Sunbonnets and Feed Sacks
Posting pictures of my extensive cotton crop (4 plants) in Guess the Plant the other day, I remembered a couple of sunbonnets and a feed sack I had tucked away.
The pale blue sunbonnet has a brim that buttons on with 5 shell buttons. The fabric is either a crisp cotton or linen. The dark blue flowered sunbonnet has a brim that is stiffened by rows of machine stitching. There are at least two layers of fabric, maybe three. All the stitching on both bonnets is machine-done.
This feed sack is double-woven in a tube. Both layers of warp were woven together for about an inch, to form a closed bottom to the sack. Then the two layers are woven separately to form the tube, meaning that there are no side seams to tear.
The close-up shows that the yarn is a singles, but this is not a balanced plain weave – there are two warp threads lifting together but only one weft – it’s not a basket weave. Checking my weaving pattern books, the only one I can find like it is the “alternating singles” from the 1957 version of Mary Black’s New Key to Weaving.
I love textiles like these – they don’t look like much, but they feel sturdy and soft, and I know they were part of someone’s everyday work life.