Ahh, the purse. It is such a simple piece of fabric, but it holds so many valuables. In the 13th century women had small purses sewn into their undergarments. In the 15th century both men and woman carried the equivalent of purses. They were bags that carried medicines, seeds, religious materials, and other things of value. They were similar to drawstring bags that we know today. At that point in History it was a common tradition for a Husband to give his Wife a large ornate purse as a wedding gift. Up to this point in history only the wealthy had purses. By the 17th century purses had become more common. Anyone of basic means could afford a purse. They wore them across their chest much as we would a messenger bag today. Young ladies of this period began to cover their bags in cross stitch and samplers. When the 1800's came around men began to carry wallets and women began to use their bags more for carrying their toiletries. This is also the point in history where woman began to own more than one purse to match different outfits. The 1900's really changed the purse. This is the time where the words purse and handbag became interchangeable. Handbag used to be a traveling bag. Now it is a woman's bag, purse or handbag. The most change occurred around world war ll. Different colors, textiles, and all sorts of materials and medium began to be used for purse making. Now our choices are limitless, as well as our price selections.
Below is a little video of me swapping out purses: