In the late 18th and early 19th centuries people longed for nature and the idyll of life in the country. Thus, plant-based materials in fashion accessories became the rage. One example is the reticule made of aloe fibre, now part of the Ivo Collection. Purses and wallets were often made of or decorated with natural products such as straw, reed, raffia and wood. For that purpose straw, for example, was split, then pressed flat and applied on the wooden, leather, textile or cardboard surface. In the 20th century, purses were plaited with straw, raffia, bamboo and other natural materials. These purses were quite fashionable at the time, and in the 1950s imitation bamboo and straw purses were in demand.
Natural materials and imitations
Leather handbag with wooden cover in Mauchline ware showing buildings in French city Fontainebleau
Wooden coin purse in Mauchline ware with print of l'establissement in 'Pougues les Eaux'
Wicker handbag with embroidery, 'Princess Charming' by Atlas Hollywood-FLA,
Hong Kong, late 1950s
Woven raffia handbag made of carved wooden beads and applique work, handdecorated by Veldoré of Houston
USA/ Japan 1964
Leather coin purse with wooden cover in Mauchline ware showing 'Burns Cottage' and poem from Robert Burns
Scotland, late 19th c.
Plastified straw bag, clasp decorated with rhinestones and turquoise, Roberto Rice
Braided straw handbag with black imitation leather handle and metal frame, Gerzon
The Netherlands, 1950s.
Large imitation leather clutch with central beige applique tiger design, Stella McCartney
Handbag 'Beach House' made of raffia and decorated with embroidery, Beverly Feldman
Large woven straw tote bag with doll decoration and appliqué artificial flowers
Handbag 'Birds of Paradise' made of plant fibers with appliqué snakeskin design, Cora Jacobs
The Philippines, 2009
Plastic wickerwork handbag in the shape of a frog with green glass marble eyes
Hong Kong, 1960-1970