I call these “tambourine totes” because that’s what the shape of the first ones brought to mind: a flat circle supported by a band around the edge. I did consider other names, but “not my usual slouchy carryall” seemed a bit awkward.
Still, it’s true that they’re not my usual slouchy carryalls. They’re still wonderfully soft, but these bags make more of an effort to maintain their shape. It’s all thanks to the plushy foundation sandwiched between lining and outer panel. Nothing rigid, you understand. In fact, if you were so inclined, you could still roll one up into a cylinder - not something I recommend, but true all the same. (Take a peek at the evidence below.)
I love the way they showcase Mark’s beautiful hand-dyed fabrics.
There’s been a certain amount of evolution in the line since the first tambourine-shaped bags. The side band remains, but now the flat panels include ovals and teardrops and squircles. Yes, squircles, as in squares with rounded corners. I swear, I did not make this up.
There’s a sizeable slip pocket inside and the adjustable webbing strap (fitted out with low-lead brass hardware which finally makes me happy) gives this design a modern vibe.
*Don’t try this at home: I rolled up the bag and tied it with a ribbon so I could photograph it. I removed the ribbon and the tambourine tote popped back into shape - you see the result in the image above. (That happens to be the “after” picture, but a “before” picture would have looked the same.)
Click on any image below for its description and additional views
Tambourines are technically “jingle-bearing frame drums.” And those jingles go by the charming name of zills, like the finger cymbals of beledi dancers. Music geeks will also want to know that tambourines are relatives of the Brazilian pandeiro and the Egyptian riq.