How to Spot a Vintage Feed (flour, salt or sugar) Sack

It’s hard to spot the needle holes, but if you look closely,  you can see that this blue and white border print was once a feed sack. 

Well, maybe not feed.  My vintage fabric find was probably a flour, salt or sugar sack–It has the higher-thread count that’s typical of those. 

Cotton Sacks were a great marketing tool in the 1920s, 30s, 40s and 50s.  The company labels were made to disolve.  The chain stitched side and top closing pulled out easily.   The fabrics were meant to be reused by thrifty homemakers in quilts, aprons, clothing, bed linens.

Patterns were offered.  Contests were held. 

Pillow cases were popular  patterns and that’s what I have  here–a pair of pillow cases dating from the 1950s when deep blues and pinks were all the rage. 

For more info on feed sacks and how to date them, check out one of my favorite reference books, The Complete Guide to Vintage Textiles, by Elizabeth Kurella. I first found a copy at my local library, then ordered it from Amazon.   Great book for fabric collectors like me. 

I’m always looking for good reference books, sources and blogs about vintage fabrics.  If you have any favorites, please share.


  1. I have a king size hand quilted blanket with flour and sugar sacks for it’s backing. Says Imperial Sugar and Rodney Milling Co Kansas City MO. It’s in great shape and I would like to get $200 for it.

    • Sounds fabulous. Out of my price-range since I use most my vintage textiles for parts but you should have no trouble sellingi it. You could join Etsy and offer it there. They make e-commerce very easy. Send a photo and I’ll be happy to put it on the blog. I actually have a couple of quilts with very cool backs. Thanks for the comment. You may have inspried a new post C

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