In the mid-19th century, heavy canvas or linen feedsacks replaced many barrels and tins and transport of flour, animal feed, and other bulk goods. The invention of the sewing machine patented by Elias Howe in 1846, made these bags practical for repeated use.
Blue Ridge Mountain women took advantage of this source of free fabric and turned the feedsacks or floursacks into dresses, rag dolls, dishrags, or aprons.
My mother made aprons from floursacks. She even created dresses for my sister and me from this fabric. I recall a pretty, pink-flowered dress she made on her peddle sewing machine. I wore it to school. My classmates also had floursack or feedsack clothes.