Love them or not, fringe and tassels are to modern handbags as high heels are to a glamourous night out. Not essential, but we can’t leave them alone. They add swish, flamboyance and – better than heels – a skip to your step. Big tassels say carefree. A small, neat zip-pull tassel is more suitable for the office – the stiff upper lip of fringing.
If you think they are going out of fashion, stand corrected – Gucci’s Spring 2014 bags have fringe galore, according to purseblog. Creative director Frida Giannini loves a long tassel and she’s not the only one. The knights of Mali never go out with them. A betassled horse commands respect and they were originally the adornment of warriors.
Some SAHEL bag styles have straps without tassles, some with thick tassles (bukki) and some with finer fringed ends (celli). The hinere, as featured in the main picture (unglamourously meaning ‘nostril’) is a loop with bukki as used on the box tote, the cotton leather tote and Tomoko’s ruched tote. It’s original place is at the end of the reins attached to the horse’s bit but it makes a great decorative element for bags, belts or even just hanging on a wall.
Here are photos of reinsmakers Fatimata, Ramata and Husseini making a hinere.