What Is a Drawstring Purse?

Lauren Romano

A drawstring purse is a small cloth bag that closes at the top via a drawstring. Its design makes it convenient to use for certain outings or events. It differs in design from a drawstring backpack, but still comes in a variety of colors, patterns and prints. There are various pros and cons of using the bag, ranging from ease of use to a stranger's access to the bag. The style makes it easy to create a homemade standard or no-sew version.

A drawstring purse features a drawstring around the top hem which can be used to close the bag.
A drawstring purse features a drawstring around the top hem which can be used to close the bag.

One of the most simply designed purses, the drawstring purse is all cloth and has a drawstring around the top hem. It opens when the top of the purse is spread open and closes when either side of the drawstring is pulled. There is often only one small zippered compartment on the inside. The drawstring typically keeps the purse shut, but there may also be a small plastic stop piece that prevents accidental openings.

The purse is convenient to wear for exercising or to events or gatherings where a purse is cumbersome or doesn't look right with the outfit. They're often given as part of a bridesmaid gift considering they can be made to match the dresses and even created from the same material. While out dancing or at a bar where there is excessive movement or very cramped spaces, a drawstring purse is small enough that it's not an annoyance to the user and anyone within a few feet. It's also useful to carry while going out for a walk or run as it's small enough to hold basic items such as keys or lip balm without disrupting the user's ease of movement.

Although similar, a drawstring purse differs from a drawstring backpack. The latter has two large drawstrings that fit around each shoulder and allows the bag to hang down the back while the purse hooks around the wrist. The purse is smaller in design and can only hold a few items such as an ID, a cellphone and small pieces of makeup, while the backpack can fit much more. Although both can come in any color, pattern and print, the purse usually comes in more trendy or elegant materials and designs considering how and where it's typically used.

One of the major pros of using a drawstring purse is its ease of use. It's small and simple enough so that it easily opens and closes and can hold basic items so a large purse doesn't have to be used. It's also very difficult for a pickpocket to reach into the bag. A downside to using the purse is that its strings make it easy for a thief to quickly cut them and run if the bag is hanging low from the wrist. There's also very limited space for those who want to try to shove in a few extra items.

It's rather easy to make a drawstring purse. For a no-sew version, all that's needed is to make holes with a hole punch around the edge of a piece of fabric, make strategically placed folds, then weave a cord through the holes and pull closed. To make a purse that requires sewing, cut two large rectangles for the sides and a circle piece for the bottom, punch holes along the top edge of the rectangles, then sew the three pieces together. After a few strategic folds and weaving a cord through, it takes form into a new drawstring purse.

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