Introducing; The Cloth House “What have you been making?” Series.
Once a month, Cloth House will be asking our blog readers what have you been making? Then featuring YOU and your Cloth House creations right here on our blog. As well as an opportunity to exhibit our customers’ talent, it is a chance to be inspired by others and share ideas around the textile community.
This month we introduce Sueco Bags
As the founder, designer and maker behind Sueco Bags, Surrie Coulson’s skilled hands transform our Cloth House Neoprene into sleek and clean cut tote bag silhouettes. Through the simple and sculptural forms of her tote bags, Surrie communicates beautifully the textural characteristics of neoprene. Even as they sit, slightly rumpled on the floor they retain a curvaceous and flowing line. In addition to their marshmallowey visual appeal, Surrie’s playful colour choices are equally enticing; from powdery pastels to rich cobalt blue and forest green. Each Sueco Bag is carefully crafted with reinforced straps and is machine washable, these thoughtful practicalities married with the classic tote bag shape make for a covetable handmade, statement piece.
Surrie took some time away from her sewing machine to chat to us about her Sueco Bags…
Why did you choose to work with neoprene?
I actually originally started working with denim as it is a strong and hard wearing fabric. I came across some remnants of neoprene and thought I’d give it a try as its such an interesting fabric. The colours and texture really appealed to me, also the fact that you can leave the raw edges and they don’t fray.
What inspired you to make your first bag – was it a personal creation or did you already have the Sueco Bags business in mind?
I have always used tote bags, I find them a really versatile bag to use. I decided I wanted to try and make my own out of a more durable fabric than calico, which they are commonly made from. I also decided to experiment with the shape to make a more structured design. I started making them originally for myself and for gifts for friends and family.
You’ve recently re-located to Brighton, have your neoprene bags become an essential beach item?
Ha! Yeah they are a great beach bag! Though they obviously cant carry as much as the denim, a beach towel and a few essentials are the perfect weight for the neoprene bags.
We can see that you have experimented with alternative fabrics. What are your future plans for Sueco Bags?
Yes, I’ve been experimenting with denim as well as neoprene. They both offer completely different looks and feels. I am really excited for the future of Sueco Bags. I think It is really important to explore different techniques when making them, though I will always continue to hand make my bags. I want to continually try and improve my product and hopefully get faster at making them!
Lastly do you have any tips for working /sewing with neoprene?
Neoprene is pretty easy to work with as long as you get the tension right on your sewing machine. (This is an ongoing challenge for me !) I am definitely still learning and exploring different ways of working with it. I am also looking into the production of wet suits to see if it will help me produce a stronger product.
Shop Sueco Bags HERE.
Or if you have been inspired to get creative with neoprene shop our Cloth House Neoprenes HERE.