HOW DID AN ART TEACHER/MECHANICAL ENGINEER BECOME A CARPET BAG MAKER?
Coming from a family that passed their quilts on to the next generation, it didn't take long to see the relationship
between art, creativity, and good craftsmanship.
Those were the elements that eventually led
to the business of making carpet bags.
Fast forward to 1999 where Margaret Elaine is watching a Civil War re-enactment .Not being the least bit interested in who
won which battle, cooking outdoors over a camp
fire or any other discomfort, she focused
upon the re-enactors'costumes.
They were interesting but there
were no carpet bags there.
Being a strong believer in utilitarian art, she viewed the stagecoach/carpet bag as a beautiful piece of art
needing to be reinvented to fit into modern
society. A fabric suitcase. A collapsible
briefcase. Even a bag that
would open itself!
The goal was to make a beautiful bag and make it a functioning member of society. Beauty was easy. Function was not. There
were no patterns anywhere for a curved frame carpet
bag. Apparently there were no old carpet bags
stored away in someone's trunk either.
Frankly my dear,
we couldn't even find a human
who had ever seen one. E bay was
still just a baby and not a very good research
tool in 1999. Once every few months a real live antique carpet
bag with the doctor's bag frame might appear online. Finally
an antique dealer came up with an early 1900's doctor's
bag made from hard-as-a-rock leather. We now had
a tangible source we could study.
After making many different cutting patterns and many different bags,
we at Carpet Bag Replicas settled on the bag that we sell today.
Every detail of this bag has been examined and re-examined.
As an example, thebottom of this bag has a hardboard
insert enclosed within the tapestry. No one will ever
see this insert but we rounded the corners of
each insert so the bag will not wear in the
corners. Our carpet bags are American
conceived and American handcrafted.
The materials and workmanship
We promise to impress you. !