Posts Tagged ‘American History’

From the 1800’s to around 1950,  food staples such as flour, sugar, cornmeal, and chicken feed were packaged in tightly woven 50 or 100 pound  cotton sacks.  During the American Great Depression, between 1929 and the late 1930’s, early 1940’s, everything was hard to come by.  Frugal housewives would re-use these cotton sacks and make them into clothing, toys, quilts, curtains, pillowcases, undergarment, and of course, dish towels.  The re-use of flour sack towels became wide spread, and the flour companies took advantage of this trend by printing the sacks with flower prints, pretty borders, and  doll and toy patterns to encourage housewives to buy their brand of flour.  Women would swap and sell the sacks to one another to obtain a particular print or pattern. 

In the mid to late 1950’s,  flour companies began using a cheaper method of  packaging, paper sacks, and with the growth of new prosperity in America, the re-use of flour sack towels  went by the wayside. 

Flour sack towels are making a comeback today.  They are not easy to find but can be purchased in some  dollar stores, drug and hardware stores.  It is a shame that they are not more readily available.  As a kitchen towel, flour sack towels are far superior to a terry dish towel most commonly seen today.  They are lint free, dry quickly, wash beautifully and can be used for a variety of household uses and craft projects.


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