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Monday, July 3, 2017

Feed Sacks: The Colorful History of a Frugal Fabric by Linzee Kull McCray

I have been a fabric person all my life.  In fact, when I was in a fabric store buying this book, I was unable to keep my attention on the task at hand, which was to buy this book.  The fabric was so distracting.  That said, I really knew very little about the history of printed fabric used to package goods before reading this wonderful book, which is a compendium of feed sacks as a reflection the culture of rural America in the first half of the 20th century.  The circumstances that farmers lived along with the sheer volume of goods that they brought onto large farms was something I knew little about, and I was surprised that a book on fabric would teach me all of that, but it did.  The book has dozens of clippings from newspapers, industry magazines (one hilariously entitled Bagology), advertisements, and clothing patterns (yes, there were patterns with layouts that echoed feed sack sizes), which are fascinating windows into another time.
The fabric associated with feed sacks were unbelievably varied.  The fact that it took about four 100 lb. feed sacks to make a dress, and there were hundreds of patterns makes getting 4 the same kind of a feat.  The book is full of photos throughout, and the last section has hundreds of pictures of different fabrics.  So this is a coffee table book for those amongst us who cannot resist fabric.  Do not miss this!

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