By Shea + Raan Parton
Photos by Carlos Cardenas, Ana Sierota
We’re excited to release the Customizable Embroidered Black Market Bag. This limited-edition bag features the phrase of your choice chain-stitched by hand on your everyday carryall. We’re only going to release this bag for one week all year (Oct 8th - Oct 15th) and every tote purchased will provide one day of diapers for a baby living in poverty in America, thanks to the non-profit Baby2Baby.
One of the things we’ve learned over the years of producing our line of market bags is that people care about the way things are made. In a world of mass-production, things which are made by hand really stand out — not simply because of the hard work involved, but because there’s something special about a genuine piece of craftsmanship.
That’s why we think people are really going to enjoy our brand-new Customizable Embroidered Market Bag. This bag features chain-stitch embroidery, an old-school craft which is experiencing a bit of a comeback in recent years.
Our friend James Cardenas learned chain-stitching while working at Lot, Stock and Barrel, an LA-based studio which produces vintage-style embroidery using the same methods used in the 1940s and 50s to produce classic varsity jackets and more.
James has spent years honing his craft using the same kind of machine chain-stitchers used decades before computers. These chain-stitching machines look almost exactly like a sewing machines — you can literally pick one up and set it up anywhere. What’s different is that this machine allows you to control the direction of the needle, enabling you to do imaginative illustrations and drawings — anything from a simple monogram to a full-blown art piece.
James told us the process is easy enough to figure out, but it takes a long time to get good at it — it took James 3-4 years of constantly using the machine to start getting fairly good. He said he enjoys the process itself, which entails freehand stitching — no tracing or stenciling.
It’s no surprise that there’s a pretty small group of people who do this, and that the chain-stitching world is one in which everybody knows each other. And with the unique look and feel of the resulting designs, chain-stitching is increasingly in demand – so we're glad to offer our classic market bag with the phrase of your choice rendered in James' unique chain-stitching!
Check out the photostory below to see more of the chain-stitching process behind Apolis’ exclusive Customizable Embroidered Black Market Bag.