The long and arduous tale of the Cloche bag

03 June 2016

We just wanted to let you know about our new travel bag: the Cloche bag. I also want to tell you a little bit about the story behind the Cloche bag, and the story behind us.

Christmas 2013 Susan sat down and sewed a duffel bag and a Cloche bag out of printed fabric we had designed, so Travail en Famille is born. It's taken us over two years to go from that original (admittedly very rough) first sample to the beautiful bags we are finally ready to sell today. This is because the Cloche bag is a complicated beast, requiring many different parts to be put together very skilfully. For example, between the outer printed canvas and the inner denim lining there lies a hidden inter-lining of 18oz cotton canvas, this helps the bag keep its shape, super-strengthens the seams and keeps everything inside nice and dry, it also makes it a lot harder to make the bag. Then there's the curved shape of the bag, which gives it its distinctive look, but makes it very hard to set in a zip that will open and close smoothly. We also spent a great deal of time sourcing the best quality brass ware and British leather. You get the picture, it was hard to make this bag work, but the end result is a bag that not only looks great but will last a lifetime. The size makes it perfect for day to day use or as carry on luggage, if you pack lightly you can just about squeeze a weekend away in there too.

I haven't even mentioned the prints yet which are drawn from our two current collections: Terres Inconnues and Notre Jardin. Our print style is founded in story-telling, with each map, flower and colour holding a particular meaning. The Terres Inconnues prints are each inspired by a famous traveller, and feature a map of where they went as well as flowers which hold symbolic meanings that represent their character. The Notre Jardin prints aim to capture the beauty of famous gardens and the philosophy of therapy through gardening. You can read the stories behind each print on their individual product pages.