Antique Linen Christmas Stocking - perfect for holding lots of Christmas surprises
*** This stocking would be a beautiful addition to your Christmas décor. ***
Perfect for holding many Christmas surprises:
- Generously sized at about 19" high by 10" wide at the toe
- Sturdy grain sack loop for secure hanging with hand sewn patch
- Plain linen lining and back
This stocking is made from antique, handwoven German grain sack linen. The ruffles are also fashioned from antique, handwoven linen. The hanging loop is made from an antique grain sack tie, and the top is finished with a hand sewn patch. The back of the stocking and the inner lining are made with a linen fabric.
The antique grain sack linen is 90 - 140 years old and made from flax and hemp, grown by European farmers who wove the material by hand. The stripe patterns were woven in to identify the farmer's grain sacks when they took their grain to the local mill. Women weavers spent their evenings weaving this amazing linen. It took about one night to weave a 24-inch length of linen approximately 20 inches wide.
The grain sacks were then sewn together and stenciled or hand painted, often with beautiful tar-based ink. Farmers as well as others apply symbols of their work for identification on these sacks. The symbols might include farm implements, such as a rake or an animal in the case of a farmer, or even a boot indicating the owner was a shoemaker. Mostly the wealthy were able to afford such embellishments.
The sacks were always numbered. On one of my trips to Germany I met with two experts on these sacks. They said that the number on these sacks was always sequential and needed for tax collection. I have a picture of a tax official weighing and recording the content and weight of the sacks. Even then, the state would always collect their due! Earlier sacks almost never featured a number over 10, as farms were mainly smaller. The sacks were always considered precious and were often handed down from generation to generation.
THESE SACKS ARE VERY RARE! So many of them were destroyed during WWI and WWII in Germany. In fact, one of my mother's journal entries reads "...and we burned the sacks, in order to keep warm”.
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