Indian handmade bags are being used since an erstwhile era in form of utility item as well as fashion accessory. These have been mentioned in several ancient scriptures with Sanskri word “Syutamh”.

Interesting facts about the history of Indian handmade bags:
Kubera, Hindu god of wealth is mentioned in scriptures holding a treasure sack (money bag) or money-pot in his hand.
• Indian potli bags have been essential items for travelers for a long time period. During the exile of Lord Rama in Ramayana, his brother Lakshman has been described carrying potli bag containing clothes, fruits, medicated leaves and mud of Ayodhya. In Mahabharata, Pandavas have also been mentioned carrying with potli bags during exile. Arjuna concealed his weapon potli bag on a tree in Virata Kingdom.
• Gaumukhi (Prayer bag or Japa bead bag) has been mentioned in several scriptures.
• It was saddle bags, in which Samosa, the spicy and mouthwatering snack was brought in India by Muslim soldiers and traders. They used to prepare them in night campfires and used to pack into saddle bags for next day’s journey.
Jhola bags especially made of Khadi were the symbol of patriotism during the British rule in India. It was also worn earlier by the pundits, writers, poets, journalists and painters.

Styles of Indian handmade bags:

In sync with time passage, Indian handmade bags have also adopted several styles, which are described below in a nutshell.

1. As per shape
• Indian Potli bags are now attached with drawstring and hence called as drawstring bags. Stuff sack is also this type of bag, which is used for storing camping items. •
Indian Jhola bags are now handmade in hobo style with broad shoulder strap.
• Bucket bag is a type of handbag in shape of bucket. These top zippered bags offer plenteous room.
• Barrel bags come in horizontally elongated shape. The long handles can be suspended over shoulder.
• Satchel bags come with a strap worn diagonally crossing the body and over shoulder often by students.
• Tote bags come in large and open shape with long handles centered atop each side.
• Hobo bags feature large, oval and crescent shape, zippered top and long strap for wearing over shoulder. •
Duffel bag (kit bag, gym bag) feature large cylindrical body with drawstring closure atop. These are used for carrying luggage or sports equipment.

2. As per use of body part
• Handbags are typically used by ladies for holding personal items like keys, make up items, mobile phone etc.
• Clutch bags or purses come in long rectangular shape without any straps. These are nice for keeping small items like hanky, keys, cell etc while going for parties and functions.
• Wristlet bags are miniature in size and can be fastened with a strap at waist.
• Sling bags (Shoulder bags) are a type of handbag worn over one shoulder with a strap.
• Backpacks (Rucksacks, knapsacks, packsacks) are carried on back with two straps over shoulders.

3. As per purpose
• Shopping bags can be used for the shopping purpose.
• Office bags can be used for carrying multiple items. These also include laptop bags.
• Party bags come in fashionable design and include wedding bags, cosmetic bags, weekend bags, beach bags, jewelry bags, evening bags, sports bags, gift bags, wine bags etc.
• Money bags include coin bags, wallet etc.
• Other bags contain travel bags, yoga bags, garment bags, lunch bags, book bags etc.

4. As per use of material
• Handcrafted eco friendly bags are made of jute, paper, cotton and other materials. Indian Jute bags are majorly produced in West Bengal and include shopping bags, wine bottle bags etc. Paper bags or paper sacks are used for shopping and carrying items.
• Handcrafted fashion bags usually come in form of satin bags, silk bags, velvet bags etc.

5. As per craft and decoration
• According to crafting process bags include Embroidered Bags, Knitted Bags, patchwork bags, appliqué work bags etc.
• As per decoration, bags come in several styles like beaded bags, sequin bags etc. Frame bags feature the frame pattern atop, while mesh bags feature mesh (net) design.

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Author's Bio: 

Satyajit Banerjee is an expert writer in handicraft space and writes for, an eCommerce portal for handcrafted and hand-made products. It offers wide range of products across various categories ranging from Fashion Jewellery, Handmade Accessories, Women Apparels, Accessories, Necklaces, Home Décor, Indian Painting & Furnishing products and much more.