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...

Embroidered Flour Sack Towel - Vintage Pyrex Pattern - Lucky In Love - 26
Embroidered Flour Sack Towel - Vintage Pyrex Pattern - Lucky In Love - 26" x 26"
$28.54
End Date: Friday Mar-22-2019 1:29:09 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $28.54
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5 VINTAGE EMBROIDERED FLOUR SACK DISH TOWELS COURTING CHICKENS WEDDING CHICKS
5 VINTAGE EMBROIDERED FLOUR SACK DISH TOWELS COURTING CHICKENS WEDDING CHICKS
$49.99
End Date: Friday Mar-22-2019 5:10:27 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $49.99
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Vintage Feedsack Flour Sack Blue Gray Water Skiing Spear Fishing Boat 40” X 27”
Vintage Feedsack Flour Sack Blue Gray Water Skiing Spear Fishing Boat 40” X 27”
$20.00
End Date: Friday Mar-22-2019 5:57:49 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $27.00
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Vintage Smoky Valley Best Flour Sack Lindsborg Kansas LOGO Paper Pancake Mix
Vintage Smoky Valley Best Flour Sack Lindsborg Kansas LOGO Paper Pancake Mix
$4.99
End Date: Friday Mar-22-2019 6:42:19 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $4.99
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VINTAGE TEAL AND GREEN ABSTRACT FRUIT PRINT FEED OR FLOUR SACK NO LONGER A SACK
VINTAGE TEAL AND GREEN ABSTRACT FRUIT PRINT FEED OR FLOUR SACK NO LONGER A SACK
$7.95
End Date: Friday Mar-22-2019 7:07:35 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $7.95
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lot of 10  Vintage FLOUR SACK  Paper Bag 25 lbs Checker Brand South Bend Indiana
lot of 10 Vintage FLOUR SACK Paper Bag 25 lbs Checker Brand South Bend Indiana
$29.99
End Date: Friday Mar-22-2019 7:28:22 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $29.99
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Unused Vtg Kitchen Grain Mill Advertising Western King Indian FLOUR SACK -
Unused Vtg Kitchen Grain Mill Advertising Western King Indian FLOUR SACK -
$10.00
End Date: Friday Mar-22-2019 8:12:38 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $10.00
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MINIATURE Gold Medal FLOUR SACKS Bags for COUNTRY STORE Dollhouse SET of 3 VTG
MINIATURE Gold Medal FLOUR SACKS Bags for COUNTRY STORE Dollhouse SET of 3 VTG
$14.95
End Date: Friday Mar-22-2019 8:26:45 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $14.95
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VTG Cotton Feedsack Green Pink Shabby Chic Rose Feed Flour Sack Fabric 16
VTG Cotton Feedsack Green Pink Shabby Chic Rose Feed Flour Sack Fabric 16"x 27"
$6.50
End Date: Friday Mar-22-2019 8:33:19 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $6.50
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VTG Cotton Feedsack Green Pink Shabby Chic Rose Feed Flour Sack Fabric 14
VTG Cotton Feedsack Green Pink Shabby Chic Rose Feed Flour Sack Fabric 14"x 26"
$6.25
End Date: Friday Mar-22-2019 8:36:39 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $6.25
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Vintage Linen Hanging 1983 Calendar Flour Sack Dish  Towel Strawberries Basket
Vintage Linen Hanging 1983 Calendar Flour Sack Dish Towel Strawberries Basket
$4.49
End Date: Friday Mar-22-2019 8:58:52 PDT
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Hawaiian Kitchen Towel Set Flour Sack Cotton Vintage Style Tea Towel Dish Cloth
Hawaiian Kitchen Towel Set Flour Sack Cotton Vintage Style Tea Towel Dish Cloth
$21.82
End Date: Friday Mar-22-2019 9:18:34 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $21.82
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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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