Marta Gromadzka 4m 554 #handmadebag
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
The phrase “handmade bag” has been used in all possible contexts, but do you actually know how handmade bags are made? How is the manufacturing process different for handmade bags and machine-made goods? Let’s take a look at the basics of creating a handbag.
The body of the bag
The methods used to create handbags will vary between different brands, but the process of manufacturing bag usually starts from creating the body of the bag. If the bag is high fashion and hand-made, the manufacturer will choose a piece of leather, which is consistent in color, and use it to cut out five basic sections of the bag – the front, the back, the sides and the bottom. To cut out the parts and to ensure that all handbags have the same size, the artisan will use special patterns. The sections are stitched together by hand, starting from sewing the front, back and sides to the bottom and then stitching all of the parts together. If the lining is stitched to the interior of the bag, it is often sewn together with the sides and the bottom. If the material used to create the bag has patterns on it, the high fashion manufacturer will cut each of the sections in such a way, which allows to match the patterns on the seams. This part of creating the bag can take from a few hours to even one day of work, depending on how complicated the patterns are and how much hand stitching is required. The process of manufacturing a machine-made bag is usually much quicker and much sloppier – the patterns do not match on the seams and the color of the leather or faux leather might not be consistent throughout the bag. The stitching can be even or more sloppy, with occasional hanging and loose threads.
Attaching the straps and embellishments
The straps of the handbag can be made of different materials and can be removable or not. For example evening bags often have chain straps, while laptop cases and totes most often have straps made of the same leather, which was used to create the body of the bag. If the strap is made of a metal chain, the chain is usually attached to a metal ring. If the strap is made of leather, the manufacturer usually cuts two identical, long pieces, which are folded over one another and stitched together. The leather straps can be stitched to the sides of the handbag or they can be attached to metal rings. Handmade bags usually have very durable straps made of leather or a durable metal, but low quality bags can have straps made of fabric or plastic, which are not as long-lasting as leather or metal. The last part of the handbag making process involves attaching all sorts of embellishments, such as patterns, beads, clasps, etc. If the bag is handmade, these parts are usually sewn into the bag, but if the bag is machine-made, they might be glued into the bag and be less durable.
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About the Author
Marta Gromadzka is a writer and editor with a wide variety of experience, including writing for websites internationally and editing books on many different subjects and in a variety of formats.