Grain sacks are here to stay.
You might say so since they first appeared on the scene in the 1800’s! But, I mean in home decor. And for me, especially at Christmas time.
Over recent years moving from a craze to a mainstay, like the white pedestal sink or painted furniture, grain sacks are now part of the home decor vernacular.
The nature of a grain sack is to be long lasting after all. Created from hemp & very thick linen to serve a utilitarian purpose.
Their purpose was to haul grain from a farm to the mill or market.
The distinctive stripes are just that ~ distinctive. Woven into the bags so each could be recognized & returned to the right farmer. Some even have initials.
European grain sacks are thicker than the American sacks. Their nubbiness & dense texture makes them wonderful for pillows, upholstery and other tactile projects.
When choosing one to work with pick tightly woven sacks for best results.
A lovely Etsy shop that specializes in European sacks is The Antique Linen Store operated by Christina. Here are a few of the grain sacks she has in her shop now.
Working with European sacks is wonderful but can be a bit challenging.
I suggest the following:
Cleaning a Grain Sack:
soak your bag over night or longer in the tub in warm water with some mild detergent (remember these have been around awhile!)
- launder it alone on normal cycle with a bit of softener
- tumble dry on low
- remove before fully dry & air dry
- don’t place in direct sunlight as it can unevenly fade the stripe(s)
Crafting and Sewing Grain Sacks
- don’t use your precious fabric scissors ~ too thick.
- think twice, measure thrice & twice again – once you cut it is done!
- Hand sew when you can as the fabric is tough on machines
- use every scrap left from your project to make sachets, ornaments or other small projects
Using Grain Sacks in Decor
Other easy ways to use grain sacks are as a runner, draped over the back of a chair or simply stacked on an open shelf. It will be hard to resist touching them each time you pass by.
A very special way to use grain sacks is to make Christmas Stockings out of them.
Look for sacks with red or green stripes. Red is common, green not so much & the combination even less so.
My grain sack stockings bring Christmas cheer to me each year when I take them out of the bins.
The fabric has withstood the test of time. It is my hope these stockings will do the same & be a special part of Christmas for many generations.
Share with me what makes you the happiest to take out of your Christmas bins.
** Kelly **