Category Archives: Sack Dress

Rural American Vintage: The Sack Dress

Photo by Russell Lee, Library of Congress

In generations past in rural America, people were very creative in finding a practical use for almost everything.  One of the best examples of this is the sack dress.

Photo by Russell Lee, Library of Congress

At the time, flour, corn meal, coffee, sugar, salt and animal feed were packaged in cotton printed sacks.  Most rural women would use the fabric from the sacks to make a sack dress. Other items made using the sack material were blouses, skirts, boys’ & men’s shirts, pillow cases, aprons, table cloths and other clothing and household linens.

Photo by Marion Post Wolcott, Library of Congress

The clothing worn by women, men and children in photographs of rural America from the beginning of the 20th century through the early 1960s contain wonderful examples of sack dresses and other clothing made from sacks.

Photo by Jack Delano, Library of Congress

Today, many pieces of homemade vintage clothing can trace their roots to the humble sacks for flour, sugar or animal feed.

Photo by Russell Lee, Library of Congress


Photo by Russell Lee Library of Congress


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Filed under Dresses, Sack Dress