Making a handwoven tote bag with clear vinyl cover made with my latest textile piece from weaving class. The gusset pieces are made with cut warp yarns, and the bag handles are handmade from scratch.
As part of my textile learning, I took floor loom weaving classes with Lou Grantham at SF Fiber, Oakland. She’s an amazing and inspiring teacher, and it’s really a privilege to learn from her.
On my latest weaving project, I explored textures and shapes in more depth. Lou suggested an advanced pattern called “Cat’s Track” that she learned from a weaving convention in the past. The result is quite beautiful, perfect to be transformed into a handwoven tote bag. The vinyl covering is added to protect the textile and make the bag water resistant. Finishing touches like handmade bag handles and magnet clasp fastening complete this project.
- Two spools of 6/2 unmercerized cotton yarn – for floor loom weaving
- Medium-weight vinyl sheets – for covering and lining
- Nylon cord and pink polyester fabric remnants – for bag handles
- Magnet clasp
While I cannot describe the floor weaving step, this handwoven tote bag making process is summarized as follows:
- Weave the yarns into an approximately 16″ wide textile, 2 yards long. The finished textile later shrinks to 12.5″ wide.
- Sandwich the finished textile between two layers of vinyl, and sew the edges.
- Cut out long warp yarns and sandwich them between two layers of vinyl. Sew the center line to make the bag’s side gusset pieces.
- Sew the bag pieces together.
- Add magnetic clasp on the inside.
- Create bag handles with braided nylon cords, pink polyester fabric, and vinyl.
- Hand sew the bag handles.
Below are the pictures of the finished handwoven tote bag with clear vinyl covering and lining. It’s quite time consuming project, but I’m really proud of the result. Special thanks to Lou Grantham for her knowledge and wisdom. The studio classes are always productive and fun; I learned a great deal and I plan to do more weaving projects!