nancy newman img 1_bucket bag timor lores“Handwoven ethnic textiles repurposed into unique purses, hand crafted in rural Ontario” is how Nancy Newman describes her original, unique handbags. “For me, it’s all about nancy newman img 2_bucket bag hmong 250the textiles and how they are made. I am fascinated with the design and processes involved in creating fabric, whether it’s woven by hand on a small loom, dipped in a dye bucket, or printed from an original design. There are so many steps and so many hands involved in the making of even the simplest fabric”, she explains.

I first met Nancy Newman when we were both weavers and participating in the same shows. I remember her beautiful fine silk weaving. Of course, fabric would be important to her. No longer involved in the weaving process herself, Nancy takes world textiles, some considered past their prime, and repurposes them into purses and bags, breathing new life into them, each with their own character and patina. In doing so, she pays homage to the rich legacies they represent. Some of the new textiles used are sourced from artisans working today, such as block printed cottons from India and some of the mud cloths from Mali.  In purchasing these purses, you can support these artisans, giving them employment and honouring their craft.

On her website you can find much more information regarding the various kinds of fabric she uses from around the world and a bit about her process and many wonderful images of these gorgeous creations.