One of the things that sets Jum Designs apart is our dedication to individual custom bags. When you buy a bag from our online store, you are essentially ordering a custom bag that is handmade to your preferences. We have lots of bag designs for men, women and kiddies, and for most designs there are more than 50 fabric options to choose from. More than fifty! That’s a whole lotta options.

It also completely justifies endless trips to fabric stores, and an impressive fabric stash. How convenient…*sneaky snigger*


So how on Earth do you choose from more than 50 fabric options?

There are a few ways to approach this. Let me take you through some suggestions…

1. Buy a handbag in each fabric.

It’s not the worst idea when you stop to think about it:

Just kidding. Sort of.

2. First impressions

Sometimes you will find yourself drawn to a print immediately. If so, that’s probably a good sign that it’s a fabric you’ll love when incorporated into your new bag. Overthinking is overrated.

Me overthinking. And starting to overthink my overthinking.

Confession: I overthink. A lot! But I know that my next bag will be our new Shopper handbag in a tiger fabric I had custom printed. It caught my eye –  end of story.

3. Weighty matters

You’ll see in our fabric gallery that we’ve roughly categorised fabric according to weight. Let me make this super simple. Shweshwe falls under quilting weight cotton. Quilting weight is pure cotton that is suitable for a wide range of items, including clothing. I love working with this for handbags. It’s also a great choice for all bags that incorporate a drawstring.

What we refer to as medium weight cotton is thicker than quilting weight. It’s the kind of fabric you could use for curtains and even upholstery. Because it’s a heavier cotton, it’s more sturdy and can withhold more weight. So yes, it makes great handbags. Our Weekender Bag and Two Panel Totes are examples of bags where medium weight fabric is preferable. (Okay, but this does not mean you should squash in as much as you possibly can. Ever.)

Can you order a drawstring bag in medium weight fabric? Or a tote bag in quilting weight fabric? Absolutely. Otherwise we wouldn’t have that as an available option. I’m just pointing out a few worthwhile considerations.

4. Plain, floral, or geometric?

When it comes to prints, there is only one caveat I really stick to. Straight lines (stripes and grids) are a classic, but be careful of bags that have curved panels. In plain English: don’t select stripes or grids for our Weekender bag. Besides that, pick your fave.

This is my own Weekender bag in a bold floral

5. Colour my world

I love colour. For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved immersing myself and playing with colour combinations. I still love it. One of my favourite things is to play around with combining different colours. But I also have a love for order and neatness. So that pulls me in the direction of being a bit matchy-matchy. Or very matchy-matchy, if I’m going to be honest.

This year, I’m making a concerted effort to avoid my matchy tendencies. And I’m loving it!

If you love playing with colour, go out on a limb when picking fabrics for your bag. If you’re a bit hesitant, that’s cool too. In fact, it’s really understandable given the fact that we’re bombarding you with so many choices. We are always here to advise and guide you if you want to chat about the options. We kinda love it, truth be told. We want you to receive the perfect bag for you.

6. Trends

If you keep an eye on our Instagram and Facebook accounts, you’ll see that we highlight colour and print trends as the seasons progress. In fact, I highlighted several in this month’s edition of JumD Mail. If you want to be current, make sure you’re up to date with what’s trending. If you want to buck trends, that totes rocks too!

7. Don’t worry about your shoes

For reals. That whole ‘your shoes have to match your handbag’ thing went out aaaaaaaages ago.

8. Casual, smart casual, smart, cocktail, formal, black tie.

Whilst it’s true that your bag doesn’t have to match the colour of your shoes, the styles should complement each other. I’m not going to get into the realm of etiquette. Or the fact that people don’t seem to know how to adhere to dress codes (pet peeve alert!). What I will say, is that we have bags and fabrics for all occasions

So think about when and where you will be using your bag. And use that as a guide for style, colour, and print. (Hint: if you are a mom, just save yourself the trouble and opt for a larger handbag.) And if you want something to match a specific outfit, we can defs make that for you.


I’m going to stop there, for no other reason than 8 is a rather random place to stop. I hope that this has helped to guide you in selecting the best style of bag for you. If you’re still unsure, please contact us and we’ll gladly chat about the various options.

Bags of love,





FREE matching mini accessory with your first order!

Sign-up to JumD mail to claim your free accessory.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest