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When they realized women were using their sacks to make clothes for their children, flour mills started using flowered fabric for their sacks. The label was designed to wash out.

1939 Kansas Wheat…

holy fuck that’s the cutest marketing scheme i’ve ever heard of 

‘buy our flour it’s going to make the nicest bread and the sweetest dress!’ 

yes thank you ok sold

There was also a chicken feed company that did this. My great-grandmother used to recycle the chicken feed bags to make dresses for my grandmother. That was also a pretty common practice; you can read about it in the Kit series of the American Girl books.

Okay but think about being a little girl wearing flour-sack dresses because your family can’t afford dress fabrics, and you’re always embarrassed because everyone else knows. And then one day you get to saunter into school showing off your cute little flowery dress. Because a company decided to add something to its product for a reason other than just making money for itself. Isn’t that great?

They made pretty nice clothes, too, as flour sack fabric has to be fine and tightly woven to prevent the flour from working its way through.

When WWII hit, it amped up and it wasn’t just children wearing them.  Apparel fabrics were rationed, but flour sack fabric wasn’t.  Flour companies started competing to see who can make the prettiest, most appealing flour sack flower print.  If you look at some 40s war-era patterns, they have interesting seam lines designed to utilize the narrower fabric widths of sacks instead of bolt yardage.


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