Loop’s Handmade Project Bags and a trip to India

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
Indian Ribbons at Loop London
Floral 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.

block printed project bags
Block Printed Project Bags

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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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

  5. 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

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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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

  11. 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 ! :)

  12. 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!

  13. 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!

  14. 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!

  15. 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!

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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!

  19. 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!

  20. 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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