I have a Tignanello purse that I really really love that was showing its age. I love its shape, a satchel shape with full length two-way zipper to allow the purse to open really wide. I love its utility, having just the right number of pockets and zippers in just the right places. I love its color, a pale red wine color, which can go with dark hues such as blacks and browns as well as with brighter spring and summer hues. I love the handles configuration, just the right sized hoops for carrying on my arm or swinging in hand.
After a few years of use, the leather of the handles became worn and cracked. The rest of the purse was still in tip-top shape. I really hated to discard it just because of that. Also, it’s so difficult to find a suitable purse that I felt it’d be more efficient to try to prolong use of the one I already have and love.
Enter Paracord braiding! Paracord is a kernmantle-style cord, generally made of nylon and originally used as suspension lines of parachutes. I think today, paracord is so widely used in so many applications that it has become a common name, like “xerox” has.
Paracord appears to be used in many many craft applications, but most commonly made into bracelets and used to wrap handles. It was easy to find a really good video tutorial for paracord braid cover of a handle. It was also easy to get into a rhythm, to produce uniform braids, at least for me. As you can see from the result, I got pretty good at it after only about a third of a way into doing the first handle.
Another plus of paracord is that you can get in many different colors. I used a purple one that I just happened to have around and the purple matched my purse reasonably well.
So far, the braidings appear to hold up well, but it has been only a couple of months. It’s not yet clear how this particular brand of paracord stands up to abrasion of repeated use. (I bought the paracord at Home Depot.) One thing is for sure, new, spiffy, braided handles sure beat spending loads of time looking for a new purse. The only thing better would have been to make my own purse, which I may yet try at some point.