Throughout the history of humankind, string bags, or net bags as they are often called, have been used by many professions for many different purposes. In ancient Japan, divers used them to bring out shells and fish from the ocean. Metal mesh bags were tremendously popular in the 17th century France. Not to mention the big boom of net bags which came from nowhere else but Czechoslovakia in the 1920’s. This Czech company then started exporting these ever so cool bags into other countries including Canada, USA, France, Germany but also some north African countries. After introduction of single-use plastic into big supermarkets, net bags became way less popular. Today I’m very pleased to say that NET BAGS ARE BACK. In all their netty glory!
Why are net bags so cool?
Net bags are just the coolest if you ask me. They are super light to carry in your handbag and work perfectly as a reusable, washable replacement of a single-use plastic bag you normally get in the supermarket. What’s rarely mentioned but I appreciate greatly that there is no supermarket branding on the bag. I mean, where would you even put it? It’s a bloody net! Single-use plastic bags tend to have a ton of branding on them. Do you enjoy being every supermarket’s walking billboard? No? Well, me neither. And these plastic bags aren’t even pretty. Only rarely can you get these quite nice plastic bags with kittens or fresh vegetables on them, but that’s about the extent of beauty in the world of single-use plastic. Which doesn’t make them worth using nonetheless.
Another great thing about net bags is that you can choose to make one yourself. This usually makes the bag even more affordable and gives you the option to personalise it to your taste. Choose size, shape, style, and even the material. Ideally pick some sort of organic cotton material here, to avoid releasing micro-plastics into the nature with every single wash of your bag.
Recycled T-shirt yarn by Paintbox
Recycled T-Shirt yarn by Paintbox is made from un-used jersey fabric from European mills. Instead of being thrown away, the fabric is given another life as a yarn that can be used to create new meaningful items.
You can choose from 15+ shades of this thick and easy to work yarn. It is made out of 90% cotton fabric and the process truly is recycling at its very best. There is no extra processing and no re-dyeing – no wasted water. That’s why there’s always chance that you get yarn that’s slightly off in colour – and why you rather pick from colour groups than from individual colours.
How to make a DIY net bag?
It took me a single evening to get my net bag project going. I ordered the recycled yarn off LoveCrafts.com – I couldn’t find any T-shirt style yarn locally, especially due to Covid restrictions and shops being closed.
There are dozens and dozens of easy DIY tutorials to choose from on how to create the perfect net bag. Depending on your yarn style and thickness, you might want to choose a different one than me. For this particular project and thick T-shirt yarn I found this one to work particularly well.It was very easy to follow and one batch of yarn was just enough, making the whole project cost exactly £8. The bag that I made was to have tassels on the bottom however it looked a bit clunky so I flipped it inside out instead. I’ve cut the tassels short and they’re now hidden on the bottom of the bag. With the wide straps and little to no stretchiness it’s actually a perfect bag to put your book and camera in and go for a stroll through the city. Sit on the bench, read a few pages. Grab a coffee and a cone of sugared almonds.
Have you ever made a net bag yourself? Did you enjoy it?