What is a Feedsack?


comes from the historic fabrics stacked on the shelves of Granny’s cabin in the woods of northwestern South Carolina. Joining the handmade revolution in an age of wasteful consumerism compels us to tell the story of brilliant packaging, a will to survive and the art that was created beginning nearly a century ago in a time when luxury was unheard of. With meager beginnings as bags of flour, sugar and farm grain, feedsacks were upcycled by generations of resourceful women. Green may be “in” today, but Reduce, Reuse, Recycle is not a new concept.

Bright, optimistic patterns keeping the gloom of the time at bay, now weave a tale of the endurance of human nature – if these fibers could speak. The joy of recreating and revealing new pattern discoveries bring sunshine and hope to our studio everyday.

What is a feedsack?

Once upon a time, storage for things like sugar, flour, feed, cornmeal, etc was all in barrels and tins – the cotton industry wanted a piece of the pie, but because the sewing machine hadn’t come along yet, they couldn’t sew a seam strong enough to hold the contents. Once the sewing machine entered the scene, cotton sacks were used for these staples and were stamped with the name of the company who manufactured them {much like the one above}. One thing led to another and the realization was made that people were recycling the cloth for various uses after the contents had been consumed. Aprons, underclothes, curtains, dresses, quilts and more were already being made with this cloth and so the idea was born to make a removable paper label and use printed fabrics to make the product inside even more desirable and collectible.

Our Daily Feedsack

It has been estimated that there were 20,000 feedsack patterns produced, so we decided it wouldn’t be hard to come up with 365 of them. For 2010, We will be revealing a Daily Feedsack via Twitter @birdmaiden and on our Facebook Page. The first one is from my Granny’s first feedsack dress, while it is the same pattern, she says hers was more of an aqua/turquoise.

Feedsack of the Month Club

Where letterpress stationery and vintage fabric meet in the mail!  3 months // 6 months // 12 months  each month you will receive a vintage fabric inspired letterpress surprise. installations will vary, but will always include some exclusive letterpress goodies based on the feed sacks my granny has collected and sewed with since the depression era. my vision is to carry on their original “reduce, reuse, recycle” spirit, promote their tradition, honor their history and tell their story.

membership will include some historical background of feed sacks, a “club card” and {of course} some eclectic vintage modern stationery. monthly installments will typically arrive between the third and fourth week of every month.

Granny Couture

From our ready-made stationery line, a collection of feedsack-inspired notesets to use as thank yous and everyday notes. These vintage patterns have been brought back via letterpress. Perfect for a gift or thoughtful scribbles to those dear. Folded notes on tree-free cotton paper with recycled grocery bag envelopes. Set of 7 notecards tied with fabric.

Allison BozemanComment