NatashaSmartTextiles

Unique handmade felt bags

Exmouth, England · 20 Sales

NatashaSmartTextiles

Unique handmade felt bags

Exmouth, England 20 Sales On Etsy since 2008

5 out of 5 stars
(12)
Natasha Smart

Contact shop owner

Natasha Smart

Reviews

Average item review
5 out of 5 stars
(12)
Jane

Jane on 17 Feb, 2018

5 out of 5 stars

Natasha, my bag arrived safely and is absolutely lovely! I love the colors and am enjoying using it. Thank you so much for creating it, for your excellent service, wrapping, and communication. Jane

View all 12 reviews

About

How I create unique felt bags

Welcome to my shop, where I am selling my unique handmade felt bag designs. The difference between commercial and handmade felt is not always clear, so let me tell you a bit about how I create my bags!

I start with the main outer bag fabric, which I wet-felt using high quality Finnwool fleece (which comes from a sheep farm in Finland). Wet-felting involves laying out wisps of wool fleece fibres, adding hot soapy water and then rubbing, rolling and throwing the fleece to make the fibres bond together. The more I work the fleece fibres in this way, the more entangled they become until they are completely bonded and cannot be separated. The result is a silky, smooth and soft felt fabric which is lightweight yet very strong (it will never fray or come apart) and is totally unlike the coarser commercial felt which most bags are made from. Each handmade piece of felt is completely unique.

I also use wool yarns and other fibres to create extra pattern and texture in the felt, incorporating them into the wet-felting process so that they bond with the fleece fibres. I live in a coastal town in Devon, on the south-west coast of the UK, and am inspired by the natural environment around me, especially the sea and patterns found in shells and fossils as well as the green hills and national parks of this area.

Once I have made the felt, I then use my own patterns to construct a bag from it, which I adapt depending on the size and colours/design of the felt fabric so that I am making the very best of each piece. I use beautiful complementary cotton lining fabrics, and always include a good-sized interior pocket, appropriate bag closures and quality leather or faux leather straps and handles. I am aiming to combine the unique qualities of handmade felt with a very contemporary design to create a bag which works for modern life.

As well as my sewn, constructed bags from flat pieces of felt, I also make bags which are seamless, which is where the amazing properties of felt really come into their own! I use a 3D foam or plastic resist to create the shape, wrapping the wool fleece around this before starting the wet-felting process. The wool fleece fibres bond together around the resist, which, once I remove the resist, creates a hollow, 3D felt shape which I continue to work until it resembles a sturdy bag shape. All with no sewing required (aside from adding a clasp and handles), and they even include an inside pocket made from a separate resist.

I regularly create limited edition design collections (eg my current Dartmoor collection), often using vintage wool yarns, so once I have used up my materials then I cannot make exactly the same designs again. So every bag really is one of a kind.

For more details of how I wet-felt bags, visit my blog pages at www.natashasmarttextiles.co.uk.

Shop policies

Last updated on 28 January, 2018
All items shown are the actual items for sale unless stated otherwise and all are ready to ship. I am usually able to ship by the next day.

Accepted payment methods

  • Accepts Etsy Gift Cards and Etsy Credits
  • Check
  • Other Method
Returns and exchanges
I gladly accept returns, exchanges and cancellations
Contact me within: 14 days of delivery
Ship items back within: 21 days of delivery
Request a cancellation within: 24 hours of purchase
The following items can't be returned or exchanged
Because of the nature of these items, unless they arrive damaged or defective, I can't accept returns for:
  • Custom or personalised orders
Questions about your order?
Please if you have any problems with your order.
RETURNS: If you wish to cancel your order and return your purchase to me, please contact me asap (up to a maximum of 14 days from delivery) using the Shop Owner 'Contact' button on my Etsy pages quoting your name and order reference number. I will refund you on receipt of returned goods using the same method by which you paid.

Items must be returned asap (up to a maximum of 21 days from delivery) using the original packaging. Buyers have a legal obligation to take reasonable care of the item(s) whilst in their possession. Returned items must be complete and undamaged, including supplies and all documentation and gifts that were part of the cancelled transaction. If the item is not returned in its original condition, the buyer is responsible for any loss in value, which will be deducted from any refund due.

Buyers are responsible for return shipping costs, unless the item is faulty or not as described. For your protection I recommend that you use an insured/trackable method of return and the original packaging to ensure safe delivery.

I am only obliged to refund the cost of standard shipping rates for the initial delivery to you of your item. If you chose to pay for additional costs, such as expedited or special delivery, these additional costs will not be refunded if you choose to cancel.

RETURNS OUTSIDE UK/EU: If you are returning an item from outside the UK, please clearly mark the front of the parcel as ‘Returned Goods’. I am not responsible for any customs charges incurred if you fail to do so. Any charge incurred, including the Royal Mail handling fee, will be deducted from your refund.

DAMAGED ITEMS: Where items arrive damaged or missing, I will need photographic evidence of the item and/or packaging within 48 hours of receipt in order to claim from the postal service involved. Refunds or replacements (where possible) will be offered when goods are damaged or lost in the post. Please retain the item and packaging until advised you may dispose of it, in the event of a postal service investigation. Please note that I will still require a damaged item to be returned.

UNDELIVERED RETURNED ITEMS: I send all items using tracked and signed delivery. If an item is tracked as delivered, or delivery has been attempted, but for some reason the item is returned due to non-collection by the recipient, then the buyer is responsible for any charges incurred in the item being returned to me. These charges will be deducted from any refund due. If the buyer wishes to have the item resent to them, they will need to pay for any charges as well as the additional postage costs.
Payment
Etsy keeps your payment information secure. Etsy shops never receive your credit card information.
Shipping
I am usually able to dispatch items by the next day and always use tracked and signed postage, to protect both buyer and seller and avoid problems over mislaid parcels and delays. However, I try to keep costs down by using recycled packaging, so I promise you are only paying for the actual postage, and I'll combine wherever possible.

UK SHIPPING: I use Royal Mail Second Class Signed For as standard (although you have the opton to upgrade to First Class Signed For or Special Delivery), which should be delivered to you after 3 working days. I try to use Small Parcel size prices wherever possible (£3.90), however some of my bags are unfortunately just bigger than this so need to be sent as Medium Parcels (£6).

SHIPPING OUTSIDE UK: Shipping everywhere else is by Royal Mail International Tracked and Signed as standard. For most destinations in Europe, this should take 3-5 working days, and for most destinations in Rest of World this should take 5-7 working days (but please contact me with your specific location if you need a more accurate delivery estimate). However, if you need your item more urgently, please contact me to discuss other delivery options.

CUSTOMS & IMPORT TAXES: Buyers are responsible for any customs and import taxes and charges that may apply. I'm not responsible for delays due to customs.

UK PARCEL NON-DELIVERY: Using standard Royal Mail Second Class Signed For, your parcel should be delivered within 3 working days after posting. Please note that Royal Mail will not accept a claim for loss until a further 10 working days after the due delivery date (ie 13 working days after posting). However, please let me know during this period if you have any concerns about your parcel being lost.

EUROPE PARCEL NON-DELIVERY: Using standard Royal Mail International Tracked and Signed, your estimated parcel delivery depends on your location (please contact me for details). For most of Europe, this is estimated at 3-5 working days. Please note that for all locations in Europe Royal Mail will not accept a claim for loss until a further 20 working days after the due delivery date (ie 25 working days after posting). However, please let me know during this period if you have any concerns about your parcel being lost.

OUTSIDE EUROPE PARCEL NON-DELIVERY: Using standard Royal Mail International Tracked and Signed postage, your estimated parcel delivery depends on your location (please contact me for details). For the US, this is estimated at 5-7 working days (which in my experience works out at around 2 full calendar weeks). Please note that for all locations outside Europe Royal Mail will not accept a claim for loss until a further 25 working days after the due delivery date (ie for the US, 32 working days after posting). However, please let me know during this period if you have any concerns about your parcel being lost.
Additional policies and FAQs
CUSTOM ORDERS: I can make most of my bags in your choice of colours, so please use the Request Custom Order button at the top of the page if you have seen a bag you like and would like a different colour. I will then make a version for you on approval (so if it isn't exactly what you want, you do not need to purchase it). Cost is likely to be the same as the original bag.

CARING FOR YOUR BAG: Although felt is quite hardy, and water-resistant to an extent so will withstand being out in light rain, it is still fabric rather than plastic or leather, so may start to show signs of wear if subject to heavy useage. So hear are my tips for keeping it looking tip-top!

STORAGE: When not in use, ideally keep your bag empty or filled with tissue paper or bubble wrap to help keep its shape. Store it somewhere it won't get squashed against other things, either hanging from its handles/strap or standing on its base for shaped bags (or lying flat for flat ones).

CLEANING: The felt is made of 100% wool, so if your bag gets dirty treat it as you would an item of wool clothing. Spot cleaning for dirty marks is probably the best option, using a gentle wool detergent. For catastrophic cleaning (eg a yoghurt spill inside the bag!), if your bag does not have leather handles or leather tabs sewn/attached to it, then you will be able to unclip the strap and gently handwash the entire bag in a wool detergent. Once you have rinsed out the detergent, shape the bag (eg stuff it with plastic bags or bubble wrap to create the shape) and leave it to air-dry (on a towel). Once dry, give it a gentle steam iron to help reshape it and smooth the surface fibres. However, for a bag with sewn/attached leather handles or tabs, you would ideally need to remove these first before handwashing. If you are a competent sewer and would like to reattach them yourself, please contact me for advice. If you would like me to reattach them for you, again contact me. For a small charge (£10 minimum) plus all postage costs I would be happy to do this for you.

PILLING: Just like a wool jumper, felt might start to pill (form small balls of fluff on its surface) if it continually rubs against another surface. If this happens, simply pull off the fluff or use a pilling tool to get rid of it. And again, a gentle steam iron will help to smooth all the surface fibres.

SHAPE: Wool is a flexible material, so it is possible that your bag could go slightly out of shape, eg if it has been crammed full of items or left scrunched up somewhere. If you feel that this is the case, a gentle steam iron will work wonders to smooth and reshape the felt.

ADDED EXTRAS: Fleece comes from real sheep, so despite it being cleaned and combed through and then going through the felting process, the odd bit of organic matter is sometimes still embedded. So if you spot the odd bit of straw on the surface of the finished felt, either carefully pick it out with a needle (like you would a splinter) or simply embrace it as part of the organic nature of 100% wool fleece!

If you have any concerns about caring for your bag, or if it suffers an accident and needs repair, please contact me for advice.

More information

Last updated on 18 Jan, 2018
Seller details
Natasha Smart
22A Windsor Square
EXMOUTH, Devon EX8 1JY
United Kingdom