Ever wonder what can be accomplished using a few pull tabs, a key, staple remover, and wire cutters? Look at what crossed my desk today. If anyone knows the designer, let me know.

source: The Meta Picture

Update: Thanks to my loyal followers, the talented Brazilian ladies of Escama Studio are the source of this inspirational use of pop tops.

Escama Studio is a collaborative design studio based in California and Brazil making beautiful recycled fashion accessories using crochet and recycled aluminium pull-tabs.

Here is a video from their website showing the various steps required to make a pull-tab bag: from sourcing recycled aluminium, sorting usable tabs, washing, polishing, trimming and crocheting pop tops into the finished products. The result is an elegant and striking collection of accessories that illustrates their creative and innovative design-style, from post-consumer and other sustainable materials, through partnerships with producers in underprivileged communities.



Filed under Bag'n-telle, Design Insight

20 responses to “POP TOP CHAINMAIL

  1. K.Gentile

    This is awesome! I don’t know who the designer is but, they sure are talented. I appreciate every post you make. I have yet to find the time to attempt one but, I’m sure when I do it will be successful. Your tutorials are the best. Thank you so much for sharing, it is very nice to know there are people like you – willing to share their knowledge.

  2. http://www.escamastudio.com
    best green handbag-
    The 4th Annual Independent Handbag Designer Awards-2010

    Leda cut-out clutch by Escama Studio, hand crocheted with recycled aluminum pop tops.

    What is your bag made out of?: Post consumer recycled aluminum pop tops

    What made you decide to create a “Green Bag”?: I became hypontized by crochet with metal

    Where are you bags made? Are they made by hand or manufactured?: Made in Brazil. Hand crocheted by fair trade artist cooperatives

    Where are bags sold?: http://www.escamastudio.com and museums around the world including MoMA, FIDM LA, Royal Academy of Art London

    What is your design philosophy?: To blend traditional handwork with modern design — while improving the lives of the women who make our bags.

  3. Tomma

    would love to see a more detailed how to and the patterns.

    • Don

      A picture is worth a thousand words, Tomma… once you have the “chainmail”, it is yours to experiment with. Good luck!

  4. I have to share this most creative post, I’ve ever come across, with others on Pinterest. This is simply amazing as its also recycling the waste in a manner never imagined before i.e. you’re the designer of the future. I have subscribed to your other wonderful blog The Weekend Designer but unfortunately you’ve stopped posting there for sometime. Anyway keep on amazing us with your delightful posts. Thank you very much.

  5. they look like escama bags.

  6. Love your site and bizarrely after I read your post today I stumbled across students making their prom dresses from the same tabs! http://www.odditycentral.com/news/student-makes-prom-dress-from-5000-pop-tabs.html

    • Don

      I believe that is how Francisco “Paco” Rabaneda Cuervo, aka Paco Rabanne, started in the fashion business….just kidding 😀
      Very creative but it doesn’t look very comfortable. Thanks for the link, Hannah.

  7. I’ve just started working out my pop tab bag (based on the Chanel boy bag for the shape). First trials have been going great. Crocheting the tabs together is fast and easy. However I found assembling a chainmail is quite tricky, the tabs keeps budging. If anyone has a tip to make this easier…

    Again Don, thank you so much for this great blog. Dense, inspiring, well organized, one senses the time and hardwork behind it. I loved weekend designer too, probably the best blog about sewing I’ve come across. Keep up the good work!

    • Don

      Thanks for the kind words, Tsintah. Take another look at the photo…it looks as if each pull-tab is slightly bent so that the chainmail will lie flat…in the photo they use a staple remover but I think a padded pinch-nosed pliers would be more easier to use.

  8. Wow amazing material – and very green. I love how your tutorial is laid out too!

  9. Hi Don,

    Someone send me your bloglink and I must say that I am very impressed. So many tutorials and idea’s Thank you for sharing this on the internet.
    Please continue,

    Dorothé from the Netherlands

  10. Reblogged this on Beau Sourire Handbags and commented:
    Very cool reuse of pop tops

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