Knickers made from a flour sack
Photograph of a pair of knickers made from a flour sack.
These women’s knickers were made in Tiree from a flour sack in the first quarter of the 20th century. The isolation of the crofting community on Tiree made it necessary to make do with the materials to hand.
The knickers were sewn by machine with flat seams and decorated with hand-made tatting round the legs. The waist may have been elasticated or tightened with a drawstring.
Flour was purchased in 140 lb (65 kg) sacks made from closely woven cotton. The seams would have been unpicked and the material plastered with black soap (‘siaban dubh’) to remove the printing before putting it outside to bleach in the sun. The flour producer’s name, Harter, is still visible.