Texas Tech University

Cotton and Thrift: Feed Sacks and the Fabric of American Households

June 25-Dec. 15, 2019

Belgium Quilt

This exhibit will showcase the almost 6,000 examples of printed cotton sacks, likely the largest at a public institution, in the collection of the Museum of Texas Tech University.  This "free fabric" that held flour, sugar, chicken feed and other household staples was important to those during the difficult times of the early 20th century.  In the 1930s in an effort to fight off the competition from paper sacks, the cotton manufacturers printed their bags with pretty prints.  From this fabric Americans made clothing, quilts, curtains and toys.  Many remember going with their parents to select the bags with their favorite fabrics.  The exhibit will feature swatches, embroidered pieces, quilts, clothing and other household items made from cotton sacks and accompanies a book published by Texas Tech University Press of the same name.