String Bag: an Endlessly Useful, Stylish Shape Shifter

I’ve long been a fan of the classic, humble string bag. It’s unique because unlike most bags, it changes structure according to its contents: a real shape-shifter. What starts as a small ball of string folds out into a carry-all sack, making it super practical. String bags are space-saving for the minimalist and super-light for the traveler, they save on plastic and paper bags – and they look great.

I first started loving these string totes when I was living by the beach and they were, quite simply, the only bag that didn’t drag sand back into my apartment. Soon I was transporting groceries, and keeping one in my day-to-day handbag for any spontaneous finds. Now in New York City, they’ve proven just as useful.

With their transparency and malleable nature, I love that the bag is ‘ever changing’ – adapting to whatever it is you’re carrying on that day. Sharp corners will puncture a plastic bag, while a net bag will gently absorb them. I knot the handle for the desired length and have fun arranging the interiors. A black string bag does stylish double duty as an evening bag.

String bags come in many shapes, sizes and looks. Type”string bag” or “net bags” into Etsy’s search box and you’ll come up with many offerings  including the ones above, at top and directly below.

Amazon also sells string bags in a variety of shapes and colors.

Eleanor Findlay

2 Responses to String Bag: an Endlessly Useful, Stylish Shape Shifter

  1. Pamela 03.12.2014 at 12:56pm #

    A great example of improvisation! But my favorite is the “string bag” my grandmother crocheted for me a few decades ago, after I returned from a semester abroad and told her about the smart and beautifully simple string bags I saw everyone using in Europe. Grandma Emelia’s version is so lovely that I couldn’t give over to putting produce in it. It has been used for most everything else, including a handbag, on many occasions. With the bonus that I think of her, God rest her soul, everytime I use it.

  2. Sally 03.12.2014 at 10:20pm #

    A memory of the grandmother who made it IS quite a bonus for a string bag. I was once given a beautiful black tatted one from France that I used as a handbag as well. I’m glad to hear your granmother’s crochet has endured. I would love to see it one day.

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