Friday, September 27, 2013

Brown Gimp Purse with Plastic Handles and Decorated Pull

Handmade “Gimp” Purse with Plastic Handles and Pull. 1940s. No maker tag. Beautifully constructed purse made of (crocheted?) heavy brown rayon (?) cording. Metal zipper, Lined in shiny brown fabric. Padded inside with cardboard to keep its shape. Twisted early plastic handles. Round early plastic pull with hand-painted flowers and leaves.

I’ve seen these referred to as “gimp” purses, but never knew why, so I did a bit of research. Unfortunately, my research isn’t all that thorough. Seems “gimp”—as happens over time with certain words (in my “other” life, I’m a professional freelance writer)— may have become something different than its original meaning. From what I can gather, this has to with the type or texture of material used. For instance, I’ve seen “Corde” bags referred to as “gimp,” but Cordes are a different weave than this bag. If you have any info about the origins of “gimp,” (in terms of purses and not Pulp Fiction) drop me a note at info(at)vintagepursegallery(dot)com.


Mrs.Leapheart said...

Corde bags were bags that you could make following Corde pattern books in the late 30's, early 40's. I believe you could buy the handles and hardware in kit form. They were almost always crocheted, like this bag, and came in a myriad of styles. Gimp is the plastic stuff we used in camp to weave keychains and lanyards.

Wendy said...

Thanks, Mrs. Leapheart! I will post this info on The Vintage Purse Gallery's Facebook page,