We love our vintage feedsacks at l’uccello and we endeavour to use them in our quilts and projects whenever we can.
Our touching stars quilt uses them and we also recommend them for use in our patterns by Sandra Boyle and Christine Vlasic.
The history of how feedsacks came to be used is very interesting and it’s firmly routed in the make do and mend ethos that was a part of life in the early 1900’s. At first feedsacks where printed with a company logo but after some time around the mid 1920’s flour sack manufactures realised how popular these sacks had beome with women and saw an opportunity for promoting their brands. Around 1925 colorful prints for making dresses, aprons, shirts and children’s clothing began to appear in stores. Printed feedsacks had become a way for women to provide clothing and bed coverings for their family not just during the depression years but also well after World War II.
By the late 1930s there was heated competition to produce the most attractive and desirable prints with artists hired to design them. This turned out to be a great marketing ploy as women picked out flour, sugar, beans, rice, cornmeal and even the feed and fertilizer for the family farm based on which fabrics they desired. Some sacks displayed lovely border prints for pillowcases other popular designs featured scenic prints. Manufacturers even made pre-printed patterns for dolls, stuffed animals, appliqué and quilt blocks.
The best way to identify feedsack fabric is a a line of holes from the chain stitching that once held the sack together. These distinctive fabrics still hold a special place for us, they continue to delight and will add a nostalgic, beautiful and unique detail to any of your quilting and craft projects.