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Feedsack Secrets: Fashion from Hard Times Paperback – February 2, 2010


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Frequently Bought Together

Feedsack Secrets: Fashion from Hard Times + Vintage Feed Sacks: Fabric from the Farm (Schiffer Books) + Dating Fabrics - A Color Guide: 1800-1960
Price for all three: $60.51

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Kansas City Star Books (February 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935362313
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935362319
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #538,002 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gloria Nixon and her husband Roger live in the Flint Hills of rural Wabaunsee County, Kansas. They enjoy attending local farm auctions where Roger searches for woodworking tools and Gloria keeps an eye open for a feedsack or two. That's how she found her first dress print bags some ten years ago. She also collects Kansas City Star patterns and old quilt ephemera. Gloria is a quilt history researcher who especially enjoys studying individuals and the contribution each made to quilt history. She is a member of the American Quilt Study Group (AQSG), the Iowa Illinois Quilt Study Group (IIQSG) and the Feedsack Memories discussion group. Her articles appear in Pieces of Time: A Quilt and Textile History Magazine. This is her first book with The Kansas City Star.

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Customer Reviews

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It will stay in my reference library for a long long time.
Jenny
This book will help people to understand the importance of the feed sack.
docslady1
If you are a "Feedsack-aholic" like I am, you will enjoy this book!
Mary Bess

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Charlie Mac on May 17, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anyone interested in the art of quilting should plan on purchasing this book. It really drives home that we have not always had beautiful stores where all the fabric is color coordinated to visit. Our ancestors made do with what they had. This is an important text for followers of women's studies AND quilters alike.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Mary Bess on May 18, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are a "Feedsack-aholic" like I am, you will enjoy this book! I am a quilter and actually have a collection of feedsacks, but I never really knew the history behind them, other than the fact that previous generations used them a lot to make clothing and household items. This author goes into historical detail more than other books I have read on the subject. A bit pricey, but the old pictures as well as the color photos of fabrics are great!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By MLSchoenfeld on April 27, 2014
Format: Paperback
Quilters: Do you like the cheerful, colorful novelty prints of the depression era? Do you wonder why they're called "feedsack" prints? The story of feedsack cloth is told in such a fun and colorful way that it'll make you into a textile historian in no time. The book traces the origins and development of a marketing idea that made cloth bags appeal to ladies for more than just their contents. Why buy ordinary flour, when there's a brand that comes with a colorful fabric sack that can be reused for aprons or kitchen curtains?

Pure marketing genius! Feedsacks are an important chapter in American history. They clothed a nation that had fallen on hard times.

I found it a bit difficult to read the sans serif font overlaid on the feedsack textured background. Other than that, the format of the book is charming. It's a small (8.5" wide x 6" tall) colorful coffee table type book that invites flipping. There are many (small) illustrations from old advertising to go along with the text. Some of the advertisements are from trade publications, speaking to shopkeepers about the appeal of colorful cloth-bound merchandise to consumers. Many interesting stories and newspaper clippings accompany photos that track the development of these colorful textiles over the decades. More than anything else, this book emphasizes the MARKETING of feedsacks to consumers, so not much of the book is devoted to showing the many colorful prints.

The feedsack craze continued into the 1950s. One small section shows a marketing stunt--making dresses for chickens from feedsack fabric. Some bags were designed as fully hemmed tablecloths, others to be cut into the shape of an apron and embroidered. Some bags were printed with dolls and toy animals that could be cut out, sewn and stuffed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kumiko!?! on July 6, 2013
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Do you collect 30's fabric? Ever wonder why they made patterned bags in the first place? This book tells you! Granted, there are not a lot of fabric patterns to view, but the history is just as interesting! Lots of other pictures, too!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Bartels on January 25, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. I learned quite a bit about history and feed sacks. I liked it so much I bought an e-copy for my e-reader!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 11, 2014
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I think I was born in the wrong generation - I was a little too late for the feedsack explosion, but I seem to be making up for lost time in my old age.

The prints on the old feed sacks were so fresh and cheery - no wonder women collected them to make things for their homes, or to make garments. And the scraps ended up in quilts - beautiful, distinctive quilts that you can spot from a mile away.

The book doesn't have as many scans of the actual prints as I'd have liked to see - for instance, the wide border on the pages is repeated many times, instead of making each page border a different print. I enjoyed the section on the dolls, but I would have liked more examples of the dolls shown. We still have this type of doll and stuffed animal and many other items available to us as panels, today.

Loved reading the history, but the pictures are the best part. The vintage ads promoting frugality show how much our culture has changed to a "disposable" mind set. We don't even sew a button on a shirt, any more - we just buy a new shirt. We don't darn socks or mend tears or re-sew unsewn seams. This focus on frugality and making do is foreign to us, but not to our mothers and grandmothers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Violet Louise Vaughnes on July 14, 2012
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I am a collector of feedsacks and wanted this book as a source of additional info. It did not disappoint. I have several other books on the subject, but this one has info others didn't.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By docslady1 on May 28, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I ran through this book, I have feed sacks, absolutely love them. This book will help people to understand the importance of the feed sack.What a wonderful time period that was.
I guilt, and love that, I have alot of beautiful feed sacks, But!! I can't bring myself to cut them. They should be in a museum.Thankyou Amazon...
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