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Amazon Music Stream millions of songs. Purses were made of soft fabric or leather and were worn by men as often as ladies; the Scottish sporran is a survival of this custom. In the 17th century, young girls were taught embroidery as a necessary skill for marriage; this also helped them make very beautiful handbags.
Women wanted purses that would not be bulky or untidy in appearance, so reticules were designed. Reticules were made of fine fabrics like silk and velvet, carried with wrist straps. First becoming popular in France, they crossed over into Britain, where they became known as "indispensables. They used purses and pockets , which became popular in men's trousers. The modern purse, clutch, pouch or handbag came about in England during the Industrial Revolution , in part due to the increase in travel by railway.
In the Doncaster industrialist and confectionery entrepreneur Samuel Parkinson of butterscotch fame ordered a set of travelling cases and trunks and insisted on a travelling case or bag for his wife's particulars after noticing that her purse was too small and made from material that would not withstand the journey. He stipulated that he wanted various handbags for his wife, varying in size for different occasions and asked that they be made from the same leather that was being used for his cases and trunks to distinguish them from the then-familiar carpetbag and other travellers' cloth bags used by members of the popular classes.
Cave London obliged and produced the first modern set of luxury handbags, as we would recognize them today, including a clutch and a tote named as 'ladies travelling case'.
These are now on display in the Museum of Bags and Purses in Amsterdam. Cave did continue to sell and advertise the handbags, but many critics said that women did not need them and that bags of such size and heavy material would 'break the backs of ladies.
Cave ceased to promote the bags after , concentrating on trunks instead, although they continued to make the odd handbag for royalty, celebrities or to celebrate special occasions, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee being the most recent. Cave resumed handbag production in During the s, the rationing of textiles for World War II led to the manufacturing of handbags made in materials like raffia  or crocheted from yarn.
Some women crocheted their own small handbags from commercial patterns during this period. The oldest known purse dates back more than years, and was a pouch worn by a man, Ötzi the Iceman. In early Modern Europe, when women's fashions moved in the direction of using small ornamental purses, which evolved into handbags, men's fashions were moving in another direction. Men's trousers replaced men's breeches during the course of the 18th and 19th centuries, and pockets were incorporated in the loose, heavy material.
This enabled men to continue carrying coins, and then paper currency, in small leather wallets. Men's pockets were plentiful in 19th century and 20th century trousers and coats, to carry possessions, such as pipes, matches and knives, and they were an item frequently mended by their wives.
Men's purses were revived by designers in the s in Europe. The names man bag , man-purse and murse have been used. The designs are typically variations on backpacks or messenger bags, and have either a masculine or a more unisex appearance, although they are often more streamlined than a backpack and less bulky than a briefcase.
These bags are often called messenger bags or organizer bags. The leather satchel is also common. Men's designer bags are produced by well-known companies such as Prada , Louis Vuitton , Coach , and Bottega Veneta in a variety of shapes and sizes.
As a fashion accessory, handbags can be categorized according to the silhouette of the bag, as well as the type of handle. The current popular handbag silhouettes are as of Vintage clutch with fold-over closure, made of red snakeskin. Saddle shape, with equestrian hardware detail. Tote , in this example the Birkin bag by Hermès. Clutch made from eel skin, a strong but expensive alternative to cow, sheep, goat, or pig leather.
A distinction can also be made between soft-body handbags or frame handbags, where a metal frame supports the textile or leather of the bag. Frame bags often use a kissing lock closure, with two interlocking metal beads set on the top of the frame.
Kissing locks were popular on handbags during the early- to midth century, and remain popular with vintage collectors and in "retro" designs. These locks are still seen on smaller change purses. The need to organize one's belongings is universal, thus handbags exist in differing forms in cultures around the world.
People have been quite clever in thinking of ways to use the materials at hand to create their bags; this section shows many different examples of handbags. A bilum bag, used in Papua New Guinea.
Bilums are made of "bush rope", cuscus fur or wool, and expand in size. A shoulder bag made of baobab tree fibres, bought in Zimbabwe in Ojibwa bag with decorative beadwork; this particular bag was probably made for a child. Early 20th century Yoruba Diviner's bag, from the Oyo region, Nigeria. A Burmese Kachin bag or wallet. A Betel bag from West Timor , made around Called an aluk , such bags are still made. A modern handbag in a traditional Hakka Chinese -style floral fabric design.
North African bag with lizard head and paws. A handbag from French designer Etienne Aigner.