Telling Tales

Julieann McEwen 50-70 4351/52

Growing up on a farm property near Keith in the early 1950s (in the upper south east of south Australia) I have found memories of wheat harvest time, when wheat was handled in bags.
I remember the bag-sewers using hemp twine and a long b” needle with a large eye, bent style, broad blade and 9 gauge – called a bag needle. As the stitching began, an “ear” was formed (handy for the wheat limpers to grip onto) and then stiches across firmly (about 22 stitches), finishing off with another “ear” and knot. Most bag sowers carried a small leather guard in the plum of their sewing hand, and wore a leather apron.
I can still hear the sound of the bad needle being pushed through the tough jule bag, and the hemp twine being pulled through.