of the fabric is not a good indicator as fabric like this could also be bought off the bolt as well back then.
The best indicator is a line of holes from the chain stitching that once held the sack together. And if you look at this one, it is not straight at all...in fact, both of these sacks had the most crooked stitching I had ever seen at the top of the sack.
This shows a sample of the chain stitching....
I don't know what I am going to do with these, I really don't see myself cutting them up....we'll have to see. One thing I did notice is the quality and weave of the fabrics used in these sacks. I can say this much, there is no comparison to the high quality $10.00 to $15.00 a yard fabric we find today in the quilt shops. Far from it. And imagine, this free with purchase sack made of fabric made wonderful quilts that are so treasured today by many. All the worries of fading, rotting, not holding up for generations to enjoy don't seem to apply to these feed sacks used by quilters from yesterday....and they were free. I can not help by wonder about the hype around fabrics sold at quilt shops...sorry....but true! If we could purchase our things in feedsacks now a days, I'd never step foot in a quilt shop for fabrics again...I'd shop my local market or feed store.....just sayin'.
Happy Vintage Thingies Thursday everyone!! I hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead filled with love and laughter.