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Julia here.

J Crew surprises me every once in awhile, like a few weeks ago when they lobbed this genuine article up onto their accessories section:


let's take a closer look, shall we? The website calls this handwoven, but I wondered.


I thought I detected the signature of crochet there in the body of that bag. Certainly the handle is woven, but that looked to me like the tiny crochet stitch of an accomplished crocheter. But according to Carol Ventura of the Tapestry Crochet blog, "Although described as being woven, crocheted, or knit, the bags are actually made by looping — pulling the fiber all the way through a small loop." Ah.  I'd love to see a video of this technique if anyone has a lead on one.

A little research into this long-ago sold-out bag lead me a few places on the web that sell other versions, but all of them come from the same place, the Wayuu tribe of Columbia and Venezuela. The Wikipedia article about them is here.

I found these versions at Yoya: natural, the way I like it,


and these more brightly colored:


I found elsewhere that the bag at J Crew came from their participation in an event hosted by the BeLive Columbia organization, and several other "fashion industry" entities like Tory Burch and Philip Lim were invited as well. There's a worthwhile pdf on the Wayuu Project and the significance of their bag making on the BeLive website, so I can leave you to look at it if you like.

And there are others further afield, but all of them beautiful and (forgive my acquisitivist observation here) a perfect accompaniment for the summer.  Maybe I'll hunt one down for myself, pass my consumer's blessing on to the maker, and appreciate the bag as only a fellow stitcher can. Here's one last one for your viewing pleasure.