8.18.2009

feedsacks

I spent some time yesterday washing my fabric-related purchases from the weekend. I did not iron anything, however, because it's was 90 degrees in my house! We're finally getting some hot weather here and it actually feels like summer... and then some :)

Here's one of the feedsacks I found at the show. I love the lime green flowers and I think I may have buttons that match them exactly so it's going to be fun to work with. If I can cut it, that is.

bag_outside

You see, this feedsack is still in bag form. In five years of collecting them I've only come across two or three that are still intact and I really have to think about whether I want to cut this. But it does provide a rare opportunity to show you what a feedsack originally looked like.

bag_top

bag_corner

Each sack was made by folding the fabric in half with right sides together and then sewing (with heavy string) along the open side and curving around to the bottom. The sack shown here measures 37" x 21-1/2" so, when opened up, it will be 43" wide. When removed, the braid-like stitching leaves a row of small holes all around the edge. And that's one way to determine whether something is a feedsack —look for that rows of holes.

stitching holes

Here's another one from my collection that's quite small—about the size of a 10-pound bag of flour. It has the same stitching.

small feedbag

stitching detail

Feedsacks also have a unique texture and feel to the cloth. Once you see and handle them enough you can usually spot them pretty easily. And I love how some still have that clean, sweet farm smell—like hay—from the grains they once held. Sometimes that doesn't wash out—I have several feedsacks that, when ironed, release the scent again and again.

7 comments:

Head Bitch in Charge said...

So lovely! It seems so novel now, that something as lowly as the modest grain, was packaged in such beautiful fabric!

arkie said...

I love the old feedsacks and flour sacks from days gone by. My grandmother would make quilts, aprons,bonnets,and dresses for me out of them.

blushing rose said...

OMG! How many do you have, are you collecting them? I love that print, we've had several of them. I got another 300 this weekend that I am working on now. Don't yo just LOVE THEM, the feel of the fabric, the designs ... I can't get enough of them. TTFN ~Marydon

janet said...

Marydon, I think I must have about 50 of them by now. I started out buying them on Ebay, then began finding them at flea markets and antique malls. I'm afraid they were already getting popular at this point because I often had to pass up ones that were just too expensive. Like the Ebay one that sold to a Japanese buyer for $122! I don't think I realized that you sold them.

janet said...

Oh, never mind. I've had your website bookmarked forever - just didn't realize it was you :)

{kimmymade} said...

Great find, Janet!!

Melody said...

What wonderful examples of feedsacks! Ones I find around here are way too expensive. Love the dotted rose sack.