What Are the Different Types of Western Purses?

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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 12 January 2020
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Silver accents, ornate leather and dangling fringe are all common elements used to create Western purses. Leather has long been associated with the West, and carved or hand-tooled purses often feature a Western theme. Other materials used to create Western-style purses include hides with hair, fur and animal skins. To bring even more color to a Western purse, colorful fabrics featuring the brilliant colors of the Southwest and Western deserts can be used. Some purses can even be made in Western shapes, such as a cactus or armadillo.

Accessories on purses, such as silver conchos, grommets and miniature spurs, can help carry out a Western theme. Leather can be dyed to bring out certain decorative elements, including hand-tooled roses and letters spelling out names. Some Western purses are also made in the shape of animals, such as armadillos and horses. Western purses can be created in typical purse and bag shapes, or created to resemble common Western shapes, such as horse saddles, cowboy boots and cacti. Some designers actually brand leather purses with their logo.


Hair on hide is also used to create Western purses with real animal fur textures, colors and patterns. Cow, horse and deer hides — complete with hair — are used to create a variety of purses with natural Western flair. Purses made using hair on hides can feature a single hide, or several different types of patterns and textures. Another purse option is using a hair on hide material with a leather accent, such as creating a purse with a brown and white cow hair on hide on top and a chocolate leather bottom and strap.

Other animal skins, including snake and armadillo, are popular choices for Western purses. The skins feature natural, intricate textures and patterns and can be left in a natural state or dyed. Fur skins, such as coyote, mink and bobcats, can add plushness to a Western purse and the furs can be used as an overall material or as accent or trim pieces. Some animal tails, such as raccoon, are also used on Wpurses.

The colors of the desert are often featured in Western purses, including bright turquoise, golden brown and fiery reds. Western-style patterns can be printed on the fabric, such as cowboy boots or hats, or various types of fabrics can be pieced together to create a Western-themed purse. Some types of purses feature predominant fringe from top to bottom, while others include a fringed sipper tassel or a single strip of fringe.


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