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Friday, July 22, 2016

Women In Flour Sacks - Bringing Color To Their Lives

My parents were born in 1923, and though my father was an only child, my mother was one of eight.

Heading into the Great Depression, she was never going to have the opportunities that my father had and my grandmother had to be overly creative just to put food on the table once or twice a day.

It was an incredible hardship, but then there was the additional challenge of keeping everyone clothed, particularly active children. In my mother's family, everything was used until it was deemed "thread bare." 

With little funds from my grandfather's carpentry, flour was purchased in bags of cloth. This fabric was heavy, durable, and built to last, as it first had to protect the food stuffs it carried. 

To prove this point, my mother made towels for drying dishes out of white flour sacks during the early 40s. I was still using those same towels in the 70s after years of washing and bleaching. 

As a child growing up in the 50s and 60s, I never wore a dress made of flour sacks. The stigma of having endured the Depression weighed heavily on most people who lived during that era. No child of theirs was going to live the same way.

In the Old Photo Archive at the link below, please enjoy the short history and photos regarding flour sack usage. This generation became the ultimate modern day recyclers, and flour sacks were just one way to bring color into a time of challenge.

(image above - I recall this pattern
as my mother made a tablecloth
from it.)

(The Fascinating History of Flour Sack Dresses, Old Photo Archive,, July 22, 2016)

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