The Weld sports bag is part of a series that includes a beach bag, a shopping bag, and a laptop carry case.

Finding new uses for production techniques, materials, and unused industrial capacity was the inspiration for what became designer Joris de Groot’s thesis project at the Arzel School of Art in Arnhem, the Netherlands last June and resulted in the PVC-based Crease and Weld handbags.

Fold details on the Crease bag show how the designer determines the bag’s volume by strategically welding folds into its bottom and sides. This technique and its construction are what make the bag both innovative and good-looking.

“It’s the method of producing them that makes the bag different,” de Groot says.

The bags are the product of two years of research into handbag-making methods, says de Groot.

One of the requirements of de Groot’s self-generated brief was that he use only the materials and machines that he found in the Dutch rain gear and waterbed company, Dolfing Druten. He then co-opted the factory as his workspace and laboratory.

The leather handles are also welded onto the bag.

Manufacturing Materials Become Minimalist Handbags

Clever production techniques turn mundane fabrics into elegant accessories.

Sometimes we’re so busy making up new ways to do things that we forget to use the resources we already have. Repurposing existing production techniques and materials was the starting point for designer Joris de Groot’s two minimalist handbag designs called Crease and Weld, which were produced using the PVC and machinery of Dutch rain gear and waterbed company, Dolfing Druten. The bags, which began as de Groot's thesis project at the Netherlands’ ArtEZ Institute of the Arts, were officially released this fall.

The Weld bag series—a laptop briefcase and shopping, sports and beach bag—took its shape from a folding technique used to produce cheap plastic shopping bags. It also borrows a PVC typically used in the uniforms of chemical and agricultural workers and kneepad foam for work trousers.

The panels were "sewn" together using a microwave-like, high-frequency welding technique. With Crease—made from garden chair PVC wire—de Groot determined the bag’s volume by strategically welding folds into its bottom and sides, an innovation that makes the bag both unusual and good-looking.

One of the requirements of de Groot’s self-generated brief was that he use only the materials and machines that he found in the factory, which he then co-opted as his workspace and laboratory. But, the designer says, it felt more like a playground. Next up? Collaboration with a waste management company may be in the works.

For inquiries or purchases, please contact: jorisdegrootontwerp@gmail.com

[Photos by Rolf Hensel]

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