I was always told by my Mom that the very best Tea Towels were old flour sacks. People have recycled old flour sacks like this forever. An embroidery pattern would be stamped onto the cloth and then stitched. Many of the patterns people used were similar to these here -- one for each day of the week showing the different activities of a woman's life. Monday was wash day. Tuesday for ironing. And on through the week.
I have been wanting a set of these to use with our Great Depression school program and I finally got some this fall. Thanks to Mary Zuba for providing an entire week set to the museum so that kids of today will understand the past a little better.
But, of course, tea towels were not the only thing you could do with flour sacks. Over the years I've heard of at least 100 different uses. Sacks were made into everything imagineable including, of course, clothes. Not being the crafty kind of person who could sew up clothes from an old sack to show students, I was also very fortunate this year to get an apron made out of a rice sack. The Buddhist Temple of Southern Alberta is selling these aprons as a fund-raiser.
Now when students visit to learn about the Great Depression or we're discussing the environment and recycling, we have hands-on, interactive items to show them.