Gunny sack

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A gunny sack, made from hemp

A gunny sack, also known as a "gunny shoe" or "tow sack", is an inexpensive bag, historically made of hessian (burlap) formed from jute, hemp, or other natural fibers. Modern sacks are often made from man-made products such as polypropylene.

The word gunny, meaning coarse fabric, derives from an Indo-Aryan language.[1] Reusable gunny sacks, typically holding about 45 kg, were traditionally, and to some extent still are, used for transporting grains, potatoes and other agricultural products. These are widely seen in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, etc.

Today they are also sometimes used as sandbags for erosion control. Gunny sacks are also popular in the traditional children's game of sack racing.

Size[edit]

A gunny sack holds approximately 100 lb (45 kg) of potatoes. Even though gunny sacks are no longer used for that purpose, among Idaho farmers the common measurement unit of potatoes is still the "sack".[2]

Behind him, thousands of bags are stacked in rows.
Coffee bags, Ethiopia

See also[edit]

Cultural references[edit]

  • Referred to in the lyrics of Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode" - 'He used to carry his guitar in a gunny sack'. Indicative of the character's poverty.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "gunnysack". Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Merriam-Webster. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  2. ^ South, David B. "Protect Your Potatoes". Accessed 2015-06-10.