Handmade Flour Sack Shirt - Leafcutter Designs

MADE BY LEA

Cotton Flour Sack Clothes

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The history of cotton flour sacks is a story of thrift and creative re-use. Up until the 1930s, when paper sacks came into use (boring!), people purchased their flour in sewn cotton sacks. How cool? The stylish shirt below is one that I made by hand from vintage flour sacks I found on eBay.

Handmade Flour Sack Shirt

The flour producers would print flowers and other patterns on the sacks as a loyalty program to encourage customers to buy their brand. Housewives would soak off the paper labels and save the fabric to make clothes (including super soft underwear), curtains, and pillowcases. Some sacks even arrived with doll or toy patterns printed on them so they could be turned into stuffed playthings for the kiddos once the flour was gone. Check out these vintage flour sacks to get a feel for this long gone form of creative marketing.

flour-sack-examples

dollsack

Want to pick up a few vintage sacks of your own? Or start collecting with an eye towards making your own flour sack duds?

These live eBay auctions will get you started...

Vintage Flour Sack /Cotton Block Multi Color Square Pattern Quilt Top 72
Vintage Flour Sack /Cotton Block Multi Color Square Pattern Quilt Top 72" x 85"
$49.99
End Date: Friday Jan-18-2019 12:19:15 PST
Buy It Now for only: $100.00
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Vintage Smoky Valley Best Whole Wheat Flour Sack Lindsborg Ks Mill LOGO Paper
Vintage Smoky Valley Best Whole Wheat Flour Sack Lindsborg Ks Mill LOGO Paper
$4.99
End Date: Friday Jan-18-2019 12:19:46 PST
Buy It Now for only: $4.99
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7 BIG  Plain Vintage Feedsack Tea Towel Flour Sack For Embroidery Days Week Lot
7 BIG Plain Vintage Feedsack Tea Towel Flour Sack For Embroidery Days Week Lot
$40.00
End Date: Friday Jan-18-2019 12:25:20 PST
Buy It Now for only: $40.00
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Vintage Flour Sack /Cotton Crazy Quilt Top 65
Vintage Flour Sack /Cotton Crazy Quilt Top 65" x 86"
$24.99
End Date: Friday Jan-18-2019 12:33:42 PST
Buy It Now for only: $50.00
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Vintage Handmade Quilt Top Flour Sack Classic Nine Pattern 69
Vintage Handmade Quilt Top Flour Sack Classic Nine Pattern 69" x 84"
$20.00
End Date: Friday Jan-18-2019 13:29:01 PST
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Art Print~PILLSBURY'S BEST~Flour Sack Sail/Barrel Boat W/2 Black Boys Repro 9x11
Art Print~PILLSBURY'S BEST~Flour Sack Sail/Barrel Boat W/2 Black Boys Repro 9x11
$9.99
End Date: Friday Jan-18-2019 13:36:06 PST
Buy It Now for only: $9.99
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Vintage Gardenia El Nervion, S A Flour Sack 44Kilos Unused
Vintage Gardenia El Nervion, S A Flour Sack 44Kilos Unused
$10.00
End Date: Friday Jan-18-2019 13:53:08 PST
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BEST 56 Vintage Novelty Feedsack Fabric Quilt 1940s Scraps Flour Sack Remnants
BEST 56 Vintage Novelty Feedsack Fabric Quilt 1940s Scraps Flour Sack Remnants
$9.99
End Date: Friday Jan-18-2019 14:10:36 PST
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BEST 40 Vintage Novelty Feedsack Fabric Quilt  Scraps Quilting Flour Sack 1940s
BEST 40 Vintage Novelty Feedsack Fabric Quilt Scraps Quilting Flour Sack 1940s
$9.99
End Date: Friday Jan-18-2019 14:12:12 PST
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3 Vintage Flour Sack Linen Kitchen Hand Tea Towel Embroidered Puppies Dogs Fruit
3 Vintage Flour Sack Linen Kitchen Hand Tea Towel Embroidered Puppies Dogs Fruit
$7.99
End Date: Friday Jan-18-2019 14:20:35 PST
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2 Vintage Flour Sack Linen Kitchen Hand Tea Towel Embroidered Vegetables
2 Vintage Flour Sack Linen Kitchen Hand Tea Towel Embroidered Vegetables
$5.99
End Date: Friday Jan-18-2019 14:29:04 PST
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2 Vintage Flour Sack Linen Kitchen Hand Tea Towel Embroidered Tomatoes Peppers
2 Vintage Flour Sack Linen Kitchen Hand Tea Towel Embroidered Tomatoes Peppers
$5.99
End Date: Friday Jan-18-2019 14:39:38 PST
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Lea Redmond is always looking for the poem hiding inside things: a salt shaker, a clothes tag, a hand gesture, a cloud. She is infinitely intrigued by the way experiences can slip from the ordinary to the extraordinary and she endeavors to design things that hold this possibility. Leafcutter Designs, her creative studio in Berkeley, CA, makes the world more playful and peaceful one little experience at a time.

1 Comment

  1. Bonnie

    March 13, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Oh man, back when you needed to buy a large quantity of flour because all of the bread was home made! Wish they still packaged in cloth, I used to get my rice in cotton sacks just for the cloth, now I’m lucky to find burlap, which is good for other stuff. Never knew about the dolls or printed toys, what a fabulous idea, packaging that is useful instead of landfill. It so has to change!

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