While many vintage clothing collectors are under the impression that the trend of home-crafted handbags peaked during and directly after World War II because of materials shortages, there was no rationing of handbags. There was, however, a limit on leather use at the manufacturing level, so traditional purse makers had to resort to unconventional materials such as plastics, which led to the creation of many unusual 1940s-1950s handbags.
However, in the book Pain in the Purse: The Tax That Changed Handbag History, you'll see proof that home crafters were crocheting bags using patterns such as the one below because they were simply trying to avoid the handbag tax on store-bought purses.
|1945 Spool Cotton Company pattern book from the collection of The Vintage Purse Museum. This book still has the 10-cent price tag from Indiana-based Morris 5-cents to $1 Store inside its cover.|