Recently I had the opportunity to work with a very nice customer to weave a strap for her favorite purse. She had seen a picture of this bag and was inspired by the design. The bag is made by the company, Limon Piel. They produce their bags in Columbia using local leather and locally woven straps. Cool designs!!! The company website says "We support long term programs such as diabetes, clothing, and advanced surgeries needed to help the poor have an opportunity to live a better life." Sounds like a cool company.
Because the long braids were a strong element of the design, it was unlike anything I had produced before, but I was game. Amy was so easy to work with. She gave me exact measurements and then was flexible enough to allow me to create the pattern the way I chose, just keeping the feel of the designer bag.
The woven part of the strap is only 21" long, with 13" of braids on one end and 26" of braids on the other. Because I was afraid of the long braids becoming unruly if left loose, I decided that they needed to be linked together at some point along the length. From somewhere deep in my brain came a technique that I think of as a sort of twining. I must have learned it somewhere once. Anyway, my fingers did it and it looked good.
She wrote me a nice message and sent pictures of it on the purse.
"I can't thank you enough; when I opened it, I literally gasped lol. It's even better than I imagined it!"
You can see some of Amy's handwork in her Etsy shop at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/BohemeRustique
Then last week I found some really neat little purses in great colors at a fantastic price at a favorite local shop, Pretty Mama. The small ones are leather and the larger ones are faux leather, but I couldn't tell it.
The purses, both leather and faux have a wonderful, soft feel, but the small ones have really funky straps. I'm gonna fix them all up with handwoven straps to match. Look for pictures coming soon.