I woke up last week to a message on Facebook showing me a picture I had posted a year ago. It was a picture of a shoulder bag I had just finished weaving. I remember the bag well - because it is MY bag.
Since getting my loom in March of 2013, I have made so many gifts for others that last summer I decided to make a shoulder bag as a birthday gift to myself. I used mostly leftover yarn from other projects - solid royal blue and rainbow/multi yarn were used as the warp threads on the loom in thick stripes. Then I used a difficult pattern in plain white for the weft. The result was a piece of fabric with a very unique pattern. I used the rest of my scraps from the warp along with plenty of the white yarn on my Inkle Loom to make a strap that was just as interesting...and there was even enough of the strap-material left over to add a decorative accent to the front of the bag's flap-closure.
This bag has been through A LOT in its first year. I use it every time I travel - from a simple bus ride into Nahariya to hiking in Ein Gedi....this bag has seen it all! It has also been through it all - from dripping water bottles - to holding sandy rocks and shells - to being set down in what I _really_ hope was only mud. Thankfully all of the fabrics I weave are washable - and this bag has been tossed in the wash (often with the towels) on many occasions to get clean.
Yes, there have been a few signs of wear-and-tear....a few snagged yarns (never hike too close to a bush with thorns!) - which were easily trimmed or pulled back into the material. Obviously this is to be expected from a handwoven item that gets used frequently.
What amazed me though was looking at the picture taken a year ago - when the bag was "fresh from the loom"....it doesnt look ANY different today then it did back then. When I took the pictures for this blog entry - I was glad I had laid the bag down on a different colored blanket or I wouldnt have known which picture was old and which one was new. Even though the bag has been washed several times - the colors have not faded and the fabric is holding up wonderfully.
The top photo - on the tan background - was taken on 15 July 2014 when the bag was just finished.
The bottom photo - on the dark brown background - was taken on 20 July 2015 after a full year of hard use.
I like pushing the limits of the items I make -- it is easier to stand behind your products when you know what they can handle and that they really are the best possible quality items you can make. I look forward to putting this bag through many more years of hard use and keeping photographic records of its journey.