Welcome to Spotted Horse Textiles. I offer vintage, antique and just plain unique furniture pieces upholstered using authentic German and French grain sacks. To compliment these unique pieces I also offer one-of-a kind pillows and throw blankets made from these same authentic mill sacks.
After visiting my site, I hope you will be as fascinated and passionate about these fabulous pieces of history as I am.
Susan Swarter, Proprietor
Rare and becoming harder to come by, German grain sacks date from the early 1800’s. These incredible linen sacks were originally used by farmers to transport their harvested grain crop to the mill to be ground. Little did these humble farmers realize how sought after their homespun sacks would later become!
Imagine the flax or hemp being retted, spun and woven by hand; mainly by the farmers’ wife right on the farm. The resulting material, usually in a wonderful herringbone pattern, was both soft to the touch yet durable enough for farm life. In order to return the milled grain to its rightful owner, unique graphics were applied by the farmers to the sacks. These graphics were drawn by hand, stenciled or stamped with a hand-carved wooden block. The graphics typically bore an inventory number, the name of the farmer and the region from which he hailed. Depending on the farmers’ status in the community or the type of farming done the sacks might also depict fabulous crests, wreaths, horses, cows, pigs or farm tools. The use of a tar-based ink gave these unique pieces of “art” the durability to withstand the test of time.
Today these sacks are found in an array of condition. Some have been used over and over, hence a worn repaired condition. Others have been stored unused, found in barns and dowry chests in like new condition, minus some storage dirt and stains of course. A 100+ years of storage will take its toll on anything. The old, worn sacks seem to draw the most appeal as they bear a sense of history in their use. Darns and stitching to repair the holes and rips are simply fabulous!!!
Please enjoy the site, the information held within and feel free to email with any inquires: Spottedhorsetextiles@gmail.com. (Please copy and paste this into your email browser).