Friday

Hoarder of Feed Sack Cloth!

I think I need a 12 step program I'm a hoarder of feedsack cloth/bags. If you have seen this cloth, or have some you may understand. I really, really want to make some quilts from this fabric, but I can't bring myself to cut it.

Feedsack cloth was produced beginning in the 1800s. The cloth comes as bags and you can still find it in tact. The bags held all sorts of consumer goods such as; sugar, salt, flour, grains, and feed for animals. They became popular to use with the advent of the sewing machine in the 1840s. The sewing machine produced a strong seam that would keep the bags from breaking at the seams as the goods were transported. Each bag is usually about a yard of fabric. After the goods in the bags were used up the consumer could either have the bag refilled or use the fabric to make clothing or quilts. Can you imagine how many farmers went looking for their bags, only to find their wives or daughters wearing or sleeping under them!


Quilts made from this fabric are so comfy and cozy. I only know this because my grandmother used feed sack cloth for her quilts and I loved sleeping under them. As the quilt ages and is washed it becomes softer and softer. There is a line of fabric out today, Aunt Grace, by Judy Rothermel for Marcus Brothers, that takes these patterns from the past and recreates them for our use today. (Since there are people like me that hoard them and you may not find them in the future) The Aunt Grace fabric patterns are generally from the 1930s and 40s. The feed sack cloth can have very subdued, pastel pattern or be very bright, bold and fun. I have about 500 bags that I've collected over the last 15 years. When I lived in Ohio I could find the bags just about everywhere and paid about $3.00 per bag. Since moving to Arizona I hardly ever find them. Recently I've seen them range from about $10 - $14 per bag.

I have this one that is very special. The pattern on the bag is Alice in Wonderland. I imagine that it is worth much more than $14. I haven't taken the time to research what these bags are really worth, especially this one. Since I want them for my own use I imagine that I won't ever entertain selling them. I can't even bring myself to cut them and make quilts --let alone sell them!

I have moved this fabric from home to home for years. You would laugh if you knew how
many boxes they fill. And, I have laughed when movers have asked, "what in the world do you have in all of these boxes?"

It was a difficult decision on which pictures to show you...since they are all so beautiful and I wanted to share them all. If you ever come across any, you should grab it up and take it home immediately. But be careful...since you may become a feedsack hoarder like me.

24 reviews:

Rosebud Collection said...

Wow, they are beautiful..I have to watch myself with art supplies..It is so easy, for me, to get carried away.

Deronda G said...

Hmm, learned something new today. Such pretty patterns on feedsacks. I would help my sister feed her critters if they still did that-just to snitch the feedsacks.

Ashley said...

These fabrics are beautiful! So inspiring!

Maitri Libellule said...

Hello There!

I always love your blog but I just had to stop and comment because I am a great lover of the old feedsack cloth and other vintage fabrics. Your entry was such a delight it made my day! I hope you are having a good one...

Hugs and Blessings,

Maitri

Pink & Green Mama said...

I love vintage fabric. I have quite a bit of a "problem" myself. I think it's in my genes. Love your blog, so glad I found it!

dj said...

Those are wonderful! I understand about not wanting to cut them. I hoard blank notebooks and wont write on the pages!

storybeader said...

they're beautiful! I didn't know they came in such a variety of colors and subjects. Just seen the coffee or grain sacks that are tan!

Great etsy shop, BTW, and love your blog.

alamodestuff said...

Oh, I love those, particularly the first photos! They'd make great bags!

twolefthands said...

I love feed cloth and I have some of Aunt Grace's fabric. I feel the same way about cuttig into a faric that I love.

Maggie said...

The feedsacks are so lovely, but I already have a batik addiction so I need to step away from the feedsacks!

Joan Cromley said...

My mother-in-law was just telling me last week she remembers her clothes being made of feedsacks when she was a kid - I thought she meant burlap at first, until she explained the diffference! The pictures really bring home what she was talking about.

Stormee said...

I had one once, it had a sunflower on it and it was so nice. I used it to make a shirt that sold before I could finish it good. Now I see why. I have some fabrics that I have had for years that I just can't bring myself to cut. I just get them out and restack them and refold them and put them away again. It is hard to cut those favorite fabrics.

RunAliceRun said...

LOL -- I'll cut them for you (maybe)

RunAliceRun said...

I just tagged you - check out my blog!

Lynda Lehmann said...

Well, I guess we all hoard something, lol! My weakness is seashells and rocks. They make pretty HEAVY boxes!

Thanks for sharing this bit of history and your picks of feed sacks. I never knew that they were made in patterns or designs and themes...

Malaysian Fabric Heritage said...

This is really nostalgic. And don't move home too often if you are an obsessive hoarder. Haha!

But these are valuable pieces from the past. They are your memories and your subconscious will cherish these collections forever with that special feeling and meaning only know to you.

Ivy@PaperElixir said...

Thanks for sharing! Being born and raised in Hong Kong, I had no idea that these even exist :) Love the folksy quality of the fabric, I can imagine them as beautiful quilts too (even though I don't quilt :P)!

Melissa said...

Omg, that brought back such memories! I am 50yo, and remember having clothes made from feedsack and floursacks. My mother also used them in her quilt-making. I also remember when cloth flour sacks would have a dish-cloth attached to the bottom as a freebie!
~M

Rachel said...

This is a totally understandable obsession! I love the feel of feedsacks, and I love the 1930s and 40s patterns. You've got some great ones.

Kristine said...

I'm obsessed with the Alice in Wonderland print. How fun!

Angela said...

My favorite quilt is made from old feed sacks! My grandmother was very poor but she made sure that every grandchild got a quilt before she passed away. I cherish it!

Sharkeysday said...

Oooo, I love these! Aren't they great! Talk about the early days of recycling!

{kimmymade} said...

Oh, you are sitting on a goldmine, both from a sewing standpoint and monetary! It would be so much fun for you to post a pic of each and every print you have ... there is so much historical value in your collection, too!

By the way, $10-$14 for a feedsack now is a very good price, as they generally command $15-$38, with some more coveted patterns going for $40-$75. Crazy!

Kim's Crafty Apple said...

SO JEALOUS! Wow those are amazing! I can see why you have to wait for the right thing to make!

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