Commodity bags were first used in the nineteenth century when farmers made them to carry grain to and from the mill where it was ground into flour. These early bags were made from coarse un-dyed fabric which was often hand-woven at home. Bags were marked with the farmer’s initials or other identifying characteristics so that their contents would not be mistaken for that of someone else.
The invention of the sewing machine in 1846 ushered in the era of commercially made commodity bags. These bags were generally made of cotton and were white or off-white in color with a printed logo. The first, best-known, and most successful manufacturers of machine-sewn commodity bags whose influence continued well into the mid-twentieth century included:
By the end of the nineteenth century, textile bags became the packaging of choice over wooden barrels and tins for packaging commodities.
Converting Commodity Bags:
Recycling Circa 1940
Exhibition Dates: April 2005 - June 2006
LSU Textile & Costume Museum
140 Human Ecology Building
Department of Textiles, Apparel Design, and Merchandising
College of Agriculture
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Telephone: (225) 578-5992 and 578-2281
Fax (225) 578-2697