There’s no question that the sheer retro vibe of carpet bags goes a long way to explaining their success today. After all, one might have imagined that with carpet bags having reached their zenith of popularity in 19th-century Europe and America, they would now be widely seen as outdated compared to many of the sophisticated alternatives available in 2017. 

But of course, carpet bags are not irrelevant or unsophisticated to today’s shoppers and fashionistas – quite the opposite, in fact, as we’d like to think our own authentic vintage handbags are helping to ensure.

From an unassuming part of rural East Anglia... 

It all goes back to the early 1970s, when our founder, Loretta, first started making bags from old pieces of carpet that already seemed to demonstrate a lot of style potential. Friends of hers were setting up a charity stall at a country horse fair near the market town of Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, England, and she was asked whether she had any ideas for items that could be put on sale.

She had only recently moved to the countryside from London to work on the establishment of an ecologically-oriented charitable organisation by the name of Green Deserts. She was also already being highly resourceful with what she could find in the immediate locality, bringing home several carpets and mirrors every week from the auctions in the town’s livestock market area.

The careful washing of these pieces of carpet at the town’s launderette resulted in gorgeously soft and luxurious deep pile fabric. It took such forms as soft Belgian cottons, thick Wiltons and Axminsters and even the occasional Persian carpet, and before too long, it had been used to create what remains one of the enduringly popular staples of our range: the Cosmic bag.

...to taking on the fashion world

If there was any doubt that these charming carpet bags were ready for the urban catwalk with such eye-catching features as heavy duty sale eyelets and solid rawhide belting, that was quickly dispelled when versions were sold to two of London’s most fabled department stores: Liberty and Harrods. 

A week later, Loretta was contacted with a request for more of her charming authentic vintage handbags, and Carpet Bags has continued to take on – and beat – the world since then.

There may have been some changes over the decades, such as the replacement of the old pieces of patterned carpet with copies of old Persian silk rug designs made from cotton, but the central appeal of our carpet bags remains much the same. They’re comfortable, easy to use, functional and chic – in short, everything that you could desire from a timelessly relevant selection of authentic vintage handbags.

Why not purchase yours from our complete online store here at Carpet Bags today?