If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may have noticed I kinda like grain sacks. I know some people are so over them and it’s not every one’s “thing”, but it’s my thing. I love the look. I love the idea of repurposing something that was used in a utilitarian way years and years ago. I love that they were patched and monogrammed and dated and lasted all of these years. They capture so many things I like about antiques and I can’t ever imagine growing weary of them.
If you’re interested in putting a toe into the world of grain sacks, here are some things you should know.
The cost of grain sacks vary greatly depending on condition, origin, fabric, colors…lots of things. American grains sacks tend to be the least expensive and most readily available here in the US (for obvious reasons.) I have found thin cotton ones (muslin, I think) and thick cotton ones (I very rarely buy the burlap ones.) The thin ones are generally more graphic and the graphics are dyed into the fabric. The downside to these is that when you wash them, the dye fades and sometimes runs off entirely…especially red. You can end up with a full load of blank, pink, muslin sacks. Trust me on that one. Not all of them run, so you are taking a gamble on these if you need to throw them in the wash, which you usually do. They were grain sacks, after all.
The thicker ones (like Bemis Seamless) tend to have graphics that are printed on and stripes that are integrated, so bleeding is not an issue when laundering. They are a good weight for upholstery and pillows.