It can be difficult to determine whether or not fabric, a garment, or a household textile is of commodity bag origin. Because some fabric sold to commodity bag manufacturers to make bags was also sold to retail stores for sale off-the-bolt to customers, judging by fabric texture or print alone is inaccurate.
Isolating evidence of the original bag on an item usually takes one of two forms. The first is identifying portions of the original label, particularly if it was inked. Regardless of the number of times washed, many inked labels never completely faded, one reason quilt backing and undergarments were common products sewn from fabric that still had portions of the labels remaining. The second is locating stitch holes from where the thick stitching string sewing the bag together was removed. Often times, seamstresses could cut around these holes or repeated washings would minimize their appearance. Locations where stitch holes are commonly seen include portions of the textile that were cut near the selvages of the commodity bag fabric, often found incorporated in garment seam allowances.
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