Apps, Can’t live without them.

We all have them, we can’t make it thru the day without them…Our Apps.
I am thankful to these creative people who help me run my business, organize my life and saved my sanity with a little fun.

He is just a few of my favorites
Etsy & EBay –
I buy almost all my supplies from these 2 apps. Supporting other small business is very important to me. While getting great deals, I get to communicate directly with other business owners & artist.

Photogenie2 -irreplaceable!!!
All my photos for my website, business cards & promo items I edit and create with this app. Most of us take our photos with our smartphone, It’s wonderful to take the picture and edit it with such a professional tool

Business Card Designer(By Katsushi)
My new fav, it’s so easy to create custom photo business cards & even discount cards for clients. With no shipping cost or waiting. I can design the professional product the way I want. And I can save, email or send to print right from my phone

Square- changed my life!!!
Swipe credit cards & cash payments right from my phone. It’s so easy, with one swipe we both have the security of their signature and the receipt is immediately sent by email or text. One of my favorites is you can even take a picture to put with on their receipt (so we both can remember).

Here is some others I can’t do without
Netflix
(love to work while catching up on my movies & tv shows)

Sound hound –
Ever wonder what is the name of that song?
It will pull up the song with the info, song sample, lyrics, you tube choices, last tweets and concert dates. Bonus, it can play my music from my ipod library (with lyrics for me to sing along)

And for fun, Any Dash Game I can’t do without. Hotel Dash, Cooking Dash, Diner Dash & Wedding Dash 🙂

Well this is just a few of my favs, what’s yours?

Uhaneknits in Ocean beach

We had a great time at the 2012 Ocean Beach Fine Arts & Crafts Fair on Fire Island NY. The crowd was wonderful, welcoming & supportive. The talent there was great, artist from all over, I loved it.
Thank you to Rita & the Ocean Beach community for a successful day. If you are looking for a great vacation spot or just a day at the beach, take the ferry over to Ocean Beach 🙂

Don’t forget to check out Uhaneknits new website and our new designs.

Until next time 🙂

Great time in Astoria

The Astoria marketplace was alot of fun. It was a lovely indoor (air conditioned) market with friendly people and talented venders.

If you missed this one don’t worry go to Astoria market for the dates of their next event.

Here are some of the vendors info and their pics below. Don’t be shy, if you see something you like visit their site or send them a “luv ur work” email 😉

Nikila Harmon
lanomrahdesigns.etsy.com
Contact: lanomrah@gmail.com
Jewelry Designer makes original “Eco- friendly Jewelry for the Conscious Fashionista”

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Two more wonderful jewelry Designers:
I had the pleasure to meet was

Custom Creative
She makes beautiful “custom crafted home decor & jewelry for every occasion”
customcreative.etsy.com
Contact: customcreative@live.com

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& the beautiful work of

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LY Designs
http://www.lydesigns.com
Contact: Lisa@lydesigns.com

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This wonderful guy is Doug and his work is honestly breathtaking. ( and I bet he doesn’t forget to wear his glasses to take a pic, sorry about the blurriness 😦

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Charlito’s, Cocina.
http://www.charlitosconcina.com
I loved his original and absolutely delicious Fig Salami (no meat) & his great seasoned spreads. For all you cooks, his site is a must

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Terra Smiles
Organic healing Skin Care

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I brought the best organic Whipped Body Butter from this beautiful lady.

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Uhane Knit Hemp Clutch is your next summer handbag

by Diana Gordon

Perfect for the summer. Soft, Flat and Flexible…Great Grab & Go Purse. I made this clutch to go out with my husband. I received so many generous compliments and requests, I decided to make a few more for our Hemp Line.

Perfect travel purse. You never have to worry about your purse’s frame or case cracking from a packed suitcase. This adorable accessory can take you from casual to dress, from the beach to dinner.

Uhane knit Handbags are always knit stitched and assembled by hand. Each bag is decorated with an unique vintage brooch. Hand knit with soft pre-washed Hemp yarn. micro suede lining, genuine suede oversize pocket and magnetic closures.
approximately 12″Lx6″H.

Special Discount this Memorial Day Weekend!!! Visit our etsy.com store. Use our coupon code UK20SALE2011 & you will get 20% off

New “Go Green” Uhane Knits Handbag & Accessory Lineup for Fall 2011

When the dreads do fashion, what material do they turn to?  Hemp is it, of course! Why, you may ask? “The beauty of the fabric speaks for itself,” says Diana Gordon, Uhane Knits Designer & President.  “It is a fabulous fabric, one of the best-kept fashion industry secrets. It is a good old-fashioned renewable natural resource with so many great uses but carries such an unwarranted stigma.”  So why would a Brooklyn born, homegrown company now based in Long Beach, New York consisting of a married duo, Diana & Mannix Gordon choose hemp as the best choice in handbag design?  Though cannabis is front and center in the ongoing culture and legal drug wars[1], they would like to break with the stereotype and talk about their own hand knit fashion sense based on ecological sustainability.  Here is their take on it.

As legislative battles to legalize the herb wages in statehouses around the country bring new awareness to the medicinal effects of a controlled substance such as cannabis[2], another aspect has been oft overlooked.  Much less controversial and still widely unknown is the industrial and commercial uses of the non-narcotic form of the plant called hemp.   The Uhane Knits 2011 collection puts the fabric front and center in clutches and handbags.

‘Hemp sources for our clothing[3] is legally grown, in countries like Canada, France, and China requires no pesticides to aid growth. Hemp is one of the most environmentally friendly products we could find.” says Mannix. “Uhane Knits would like to focus on the knitting uses and fabric derivatives from the herb. We asked why we cannot get hemp yarn grown in the United States.”  As stated in their 2011 catalogue, they see the benefits of  hemp line as economical,  fashion forward, and eco-friendly. (see the full press release at uhaneknits.com). Download the new catalogue at www.uhaneknits.com/UhaneKnitsCatalogueSeasons2011.pdf

Contrary to urban myth[4] and even conventional wisdom, industrial hemp is actually legal for industrial uses  in the United States.  Though policies against the cultivation of this wondrous eco-friendly fiber have been tantamount to a near shutdown of the industry in America, it was not always reviled and stigmatized this way.

Hemp agriculture used to thrive in the U.S. until the industrial revolution.  The dominance of “King Cotton” then and the 20th century proliferation of petroleum-based synthetics saw to it that hemp as an industrial fabric faded into obscurity. Fear of marijuana proliferation[5] [6] and ubiquity of cheaper synthetic fabrics pushed the cultivation of industrial hemp aside. Panic of spreading drug use and hippie culture in the sixties led to federal legislation[7] to ban all cannabis plant cultivation, including hemp. However, hemp is not marijuana, though they both derive from the same Cannabis Sativa family of plants. Hemp is known for its strong fiber, oil, and its many industrial uses. Industrial Hemp has little THC (less than 1.0%, norm: 0.5%)[8], than the mind-altering affect that recreational/ medicinal marijuana (range of 3% to 20%) is known for and no one could get high from smoking it.

Did you know the first American flags and the first denim jeans by Levi Strauss were made from hemp?  Our founding fathers grew hemp and saw it as a duty to the nation in the early years of this country to expand its production.   If it was good then, it should be great now as many eco-conscious consumers turn to more natural and environmental friendly solutions to the age-old question of what to wear.

Thomas Jefferson once said, “Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth & protection of the country”.  George Washington said, “”Make the most of the Indian hemp seed, and sow it everywhere!”[9]  The decision was clear from early on that pound for pound, acre for acre, hemp was a winner crop to help build and develop a new nation.  The amount of industrial uses is amazing.  During World War II, the American government even encouraged farmers [10] to grow it to help aid the war effort.

From oils /bio-fuel to food, from medicine to cosmetics, from paper to building blocks and ultimately to clothing, hemp is a pollution-eating crop with a wide variety of domestic uses.  It is a wonder plant.[11]  Fast growing and sewage eating, hemp has very little need for chemical fertilization.  Hemp is naturally disease resistant, can be grown almost anywhere and improves the soil for the next crop. Growing hemp fiber can save many trees from being clear-cut. So Grow hemp and use its fibers instead for paper products.  Save the trees and let them grow.

Thirty nations on the planet currently grow industrial hemp.[12]  These include Canada, Australia, England, France, Germany, Austria, Spain, Russia, and China. The Biggest producer of hemp is China.  The Chinese, Europeans and Canadians, have cornered the world market on hemp.[13] This hemp is then imported to the U.S. with a huge mark up in price.  This is lost revenue for American farmers and for the government’s tax coffers alike due to outdated Cannabis policies and a misunderstanding of the difference between marijuana and hemp.  It is about time U.S. farmers are allowed to get in on the industrial hemp action again without fear of any stigma or sanctions. We have the farm acreage here[14] and internal consumer demand for it in the U.S. is growing[15].

With global climate change, more than ever there is a need for farmers to diversify their crops.  They can do so frugally with low maintenance soil enriching hemp, it’s especially beneficial in drought stricken areas throughout the southwest.  The environmental problems associated with lower annual rainfall conditions, persistent use of artificial fertilizers and pesticides are well documented[16] [17] [18]. Since hemp does not need much rainfall, fertilizer or pesticides, it might well be time to rethink hemp cultivation here.  These reasons among others is why the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) recently adopted a resolution strongly urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to collaboratively develop and adopt an official definition of industrial hemp. The Arizona Industrial Hemp council and other grassroots organizations are making a strong nationwide push to relieve the restrictions on the cultivation so beneficial to their state and to the U.S. economy as a whole.[19]

Consumers too can have a huge role in boosting the industry back to prominence by boosting personal demand. When shopping, demand Fair Trade, demand organic, and demand hemp products!  Simply choosing and wearing hemp is an easy “go green” fashion statement which can have a huge impact on the industry.  Even with importation, the prices are still competitive and the fiber itself is durable and softens nicely with wear.  “Ladies are going to buy cute handbags & its time again to look at the eco-friendly hemp as a viable alternative?” Gordon asks, “Who will take the lead in this area of the fashion debate? Uhane Knits has already gone all in with hemp in their new collection of handbags this year. We call on others in the fashion industry to join us and do the same.”

Gordon boasts, “We base high value on originality and simple elegance, from supporting those who plow the earth organically to us carefully knitting and stitching with our own hands. We feel these qualities and the personal touch sets Uhane Knits apart from companies who rely on machine made & mass production techniques. Each of our bags, belts, and clutches are unique and lovingly handknit here in the U.S.A.”  When buying a new handbag, try Uhane Knits for innate artistry, eco-friendly materials, and colorful energy for a bold refreshing change.

Sources / Endnotes


[1] Culture War: – ‘Marijuana Man’ Comic Book –  Son of reggae legend, Ziggy Marley, released a comic book called “Marijuana Man”  in commemoration of the 4/20 celebrations.

[2] States Hemp Legislation: To date, twenty-nine states have introduced hemp legislation and seventeen have passed legislation; nine (Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont and West Virginia) have removed barriers to its production or research. eight states have passed hemp resolutions: California, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont and Virginia. In 2002, Hawaii became the first state to reopen licensing for research production of hemp under strict regulatory oversight.

[3] EarthEasy.com “The value of this versatile, easy to grow, eco-friendly crop is becoming more and more apparent. For example, Canadian hemp farmers make $80 per hectare while American grain farmers make $8. This represents a promising option for farmers whose current crops experience reduced demand. Tobacco farmers take note!” – Greg Seaman founder of Earth Easy

[5] Hemp Industry Association, USA It is currently illegal to grow industrial hemp for food, oil, paper or fabric in the USA, but it is perfectly legal to export hemp to the U.S. and to process, consume and wear it there.

[6] HempFarm.org “Marijuana and Hemp: The Untold Story” Thomas Bouril, 1997; For the first 162 years of America’s existence, marijuana was totally legal and hemp was a common crop. But during the 1930s, the U.S. government and the media began spreading outrageous distortions and untruths about marijuana, which led to its prohibition. (“Marijuana: The devil’s weed with roots in hell”, “Marijuana makes fiends of boys in 30 days”, “Reefer Madness”, etc.) It was banned in the USA under the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. In a blatant case of mistaken identity, industrial hemp was banned along with it

[7] The Controlled Substance Act of 1970 – Two federal agencies, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Food and Drug Administration, determine which substances are added to or removed from the various schedules

[8] Industrial Hemp in the United States: Status and Market Potential USDA Paper, 2000 – delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”), the active psychotropic ingredient found in the leaves and flowers of the female plant

[9] Founding Father Quotes: George Washington, The Writings of George Washington Volume 33, page 270 (Library of Congress), 1794

[10] Archive.org US government propaganda film made during WWII touting the virtues of hemp. The film was aimed at farmers at a time when the miltary was facing a shortage of hemp, it shows how hemp is grown and processed into rope and other products.

[11] Encyclopedia Information on Hemp: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemp

[12] Agricultural Marketing Research Center Worldwide research and development has sparked an increase in new, innovative uses for hemp. In contrast to the United States, over 30 countries have continued to grow and process industrial hemp. World leaders of hemp production include Canada, Germany, England and France. The European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) says between 15 to 20 companies in the European Union (EU) and between 5 to 10 companies in Eastern Europe process hemp. In 2001, the seven largest companies had a total of about 25,000 acres under contracted cultivation, producing an estimated 20,000 to 25,000 metric tons of fiber, about one-third of global production.

[13] Agricultural Marketing Research Center A conservative estimate of the total retail value of hemp products sold in the United States in 2007 is $350 million. The current annual U.S. market for hemp yarn and fabric is estimated to be in the $15 million range. The Hemp Industries Association estimates that the North American retail market for hemp textiles and fabrics exceeded $100 million in 2007 and is growing around 10 percent per year. The retail health care market, including lotions and oils, is estimated to sell over $30 million worth of hemp products in the United States annually.

[14] Industrial Hemp in the United States: Status and Market Potential USDA Paper, 2000: In 1998, imports of hemp seed into North America were estimated at 1,300 tons. Given yields in Germany of about 1,000 pounds per acre, it would take 2,600 acres to satisfy the demand for hemp seed. As with fiber imports, it would take only a few average sized farms to meet this demand.  According to the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance (CHTA), the trade association representing the Canadian hemp industry, Canadian farmers planted over 48,000 acres of hemp in 2006, a new record. This is twice the 2005 acreage and six times the 2004 acreage of about 4,000 acres. Canadian farmers are reporting net profits of $200 to $250 per acre.

[15] Industrial hemp’s double dividend: a study for the USA, by Dave M. Alden, John L. R. Proopsand Philip W. Gay – excerpt from abstract: The impacts on domestic industries and the quality of the environment of permitting industrial hemp production in the United States are explored. These impacts are modeled in three States of the World that reflect alternative assumptions about technology. A linear programming model of domestic textile fiber, oil seed, pulp logs, pulp and paper industries is employed. The objective of the model is total land use minimization. The impact on domestic industries of permitting industrial hemp production are substantial in each State of the World. Economic efficiency is measured in terms of total direct land use required to produce a desired level of physical output.

[16] Botanical Pesticides in Agriculture, By Anand Prakash, Jagadiswari Rao; 1997 CRC Press Inc.

[17] Economic Impacts of reduced pesticide use in the United States: Measurement of Costs and Benefits by the Agricultural & Food Policy Center (AFPC) Policy Issues Paper 99-2 August 1999.

[18] HempUSA.org Hemp has few natural predators and it grows well without herbicides, fungicides, or pesticides. The production of cotton, on the other hand, consumes about 25% of all pesticides used on American crops. Some of these chemicals are among the most toxic classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  Industrial hemp is also a very land efficient crop. On a per acre basis, hemp yields 250% more fiber than cotton and 600% more fiber than flax without the need for toxic chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Hemp has a deep root system that helps to prevent soil erosion, removes toxins, provides a disease break, and aerates the soil to the benefit of future crops. Hemp grows well in a variety of climates and soil types. Hemp builds and replenishes topsoil and subsoil structures. Hemp plants shed their leaves throughout the growing season, adding rich organic matter to the topsoil and helping it retain moisture which allows hemp to be more drought-resistant. Hemp leaves the soil in excellent condition for any succeeding crop, especially when weeds may otherwise be troublesome.

[19] Arizona Industrial Hemp Council Purpose: To promote development of Industrial Hemp in Arizona

THE CASE FOR HAND KNIT HANDBAGS PART III – UHANE KNITS, THE CHOICES & FUTURE

Uhane Knits

The Uhane Knits Label of Quality

As a person who loves and carries handbags wherever I go, wool is great because it’s perfect year round.  We all know wool is a great insulator, that it’s wonderful in retaining heat; but did you know that insulation also works both ways?  Wool is great for keeping the cool in too.  Different cultures use wool clothes because it is a breathable material allowing the skin to cool itself during warm weather, and retain heat during cooler weather. Bedouins and Tuaregs mainly use wool clothes to keep the heat out, while the Inuit and Scandinavians mainly use it to keep the heat in through cold winters.

I hear from people that they cannot believe that

someone actually sat there and actually made a knitted bag!

All I can do is smile and say to them, “yes, I did make that

Unlike synthetics and petroleum-based products, wool is the best sustainable choice. It is an organic product, eco-friendly and is better for the environment without the chemical processes.  Done right, hand shearing does not harm the animals & free range herding is preferred. Organic wool just happens to be my favorite, but there are many other types of yarn to choose. Distinctive yarns comes from countries near & far.

For example, I use wool-soy blends made in China that are heavier and are great for colder climates. Nylon blended yarn are very sturdy and springy, so I use them for many of our belts and bag straps. There are lightweight wools (Morocco) and heavier wools (Italy). There is super-chunky, chunky, lightweight, sock yarns, and many width and thread sizes.

Making Bedouin Wool Yarn / Eyal Dor Ofer – Yaldor Photography

Making Bedouin Wool Yarn

Again, with various colors and sizes, the possibilities are endless. Countries such as Peru make very distinctive quality wool yarn that dyes well.

 I just hope that I can come up with the perfect bag for the season and satisfy the needs of the individual customer.

'Aina Hemp Handbag on Billboard

'Aina Hemp Handbag on Store Billboard

I have starting experimenting with other materials to create more seasonal looks. Soon, we will be incorporating yarn made of cotton, hemp and other natural fibers.  Stay tuned!  Each new fiber has its own inherent and unique qualities, but that is a topic for another discussion.  Still, to me, wool is my most vibrant, year-round and staple choice. It is an awesome fabric and makes perfect sense year round.  Uhane Knits handbags come in lots of  shapes, colors and styles.

When I began Uhane Knits, I wanted to not only change people’s perceptions about hand knit designs but also open their minds to the possibilities of what organic and eco-friendly material  can be. I wanted to bring out the spirit of the material and hopefully mold it with my own passion to create lovely and functional women’s accessories.  I knew even as a girl that knitting could be used for more than just socks, sweaters & scarves. I believed that it could even be used to make designer handbags. I knew that wool could be worn with style any season & for any occasion.

Wool is still underappreciated in the design of handbags. I think it is because of a simple lack of knowledge of the material and its wonderfulness.  People may not consider the material because they may think of it only in winter, just for warmth, for hats and scarves, not for handbags. This offers us at Uhane Knits a great opportunity.

It is our mission & our slogan to get the word out to people that wool is for every season

I hope this treatise and the information within will enlighten you as it has for me.  Can you now see yourself wearing quality wool even between the months of May and October? Now you know a little more about my favorite fabric, my love for wool and more than most people about what goes into an Uhane Knits handbag.

After reading the “Case for Handknit Handbags”, now you can explain with authority to anyone who looks puzzled about you wearing wool in the spring.

Cynthia Diane

Cynthia Diane Shoulder Bag in Wool / Soy Blend

Even in July, armed with this knowledge, you will be able to explain to them why “Wool is not just for winter” and can tell them the facts of why it be can enjoyed year round!  So go wear your wool, anytime, with pride.  Thank you for reading.

We’d love to hear from you too! Let us know what you think about the subject.  Subscribe or just leave a comment with us on our wordpress blog: HandKnit. Also, you can visit on facebook, the UK website, or just peruse our photostream on flickr. Crafters are welcome to join our circle and please visit our shop on Etsy.

THE CASE FOR HAND KNIT HANDBAGS PART II – NATURALLY UNIQUE

Sheep

This little lamb gets sheared to produce woollen yarn

Did you know wool comes in two different types?  Our wool yarn is worsted.  We buy it already spun, plied and ready to use.  Worsted wool is characteristically smooth, firm, and strong.  Worsted yarn has a great sheen, especially when spun from a long and lustrous fleece. This is opposed to woolen yarns, which are spun from rolag.  Rolag is a roll of fiber generally used to spin other less lustrous woolen yarn and many people buy it in a more raw state for homemade dyeing & for creating their own custom yarn.

I choose worsted wool because it is naturally stronger and the longer length helps it felt so much better.

What makes wool such a unique texture and so special to my designs is its character. It has elasticity, scaling and crimps. Elasticity is important because it allows the fabric to stretch, breathe, and return to its original shape. The fiber has scales that overlap like shingles on a roof. This adds strength and allows the knitter to connect additional balls of yarn easier.  Crimp is best described as the number of bends in the fiber.  The more bends, the finer the crimp and the greater the ability to spin the wool into fine yarns.

Fine yarns are the preferred choice for a hand knitter who believes in top quality and tight construction.  Crimping allows the fibers to attach to each other and most importantly, to give it strength & durability. For example, hair has little bend, no crimp and an inability to effectively be spun into yarn. A fine wool like Merino may have up to 100 crimps per inch, while coarser wools like karakul may have as few as 1 to 2 crimps.  [1] [2]

Wool is resistant to static electricity; this is why wool garments are much less likely to cause a spark or cling to the body. The use of wool car seat covers and wool carpets actually reduces the risk of a shock when a person touches an ungrounded object. So you won’t get sparks after walking on a Persian rug for instance.

Another wonderful fact about wool Fibers is that it is hygroscopic, meaning that it readily absorbs moisture. Wool can absorb moisture almost one-third of its own weight before even feeling wet.  Lambs are protected by a layer of lanolin in their fleece which keeps their skin nice and dry.  In addition, wool is naturally fire retardant. Did you know that wool is specifically chosen for garments for fire fighters, soldiers, and others in occupations where they are exposed to the likelihood of fire, and large temperature swings within their job?

What is it about all the different yarns, the textures, the patterns, the colors?

Oh, and the color combinations are incredible. It is a designer’s dream. Wool holds colored dyes so well and lasts so long. I am amazed to see that my bags have the same vibrant colors and keep them for years and years.  I love it because I can choose and play with any color combination under the sun.

Wool Yarn

The wool yarn is used to make Uhane Knits Handbags

Fisherman’s Wool can be found in several of Uhane Knits bags models. It’s in the Signature

& Nani collections like the Lisa Marie, Kara, Niko and Lani. It’s in Oatmeal and other colors. Light as a feather, Fisherman’s wool is coated in lanolin oil so it is extra damp resistant and perfect for all seasons. No fear taking the bag into the elements, rain or snow.

Lisa Marie Shoulder Tote

The Lisa Marie Shoulder Tote felted in Fisherman's wool

Furthermore, this is why fine wool is so important to felting. Felting is the process of agitating the wool with hot water and a little soap to help the fibers attach to one another better, making a stronger fabric.  The process of felting changes the structures of the fiber to make it one solid unified fabric.

After hand knitting, felting is what makes our handbags awesome. It’s because the loose fitting knit and weaving begun with needles then becomes unified, solidified and stronger.  Sometimes, after felting, the weave pattern visibly melts away. Wool is the only fiber that actually felts properly.

Now, don’t get me wrong, synthetic materials do have their place and are very useful. Moreover, we do use them in Uhane Knits handbags.  We utilize Nylon to create strong belts and topstitching.  Microsuede makes for a fantastic interior lining and durable pockets.  Other materials that adorn our bags include wooden beads & tags, steel, nickel and brass rings and other metal fasteners, snaps and nylon zippers.