Understanding Types of Fabrics Used To Design Hand Bags

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I have been designing with fabric for as long as I can remember!

I love to design and construct hand bags. It is my Art!  In my designs I use 4 different types of fabrics.  I  describe the bags in my listings by describing what type of fabric I have used for each design.  I thought it would be helpful to explain what these are and the difference in them.


The 4  types of fabrics most used would be the following;

Dress or quilt weight prints-This is the most common type of fabric and is used mostly in clothing, quilt making and crafts. It can be made of many different types of fibers.  I prefer to use only 100% cotton when using these prints for the design and construction of my bags.  Cotton is a natural fiber. Cotton wears and holds up very well.  It is a light to mid weight textile and usually has a smooth surface. The design is printed onto the fabric. So one side is the "wrong side" and has no print on it. There is another type of cotton that is very popular for use in quilt making. It is called Batik. Batiks are dyed, some by hand. They are beautiful unique fabrics and are usually more costly than the printed cottons. The color goes all the way through a batik, so you can choose to use either side.  Below is an example of a bag made from a cotton print. 

Bark Cloth-This type of textile was very popular in the 1950's.  Bark cloth is often used in home decorating for things such as pillows and window coverings.   Bark Cloth is a firmly woven cotton with an irregular waffle like texture.Most bark cloths have a soft feel. It is available in both solids and prints. It is designed to resemble true bark cloth, a fabric made from the inner bark of certain trees from the South Pacific.
Bark Cloth fabrics are  beautiful and I love to use them! Below is a beautiful reproduction of a 1950's era barkcloth.

Decorator-Decorator weight fabrics are very commonly used in window coverings and for all sorts of home decorating.  It has a lot of body so it drapes nicely when used for window swags or panels.  It is a mid to heavy weight textile.  There are many different types of decorator fabrics.  It pretty much runs the gambit from smooth to rough, dull to shiny. Bags made from decorator weights have a bit more body to them.


Upholstery-Of course this is used for covering or upholstering furniture.  It is a heavier weight material than the decorator fabrics and can have a nice texture. One type of upholstery weight I like to use is called jacquard. A jacquard is a woven textile. The pattern is actually woven into the fibers. The wrong side of the fabric is a mirror image of the right side. Upholstery  fabric is hard to work with because of it's weight.  It always makes a very sturdy bag.

All of the fabric types make beautiful bags!  I hope this helps you to understand the unique qualities of each of my bags! Please browse my in my store-DIVINE-HANDBAGS BY CHERYL- to see more examples!  Thanks, Cheryl

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