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Thread: How to ID authentic feed sack?

  1. #1
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    How to ID authentic feed sack?

    I came across some fabric at an estate sale that was labeled "feed sack fabric". I passed it up because I couldn't tell if it was reproduction or authentic! The edges had a "finished" look, however there was no printing along the " salvages". The weave felt a bit coarse and the colors were pretty, but muted. For future reference, is there a good method to determine authenticity?

  2. #2
    Super Member NikkiLu's Avatar
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    My "authentic" feed sack quilts - from my mother-in-law - the fabric was a lot coarse. Don't know about any printing along the selvages though. She raised 10 kids - five boys and five girls and she sewed all of their clothes except the boy's overalls. She made the girls dresses out of the printed feed sacks, their slips out of the white feed sacks and the boys got a smaller print or plaid for their shirts. My DH - the youngest - said that the girls would have to go to town with their dad on a wagon or later, on a truck, to the feedstore so that they could pick out the prints that they wanted the feed to be put into so that their mother could make them clothes. Kind of like going to a fabric store!!!!!
    Nikki in MO

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    I read somewhere that the sacks that held flour and sugar were more tightly woven than the ones that held feed, so you couldn't always tell by that. If you find an edge with the holes where the thread holding the sides together was taken out, that would be a big help. I'm like you. I often find fabric labeled feed sacks and think it's as much hopeful thinking and a marketing ploy as anything. There are lots of vintage fabrics still around that weren't from feed sacks. Not much help, am I? Bottom line is, I wouldn't pay extra for feed sack that can't be authenticated, but wouldn't hesitate to take it if the price was right. Either way, nice vintage fabric is hard to find.

  4. #4
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
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    I think it is really tough to tell for sure that a fabric is from a feedsack if you cannot see the holes. However, there ar resource books with many pictures of prints used at the time in feedsacking. Although by no means are the samples exhaustive of the many prints made at the time, the research is fun!

  5. #5
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    If you are looking for authentic feed sacks that can be difficult to determine.
    On the other hand if you are wanting vintage fabric, that is easier to find. Most likely it will be 36" wide and as mentioned has nothing on the selvedges.
    Good luck on your search!

  6. #6
    Junior Member roguequilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daylesewblessed View Post
    I think it is really tough to tell for sure that a fabric is from a feedsack if you cannot see the holes. However, there ar resource books with many pictures of prints used at the time in feedsacking. Although by no means are the samples exhaustive of the many prints made at the time, the research is fun!
    i agree with you daylesewblessed. i started collecting feedsack fabric because i was finding boxes of it at estate auctions for .50 cents or dollar or so per small box. i loved the colors. so started looking for them. over the years i have accumulated a LOT. the holes in the fabric are the best way, even if partial sack. i have many that still have the stitching. some scraps if not sure, i look in my collection and match print and texture. but usually the new reproduction "feed sack" fabric is not the right texture. they were stitched w string, ergo, large stitch holes. i also have many also, that are a fine weave & much smaller than usual. then found a few that were fine weave but instead of floral prints, they were the plain w printing. they were for "super fine sugar". while living in pennsylvania, my son and i went to an "estate sale". met the most delightfull elderly woman, who was selling her life long treasures. it was her "estate" & she was downsizing ). we perused her offerings, asking questions about this or that. i found some pillow cases w border prints. the floral designs i recognised and mentioned i had some feed sacks w this pattern. she told me that the pillow cases were feedsacks. she told me that the feed companies had towards the end, started making several different items to attract the thrifty house wife's interest. so there are several sizes of feed sacks to look for, as well as texture. and there is no printed selvedge.
    the rogue quilter - in from wandering in the sun and snow with camera in hand.

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