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With feed sacks and flour bags, farmwomen took thriftiness to new heights of creativity, transforming the humble bags into dresses, underwear, towels, curtains, quilts, and other household necessities.By the 1940s the bag manufactureres were turning out bags in bright colors and printed designs.Sometime during the late 1800s, fabric bags began to be used for the transport of grains and other staples in the United States.It was easier to transport these products in fabric rather than in wood and metal grain storage containers.
National sewing contests were organized as a way for women to show off their skills, and manufacturers to show off their designs. The dress is made of cotton bag fabric, with an overall design of white flowers on a brown (originally black) ground. The lining is a larger print with blue grapes and red and yellow flowers on a white background. I regret to say neither feed sack quilt is in the books. It won first place and was displayed in a store window in the county seat in SE PA for 3 months.
Themed prints for gardening and kitchens were common, along with hankie and border print feedsacks as well.
Some feedsack prints were designed for specific seasons and months, and there were even prints highlighting different geographic areas.
Life on America's farms in the 1920s and 1930s meant hard work and frugal habits.
Farm families were used to "making do" with what they had, wasting nothing that could be recycled or reused.
Initially farm and food products were shipped in barrels.