Loop’s Handmade Project Bags and a trip to India

A good project bag is hard to beat. That’s a fact that every long term or hardcore knitter would easily stand by, but what makes a good project bag? Well, that’s something that differs as much as our tensions, but one that makes you happy to look at has to be a good place to start.

Here, Loop’s owner Susan Cropper reflects on her journey to India last year; a trip that we now have the fruits of in the shop.

Loop Project bags at Loop London

Loop’s Handmade Project Bags are available in 13 different designs that range from florals to geometric and madras fabrics.

Loop Project bags at Loop London-6

Contrast fabrics, silky ribbons and hand stitched details make our Handmade Project Bags a visual feast.

“This past Autumn, I took a trip to India in search of ribbons and loads of beautiful fabrics to be made into haberdashery and project bags for the shop.

Indian Ribbons at Loop London

Indian Ribbons

When I think of India I think colour, pattern and happy colours, as well as the wealth of incredible handcraft skills that the country is blessed with. 

I had a plan in my head of a mash-up of these wonderful prints and colours with a little hand-embroidery and silk screening thrown in.

I started at the wonderful textile markets of Jaipur and then headed to nearby Bagru. What an incredible place – it consists of about 150 extended families who are all involved in the printing and dyeing of cloth. These extended families have been involved in the craft for hundreds of years. There are printers of every type from mud resist and block printing to silk screening. 

Small Indigo dye vats can be seen in the alleys and streets along with tin buckets filled with horseshoes that are soaking away getting ready to be used as black dye. 

There are huge swathes of recently dyed and printed fabrics literally hanging from the roofs, draping down to the roads and across small fields. It’s quite incredible.

Anyway, I could go on and on but suffice to say I found some very beautiful Ochre and Grey block printed mud-resist fabrics in Bagru that I brought back to Jaipur with me. 

Then back in Delhi, more markets and the wonderful HP Singh fabric shop were visited where I was overwhelmed with choice. Never have I seen such a wealth of textiles – they even have a whole floor just for embroidered fabrics!

The fabrics that I had gathered in Rajasthan were delivered to a great workshop I had found in New Delhi and then the other fun part began. 

In tiny rooms with swirling ceiling fans, I brought out my designs and they brought out their huge Pantone books and embroidery threads and we got to work over endless cups of chai and fresh lime sodas. Samples were made by ‘Tiger’ and adjustments and embroidery details were sorted. Oh, I love this part of making things come together.

A few days later we wished them farewell and waited with baited breath until a few weeks ago when boxes of our work were delivered here in London.

The boxes were wrapped with hand-stitched covers (only in India!) and what is now in the shop are the fruits of this trip. Some of the designs just flew out the shop door (another trip to be planned?!) but the most recent addition to the handmade project bags have just arrived in a happy mash-up of print and colour. 

Pop-pink, double-sided woven Loop bags with woven labels, and hand embroidered Haberdashery Pouches mimicking the floral pattern of the printed fabric

Loop’s Handmade Project Bags

All of the bags are lined with a second fabric, silk screened with ‘Loop’ on them and have ribbon ties and a simple embroidered stitch going around the top. 

We hope they make you smile like we do.”

As a gift to you we’ll have our first Loop Giveaway of the New Year! We’re giving away one of our handmade haberdashery pouches to a lucky winner. 

Leave a comment below and, for an extra chance to win, follow us on Instagram @LoopLondonLoves and repost our picture using the hashtag #HandmadeAtLoop, or simply use the hashtag in a post of your own, showing us why you’d love to win. Entries for this giveaway close at midnight (GMT) on Wednesday 25th January.

Best of luck and warm wishes from Loop!

∞∞∞

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Don’t forget that we’ll be at the Edinburgh Yarn Fair with tons of gorgeous yarns and haberdashery in March! We have special colours being dyed up for us by Viola (!) and our very special guests – the Spincycle gals on our stand. So much good stuff will be there – we can’t wait to see you!

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77 comments on “Loop’s Handmade Project Bags and a trip to India
  1. Jane says:

    Very pretty and useful

  2. Tracey says:

    They are so beautiful!

  3. Kaat neesen says:

    I love those Indian fabrics. I visited India years ago for work. Unfortunately we had little time for shopping but I managed to visit a fabric store. It was huge! I was overwhelmed with all the beautiful colours.

  4. Pamela Husereau says:

    The fabrics are BEAUTIFUL!

  5. Andre says:

    Your experience sounds wonderful. What an exciting journey x

  6. Jules says:

    Your photos remind me of my travels in India, the project bags are beautiful.

  7. Chantal says:

    Oh to be lost in a world of colourful fabrics and ribbons. Your sweet project bags are divine ✨

  8. Donna says:

    So beautiful! India is somewhere I have always wanted to visit. Maybe one day…

  9. kelli winter says:

    Such a great travel & making story. You must have been so excited to open those boxes. And the colors in India…
    My project bag is a similar simple bag with a drawstring. The fabric is colorful with a girl printed on.
    I made it in Girl Scouts in 1976!
    I still use it after all these years.

  10. Mary Beth Haak says:

    This post is so inspiring. Your trip sounds beautiful in so many ways!

  11. Averil Newsam says:

    Inspirational – to be able to combine such beautiful fabrics with lovely knitting yarn!

  12. Teresa R. Muscara says:

    Magical!
    It must be satisfying to see the bags from “conception to birth”!

  13. Gale COSCHI says:

    The project bags are beautiful. Equal to the task of carrying your exceptional yarns!

  14. Monika says:

    The beautiful landscapes of India are such an inspiration and the artisans are masters of their trade – what a wonderful idea these bags are. I would love to have a yellow one for my WIP

  15. Michele says:

    Handmade, traditional items sourced worldwide are what tie us crafters together forever. Thanks for your journey and commitment to these products.

  16. Tracy says:

    How beautiful and how “Loop” … totally gorgeous ❤

  17. Tricia says:

    I have an ochre/grey bag already, which I love, and the new ones are beautiful too.

  18. Denise says:

    What beautiful bags these lovely fabrics turned into. Thank you for sharing them with us.

  19. Dorothy Griffiths says:

    How lovely are these bags, makes you want to start making something quick as an excuse to use them. I would just love love love to win one. Fingers crossed
    Dorothy xx

  20. Nia says:

    How lovely!! They are gorgeous :)

  21. Charlotte Brooks says:

    Your project bags are so beautiful and unique. And functional too, a match made in heaven!

  22. Kate says:

    What adorable bags, thank you for sharing the story.

  23. Linda says:

    Ooh, these fabrics and bags look amazing. Following and reposted on Instagram too.

  24. I just LOVE these bags! So beautiful and I love the story behind them. Xo

  25. Cristina says:

    Lovely fresh colours for a very nice idea :)
    Very useful to bring small items with us.
    Hope this is the very first giveaway from loop!
    Cheers
    Cristina

  26. marthe says:

    So beautiful and a lovely story Thank You

  27. Debbie says:

    You have hit my weak spot–project bags! These are fantastic! Would love to win this giveaway, they are irresistible!

  28. Lori Martin says:

    Would love to win one of your beautiful project bags!!!! Art that will hold art…sort of Art squared lol!

  29. Linda Rumsey says:

    Yes please – pretty and useful!

  30. Cait Roberts says:

    Wow, fabulous. They reminded me, too, of my visit to India. Interesting to see the makers and the process. Thank you.

  31. Mrs Catherine Vincer says:

    Beautiful bags and a very interesting sounding trip. I think the skill of the craftsmen and women there is evident. I love the way block printed fabrics just seem to flow. What lovely bags for any or many a project!
    I hope too that they are paid a fair wage for their skills?
    Best wishes
    Catherine

  32. Carole C says:

    They are gorgeous and so useful …I would love one .

  33. Sheryl Collier says:

    What beautiful colours they all are. My favourite bags are the ones with the blue ribbons. Would love to win one to carry my current WIP.

  34. Jan Quarles says:

    Lovely, lovely bags and with the stories of their origin, even more special!

  35. Elizabeth Anderson says:

    Stunning bags and a beautiful inspiring blog post. Thank you!

  36. Julie M says:

    Gorgeous bags – and your beautiful photos really give a sense of the wonderful skills and colours you’ve seen.

  37. Margene Lehman says:

    Your descriptive narrative gives these lovely bags personal meaning. I think I will have to ask my son who lives nearby to make another trip to Loop!

  38. Joy Heason says:

    I love the bags but wondered if you could make some with longt hsndles to carry cross body eg when going to a knit club or travelling on a train. I have the Alexander McQueen bag from V&A exhibition which has longer adjustable handles but there are much nicer for projects. Thanks Joy

  39. Andrea Lelievre says:

    Every beautiful knitting project deserves to live in a bag like this…..

  40. Andrea Lelievre says:

    Every beautiful knitting project deserves to live in a bag like this. Very inspiring!

  41. Jackie says:

    Gorgeous project bags just right for holding gorgeous loop yarn for a very special knitting project. Perfection!

  42. Such gorgeous fabrics… love the addition of the hand stitching too

  43. claudia horner says:

    such delicious bags, which would be a pleasure to hold a precious knitting project!

  44. RENE WALKIN says:

    Oh my, what a lovely thing to win and what a wonderful trip it must have been!

  45. eva says:

    I have purchased one, they are so so cute ! and beautifull inside too ! the embroidered stitch makes a lovely finishing touch !
    the size is perfect ! :)

  46. Anne Maire Becka says:

    Love, love, love everything about these wonderful project bags!

  47. Jennifer Shook says:

    Lovely bags! I had a chance to visit Loop in September and was absolutely enchanted.

  48. Charlotte says:

    So beautiful!

  49. Veronique Million says:

    Those bags are just gorgeous !! Love

  50. Lisa Peacock says:

    Such beautiful bags. Very much looking forward to visiting your stand at EYF.

  51. Keryl Codrington says:

    What an experience you had.. a visual feast. Such an inspired idea to coordinate hand embroidered pouches with the fabric of the larger project bags…love it!

  52. Allison T. says:

    Just so beautiful! I adore the bags and the combinations of prints!!

  53. Ali Thomson says:

    What beautiful bags, appreciated all the more for knowing the story behind them. I love the things you find, make and sell, look forward to seeing you in Edinburgh!

  54. Brenda says:

    If I am not fortunate enough to win a bag you have given me the inspiration to design my own from my own fabric and ribbon stash!

  55. Linda Maddox says:

    This bags are so pretty. I would love one. Thanks for sharing.

  56. Linda says:

    I love the fabrics used in the bags.

  57. Tracey says:

    I love ALL of the pink bags. One can never have too many bags, right?!?

  58. Elaine kemp says:

    More than a bag it is a bag of memories! Of travels to India and new ones being made inside! Simply wonderful! I would adore one!

  59. Sarah says:

    These colours are just gorgeous for perking up the frosty winter, and I can seriously never have too many places to stash my haberdashery!

  60. Vivienne Bell says:

    Those colours!!! Wow!!! ❤️

  61. Rhoda Baker says:

    Beautiful. I like the bag to feel right for the project and I think one of these would be a favourite.

  62. Deborah Garretty says:

    Beautiful bags and what a wonderful back-story. One can always make room for another project bag, especially when they are as sumptuous as this.

  63. asteride says:

    Beautiful project bags! I visited India many years ago and the colors of that trip are still vivid!

  64. josiekitten says:

    The bags are all beautiful. I bought a haberdashery pouch last weekend to give away on my blog. Starting to pay forward some of the kindness I have received.

  65. EEC says:

    absolutely beautiful bags and such a collaborative spirit.

  66. Gea says:

    Thank you for the chance to win!

  67. Agnes says:

    These are sooo lovely! I am particularly in love with the pink tote bags… so pink. What a brilliant idea. And seeing the drawstring project bags makes me want to sit down at my sewing machine straightaway and sew some funky bags of my own. Thanks for sharing your pictures of how these came together!

  68. Sara says:

    These are so gorgeous! I love the mix of print and colour… and those ribbons are swoon-worthy!

  69. Giorgia says:

    Beautiful colors! These bags are so pretty!

  70. Jillayne says:

    These bags are wonderful, as are the beautiful ribbons. A long awaited trip to the UK is just over two months away and your shop will be one of my first dream-dates – can’t wait!

  71. Heather Baylis says:

    What beautiful bags! I would love them. Thank you,

  72. Sue H. says:

    Sounds like a fantastic trip, and I love what you are making with the fabrics and craftspeople you found during your travels.

  73. Emma says:

    The bags are beautiful, would make your fingers sing :-)

  74. Anna says:

    Wow! These bags are simply beautiful and have a wonderful origin story.

  75. Elaine says:

    I have two of your project bags already and I love that Loop is supporting a family (or several) in India by having them made there. I’d love the chance to win another one. There’s no suchlike thing as too many project bags!

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