BABS handbags

from sheep to chic | how a bag is made

Boiled wool or felted wool is the process of agitating the wool fibers to the point that they begin to tangle together to form a tight-woven material that won't fray. Felted wool is incredibly durable, dirt resistant and eco-friendly.   You can gently wipe spills off of your bag using Woolite or other wool soap.  If you get into real trouble, most bags have removable hardware.  Simply unscrew the screw posts, remove the leather and soak just like you would a wool sweater.  Shape the bag by stuffing it full of towels -- let it dry for a couple of days.

Click the image below to view a short video about the felting process.

To create my bags I knit the various parts of the bag and then sew them together.  Before it is felted the bag resembles the finished product but is double or triple the size.  To "agitate" the fibers I toss the new bag in the washing machine and let the washer, soap and hot water do the rest.  Once it reaches the desired size and shape, I stuff it full of towels, shape it and let it dry.

My process has definitely evolved.  One of my first bags(left) had a striking resemblance to yes... a hot dog bun.