Older sacks were reused by frugal wives of years gone by. The cotton bags were soaked in harsh lye solutions to remove the printed labels and the fabric was ready to use for more humble applications. In the 1920s the bags began to appear with allover patterns as a result of their popularity for using after holding animal feed. The Great Depression created the first feed sack trend and our current recession has brought the modest bag full circle.
The latest incarnation of the trend involves real or fake French feed sacks and American ones. both evoking different styles. The American sacks are often more colorful and kitschy. The French are more, well, just French. The other main difference lies in the price. Generally the French sacks, real or faux, command a premium price. You see them in many different settings, from rustic looking pillows to upholstery on an industrial design chair. Their American cousins are far more cheerful looking and lend themselves to retro and country style décor. Both are are often juxtaposed against an item of more refined style perhaps underscoring the irony of this often pricey trend.
I love this one from Pink Pig in Westport N.Y. Many thanks to Pink Pig for the use of the lovely photos here and in my article for Examiner.com
Also check out the fabulous feedsack chic article at Cote De Texas with lots of yummy photos from Olivine in Houston.