18 August 2014

Flour sack clothing

"When they realized women were using their sacks to make clothes for their children, flour mills of the 30s started using flowered fabric for their sacks, 1939"  Via Earthly Mission.
I found the following photo at Living History Farm:


And this image via Jennifer Lewis:


  1. I cherish three quilts I got from my mother-in-law that was made by her mother from flour sacks. She can look at the different fabrics and tell me about the clothes she and her sisters wore made of that same fabric.

  2. I have some flour sacks but they are too cool to cut up - they have logos, etc. my aunt and uncle used them as pillow cases in their rooming house.


  3. My mother's childhood pajamas and underwear were sewn by her grandmother from flour sacks. This would have been in the 1950's, and at that time apparently, the sacks were only printed with pretty patterns on one side. The other was plain, unbleached cotton and bore the name of the brand and the weight of the goods. This necessitated a good scrubbing of the material, so that my mother didn't go out into the world with "10 lb Enriched" written across her bottom.

    This was also an ingenious marketing maneuver. Usually, it took more than one sack to make a garment. Consequently, a woman would insist upon sticking with the same brand (or buy more than she needed all at once) in order to guarantee enough yardage to make whatever was desired.

  4. Unless I am mistaken, flour sack clothing (and dish towels) predate the 1930's by several decades. My aunt (my father's sister, older by at least a decade, and born circa WWI) was born in a sod hut in South Dakota, and my Grandmother used the fabric from flour sacks as the basis for wherever she needed fabric. I also seem to remember flour sacks coming with the pattern already printed onto the cloth.

  5. My dad used to tell of the days when he worked in a grocery store, women with limited English would ask if he had any "sacks of empty flour"?

  6. My mom sewed those for me in the 60's!
    I used to whine endlessly about how scratchy that fabric was.
    NOT exactly the good old days;!

  7. Behind on reading and ran across this story--the flowered sacks were also used for chicken feed (at least in Oklahoma) when I was a little girl in the late 50's. My grandmother kept chickens and made me several dresses out of the fabric. I remember seeing smaller fabric flour sacks, 25 pounds, I think, in the early eighties in a local grocery store in Tehachapi, CA. ( I also saw Jack Palance there one time!)


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