Vintage Grain Sack

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Vintage Grains Sack

Vintage Grain Sack – perfect fit for a casual decorating style

For the last few years I have seen vintage grains sacks used in home decorating and I really haven’t been too excited about the subject … until recently.  While at High Point Market in April I discovered some great vintage fabric pieces at the booth of a fabric collector (she reminded me of my Grandmother) and now I’m intrigued with the history and the great design possibilities using this antique material.

Vintage Grain Sack Fabric - blue stripe

Vintage Grain Sack Fabric – blue stripe

The neutral colored field combined with all the wonderful accent stripes easily takes grain sack fabric from upholstery, to pillows, to stair runners; embracing a durable, hardworking, natural vibe and the rich texture of this vintage, home crafted fabric. I think causal, coastal style.  I think natural, neutral palette. Grain sacks were made in hemp or linen – two of my all time favorite fabrics.

Vintage Grain Sack Fabric with blue stripe

Vintage Grain Sack Fabric – Blue Stripe

I had arrived at Market early to shop for new Belgian linen and instead I happened upon this great vendor with an extensive collection of vintage hemp grain sack fabric and bags. Eureka! Like the proverbial “kid in a candy store,” I spent the next several hours with a design buddy combing her inventory and selecting my favorites. She had so much to see and it was really difficult to pick my favorites. What a stack of treasures I have for the studio! Lucky me! Some of the grain sacks are perfect for making those super long bolster style pillows, while others pieces will be just right for creating a new throw pillow collection with the causal, coastal feel that I love so much. I also picked up a few of interesting smaller pieces that I knew would be perfect sewn into cute grain sack aprons.

Vintage Grain Sack Fabrics

Stack of Vintage Grain Sack Fabrics

A bit about grain sacks

 

These earthy, primitive grain sack pieces were made in Eastern Europe in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s. Savvy antique dealers are searching European farms today for these vintage fabrics for resale.  Around the turn of the last century farmers grew hemp and linen on their family farms, they retted the plants in the fields to remove the tough outer covering on the stalks, and then they hand wove the hemp and flax fibers into grain sacks. Wheat and other grains were taken to market for milling in these super durable bags. Each farm wove the bags with a special pattern signifying their farm, this helped ensure that the grain bags would be returned to the correct owner once the grains were milled.

 

Vintage Grain Sack Fabric with Monogram

Vintage Grain Sack Fabric with Monogram

I love the rustic quality of grain sack fabrics! Each piece is so unique. The background fabric colors typically range from a bleached white, to warm cream, to wonderful greys, with the occasional find of a warm, flax brown field (all colors I love.) The patterns are typically a stripe in one or two colors with shades of blue, red, gold, or green. The weaves range from dense to medium and vary from a soft to a coarser texture.

Stair Runner in Grain Sack Fabric

Grain Sack Fabric as a stair runner

The width of goods range from 17”-23”. Rolls of vintage yardage are available and would be excellent for making a durable stair runner or a lovely table runner.

 

Napkin in Grain Sack Fabric

Vintage Grain Sack Napkin

 

What to look for
I especially like the finely hand stitched seams on the sacks. Really, the stitching is so fine and amazing! While working with the bags I strive to keep the hand stitched seams intact and avoid adding button holes – I’m trying to maintain the original integrity of the fabric. I think that the hand crafting is a huge part of the grain sack charm and legacy.

Vintage Grain Sack Pillows

Vintage Grain Sack Pillows

As these pieces are vintage and were once used on working farms, there will be wear; that’s all part of the story and the patina. I have tried to select pieces in the best condition for my studio work. I have seen some patches in photos – they do add a certain charm. When selecting grain sack inspect with care so you are fully aware of the condition of each piece.

Feathered-Cottage-Europe2You-Grainsack

Vintage Grain Sack Germany

Vintage Grain Sack Germany

German grain sacks often have the name of the family farm and the date stenciled or monogrammed on the pieces.  These original German sacks are rare and so a bit harder to find.

Favorite Uses

Vintage grain sacks can be made into … anything! The one thing to remember is that you will be working with a narrow piece (17″-23″ wide) so you will have to select and plan accordingly. Vintage grain sack fabric can be sewn together in strips to achieve the wide width needed for a blanket or coverlet.

Vintage Grain Sack - Duvet Cover

Vintage Grain Sack – Duvet Cover

The wider pieces are darling used in upholstery.

Vintage Grain Sack in Upholstery - My French Country Home

Vintage Grain Sack in Upholstery – My French Country Home

Vintage Grain Sack in Upholstery

Vintage Grain Sack in Upholstery

Vintage Grain Sack Bag

Vintage Grain Sack Bag

Dream it and create it. I especially love grain sacks made into a purse or tote bag. Oh, and the extra-large bolster style pillow – so cute on a bed, swing, or sofa.

Vintage Grain Sack Bolster Pillow

Vintage Grain Sack Bolster Pillow

Just a few ideas – Pillows, Bedding, Bags, Upholstery, Stair Runner, Table Runner, Apron, & Lamp Shade.
Check the Vintage section of Feathered Cottage to see our current inventory.  See our Vintage Grain Sack Apron in Blue #1 below.

Vintage Grain Sack Apron - Blue Stripe

Feathered Cottage Vintage Grain Sack Apron – Blue Stripe

Thanks for stopping by and I would love to hear your ideas and stories.

Photos from Pinterest, Etsy & Feathered Cottage.

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January White Sale = Thoughts of Linen

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Linen Fabric - Brown Dress with White Dots

Linen Fabric – Source – Brown Dress with White Dots

Its January white sale time – time for the annual sale after the hectic, holiday rush. Because my mind constantly wanders, white sale thoughts lead me to reflect on the state of my “linen closet” … which in turn takes me directly to my favorite subject – LINEN!
White Sale = Linen Closet = Linen
Friends and family know that I am obsessed with two things – linen and chickens. Guaranteed there will be posts on chicks at some point but for today – I’m all about linen.
Linen, with its natural fibers derived from the flax plant, is a wonder fabric and I think it’s perfect for just about anything and everything; you can use it for furniture, bedding, towels, drapes, luggage, bags, clothing and so much more. (I have all of these things by the way!) Linen is rapidly renewable, durable, moisture absorbing, breathable, and most of all – simply BEAUTIFUL!

Antique French Linen - Trouvais

Antique French Linen – Trouvais

Linen Fabric - Zsazsabellagio

Linen Fabric – Zsazsabellagio

I think people often associate linen with wrinkles. Yes, it can wrinkle. It’s true. Thing is – that doesn’t bother me and serious wrinkles are the extreme not the norm. I sleep with linen sheets, linen pillow cases, and a linen duvet every day. There is a “billowy” look that I love to my bedding and that feels amazing, but it’s not a mass of wrinkles at all.

Feathered Cottage - Organic Linen - Heritage Bedding

Feathered Cottage – Organic Linen – Heritage Bedding

What’s the trick – it’s in the laundry procedures. Wash with mild detergent, line or tumble dry on low heat and… IMMEDIATELY (and this is key) remove from the dryer and spread or fold – voila no wrinkles. Just soft billowy fabric. Fabric that looks so good you are dying to touch it.

Linen Towel

Linen Towel

Feathered Cottage - Tanzania Linen Rugs

Feathered Cottage – Tanzania Linen Rugs

Seriously – I giggle when I get into bed. I love linen sheets that much!!
I thought I would share some of my favorite photos of linen.

In our day to day lives linen is used in so many ways and it always looks inviting, sumptuous, and casually elegant – barefoot elegant.

Sofa - Alex Vervoordt Wabi Inspirations

Sofa – Alex Vervoordt Wabi Inspirations

Linen Drape - SecretMaison

Linen Drape – SecretMaison

Linen Drape - Restoration Hardware

Linen Drape – Restoration Hardware

Linen Top - JulesB

Linen Top – JulesB

Linen Halter Dress - LarimeLoom

Linen Halter Dress – LarimeLoom

Linen Jacket - Shoplet

Linen Jacket – Shoplet

Men's Linen Shirt - Resonances-Tumbler

Men’s Linen Shirt – Resonances-Tumbler

What’s your favorite use for linen?  Hard for me to decide – I like anyway you serve it.

 

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