Composition Girl in Flour Sack Dress

Name: 1930s Composition Girl in Flour Sack Dress

Made by and When: Unknown maker, 1930s

Material: Composition with unjointed neck; jointed arms, and legs

Marks: None

Height: 14 inches

Hair, Eyes, Mouth: Black sculpted hair, brown painted eyes, closed mouth

Clothes: Redressed as illustrated in a dress made from flour sack material with attached white panties that is worn with yellowed knit socks and yellowed lace-up vinyl shoes.

Other: By the late 1800s, it was common place for women to repurpose feed and flour sacks made by textile mills of strong, inexpensive cotton to make clothes for themselves and their family members. This practice was also done with doll clothes.

According to an article titled, “Vintage Feed Sack and Flour Sack Fabric,” published on the Collector’s Weekly website, “Farmer’s wives took advantage of this new source of essentially free fabric by turning the empty cotton sacks into everything from dishrags to dresses. Some feed companies, alerted to this reuse of their bags, began to print their sacks in gaily colored patterns—since it usually took more than one bag to make a dress, the idea was to give the farmer an incentive to keep buying their products.” Read more here.

Some composition dolls were sold wearing a diaper only for the “little mama” to dress. This doll might have been sold that way; or after being separated from its original clothes, an adult collector or mother of the child who owned the doll might have made the dress from a brightly colored flour sack.

Gallery

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Published by DeeBeeGee

Doll collector, historian, co-founder of the first e-zine devoted to collecting black dolls; author of black-doll reference books, doll blogs, and doll magazine articles.

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