“Grain sacks” you ask?
Yes! If you’re not familiar with this vintage or antique “fabric”, take a look here.
Grain sacks, according to The Textile Trunk, would “have been used throughout
Europe to transport and store grain, flour and other agricultural products.”
First, let’s take a look at some vintage pieces:
These were, of course, “fait main” (hand made) and were certainly made to last.
Some of them have been around for well over a hundred years, and that includes years
of heavy use. They did actually hold and haul grain. The different stripes, colors and
initials were used to identify the owner so that after the grain was taken to the mill to
be ground, each sack was easily identifiable.
On the other hand, here is one that looks like a ‘grain’ sack, and is a sack, but is
actually a pillow sack found in a dowry chest in Eastern Europe.
The grain sack look is everywhere now, from antique dealers to contemporary catalogues. Here from Pottery Barn:
Love this bag:
And from Ballard Designs:
Bonnie Kielty Neiman has an antique business in Summit, New Jersey and also on
line. She had years of experience searching for textiles with her mother and
grandmother, then began importing antiques, including textiles, when she started her
design business. She calls it “the thrill of the hunt”! Here are just a few things from her
For a look at someone totally devoted to grain sacks, German grain sacks to be
more specific, take a look at these from Stephanie Lloyd:
Stephanie is totally devoted to grain sacks…This post conveys her excitement at a new
delivery of them. She sells retail in both Troy and Hudson, New York.
From browsing the web, and Googling “Grain Sack” I’ve found some other
sources. But believe me, there are hundreds! But it seems that some of the large
antique fairs are a great source for these grain sacks and pillows and furniture made
with them. Among them are:
And here you can find directions for making a pillow from a grain sack.
How about this fabulous ottoman, made with a hand painted grainsack! What a fun idea:
I’m off tomorrow to Sturbridge to the Vintage Antique Textile Show… and then on Tuesday to Brimfield. I’ll be reporting back with LOTS of pictures!