CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER
CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER

When Burlap Underwear Was Fashionable

From the Mid-1800s Onward, an Ethic of Thrift and Ingenuity Was Woven Into American Clothing

In 1928, when President Calvin Coolidge visited Chicago, the ladies of a Presbyterian church presented him with a set of pajamas made from flour sacks dyed lavender and finished with silk frogs and pearl buttons in appreciation of his program on economy and thrift.

It seems surprising now, but once the use of cloth feed bags for clothing and household items was a part of mainstream rural American culture—related to a long practice of utilizing all resources that is deeply imbued in the American psyche. Resourceful housewives recycled feed bags …

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