The History of Purses

14th Century:

Purses were mainly used to hold money. Women wore small satchels called “hamondeys.” Often, purses were a sign of social status. Mainly the wealthy used purses.

15th Century:

Purses were a common gift from the groom to the bride. They were embroidered with decorations that often depicted what the marriage was like. At the time, they were known as chaneries.

16th Century:

During this era, skirts became popular for both men and women. People wore pouches underneath their skirts to keep their money enough. They also wore “swete bags.” Swete bags were pouches filled with sweet smelling material. People wore this sort of thing to conceal bad hygiene.

17th Century:

Embroidery was on the rise. Young girls were taught embroidery as a skill to get by in life. As a result, there were many hand stitched bags that come from this era. 

18th Century:

Skirts were out of style. Women were wearing long dresses. These dresses didn’t have pockets, so purses were necessary. At the time, the English were calling purses “reticules.”

19th Century:

More fabrics were available in the Victorian era. As a result, there was an increase in different styles and colors.

Furthermore, transportation was on the rise. People needed to carry handbags on railroads. 

 Early 1900s:

The modern purse came into existence. While men carried briefcases, women carried the “pochette.”


A variety of styles have come into existence. Thousands of brands emerge selling their own purses and satchels. Check out our very own custom designed purses.

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