Making use of plentiful, beautiful fall leaves, the Wilton Historical Society is offering a stencil workshop for children ages 6 – 12 on Saturday, October 1 from 11:00 – 12:30. The children will use fabric paint, a brayer and fall leaves to stencil autumnal patterns on cotton dish towels made of flour sack cloth.
While they are busy with their paints and leaves, they will learn about how thrifty New England families were the original recyclers, re-using feedsacks and flour sacks for everything from dishrags to dresses. Kids help make their snack – cookies in the shape of leaves.
Wilton Historical Society Members $10 per child, maximum $25 per family; Non-members $15 per child, maximum $35 per family. Please register: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 203-762-7257. Wilton Historical Society, 224 Danbury Road, Wilton, CT 06897
Did you know?
While clothing and quilts made from feed sacks bring to mind images of the hardship and frugality that characterized the Great Depression, in fact, feed sacks became popular as sewing material because of clever marketing on the part of feed and flour sack manufacturers.
Cotton sacks for storing and selling goods gradually replaced wooden barrels and metal tins between 1840 and 1890 because they were less expensive and easier to transport. Initially, these feed sacks (or “feed bags”) were made from heavy canvas, which farmers stamped with their brands and then reused. This changed in the late 1890s, when the textile mills of New England began weaving inexpensive cotton fabric for feed sacks. Women quickly recognized that these new cotton feed sacks could be reused as linens, towels and quilting material.
Once the feed sack manufacturers realized that women were reusing the cotton sacks as sewing material (and that women were starting to do most of the shopping), they saw an opportunity to promote their products by packaging them in colorful sacks. Around 1925, colorful prints for making dresses, aprons, shirts, and children’s clothing began to appear in stores. By the late 1930s, there were heated competitions between manufacturers to produce the most attractive designs. Manufacturers hired artists to design the prints, and some sacks even had preprinted patterns for appliqué and quilt squares. -- From the Southeast Ohio History Center
If you are intrigued about flour sacks, you may wish to check out the FlourWorld Museum in WIttenburg, Germany at www.flour-art-museum.de/english/collection/index.html, plus the Gallery of Flour Sacks in Ahrensburg at www.art-and-flour.de/english/museum.html.