Production of leather bags: factory and handmade
Reading time ~23 min
- Why a leather bag is an ageless classic
- What are the advantages of leather bags
- How is the production of leather bags in factories
- What are the stages of manual tailoring of leather bags
- How to choose a genuine leather bag
Have you ever thought about the origin and methods of creating ordinary things? Probably not. These items, present in the life of every person, we simply buy in the store, worrying only about how to choose the best available. Meanwhile, the process of creating things, without which it is impossible to imagine modern life, can be very interesting. For example, the production of leather bags.
Leather bag — timeless classic
Such a thing familiar to all of us, like a leather bag, was invented and came into use a very long time ago, back in the Stone Age. The prototype of the first bag was a bag made of animal skin, fixed on a stick. This simple device was used by primitive people to carry pieces of food and primitive tools.
The design of the bag has undergone major changes and around the 5th century. n. e. had the following form:
Such bags, fixed on the belt, were actively worn by everyone — both men and women. This accessory was intricately decorated, like other items of clothing and household utensils.
At some point, bags appeared on a metal frame, which gave a clearer shape and made it possible to increase the size of the accessory. However, medieval handbags still remain waist bags and are also worn by both sexes. As for the contents of these bags, it was very diverse. First of all, money was carried in waist bags, but also everything that is usually put in pockets (which were not in a medieval costume) of a modern person: small trinkets, toiletries and tools — in general, those items that might be needed outside at home.
In the XIV century. there is a differentiation of the waist pouches into male and female. The men’s ones looked more strict and simple, while the women’s ones were decorated in various ways (they were embroidered with beads and glass beads, beads, colored threads, precious stones). Brocade, velvet and other valuable materials were used to produce beautiful handbags.
A handbag already in the Middle Ages became in Europe an indicator of the well-being and status of a woman: the more pretentiously it was decorated, the richer its owner was. Bags for brides got off especially diligently. Usually these were embroidered pictures on the theme of romantic love.
In the XV century. fashion has changed. Now bags are worn under the top dress, and not pointedly outside, as before, and they are more like pockets in their modern form. Bags are fixed on a special cord, and not on the belt.
A century later, handbags have evolved from small decorative bags into a much more practical item. First, they became leather. Secondly, travel bags appeared — large, roomy woven bags that were taken with them on trips and were no longer worn at the waist, but on the shoulder or through the body.
By the 17th century a man’s suit acquires pockets, and the stronger sex practically refuses to carry bags. According to legend, the inventor of the first pocket, which replaced the bag, was none other than Louis XIV.
Ladies handbags do not go out of use. On the contrary, they are becoming more and more luxurious and refined. Embroidery was a traditional women’s art, by which young girls were judged: skilled embroiderers were predicted to have a successful marriage. Almost all women were engaged in embroidery and other types of needlework, which contributed to the emergence of more and more new ways of finishing clothes and accessories.
18th century was a period of dominance of neoclassical fashion. The corset ceases to be an obligatory attribute of a women’s suit, as well as a waist bag. Dresses for ladies become light and weightless. The traditional bag worn at the waist is being replaced by a reticule, also in the form of a soft bag, but round, tightened with a braid on top and having a chain or silk cord, for which this handbag was held. Ridicules were carried in the hands of all the fashionistas of that time. For their production, velvet and lace were used, and the contents of these products were cosmetics (bottles of perfume and smelling salts, powder boxes, blush), as well as sewing accessories (needles, threads) and other small items (cards, ballroom notebooks, etc. .).
However, the ladies did not enjoy the freedom from corsets for long: this piece of clothing returned to fashion again by the 19th century. A little later, an even less convenient device appears — the crinoline. Pouches at the waist would look quite appropriate on puffy dresses, but women are already accustomed to using a reticule, which has increased in size and has become more diverse in terms of styles. They took the form of small neat bags, envelopes, pouches on long cords, etc.
There were very tiny bags for visits, containing only business cards and nothing more. There were also more capacious accessories in which they put cosmetic items, including a mirror and small purses for coins. They gave rise to a new type of women’s bag, which is still actively used today: a travel bag. Initially, only sets of sewing accessories were carried in the toilet bag (since women were engaged in sewing and needlework not only at home, but also at a party), but then its functions expanded, and now it is just a convenient travel bag.
Bags for special occasions, serving as accessories at balls, were very refined and luxuriously decorated. They were intended for a fan and little books where dance partners signed up (carnet de bal). Handbags with which the ladies went to the theater had an additional compartment for a lorgnette or binoculars. Fabrics such as satin, tapestry, brocade were used for production. They had to have rich decor — ribbons, beadwork, etc.
At the end of the XIX century. the design and purpose of women’s bags have changed significantly. With the development of railways, people began to travel more and further, and tourism, in turn, demanded a special wardrobe and accessories. Graceful miniature reticules, worn at the waist or wrist, are becoming irrelevant. Ladies’ handbags migrate to the hands and shoulders, acquiring a more practical and less sophisticated look. The key moment was the release of the first collection of travel bags: now the women’s handbag is becoming something between an elegant accessory and a convenient container for all the things you need on the road. In addition to bags like purse or reticule, a handbag model appears.
But the most serious changes in the world of bags took place in the 20th century. Already in the first decade of this century, a huge number of new styles and types of bags were invented. There are separate options for going to work, picnics and walks, large bags for long trips, formal and evening options, even such unusual items as funeral bags!
The First World War brought about the need for a new type of bag — large bags for carrying gas masks. The end of the 20s was marked by the fashion for puffy pouches, tightened with braid and decorated with hanging tassels, long fringes, etc.
Around the same period, many fashion houses were born and designers began to work, who would then become world famous and become the luminaries of the fashion industry. They also worked with accessories, including bags. Unique collections of handbags of non-standard forms are created: in the form of an airplane, a steamer, a car.
A little later, in the 40s, when the factory production of leather and textile bags was put on stream, funny styles of bags in the form of poodles appeared.
The invention of new models of surreal handbags interested Salvador Dali himself, who was engaged in this type of creativity for some time. Trademarks are of great importance. In the production of leather bags, both men’s and women’s, quality assurance is very important, and a well-known brand can provide it. A leather bag from a famous fashion designer or brand becomes a clear marker of high status. Some models of bags of famous brands have gained such popularity that they even got their own names.
One can only sympathize with the then fashionistas: the selection of a bag in those days was strictly regulated by a set of rules. So, the bag had to match the color of leather shoes (in extreme cases, a hat or gloves). Therefore, for each toilet had to purchase a separate bag.
Today, many of these «fashion dogmas» have lost their relevance, and the fair sex has more freedom in choosing accessories. It is desirable that the bag matches the color of at least one element of the image (and this does not have to be shoes at all): a belt, a scarf, a print on clothes, even nail polish. On the contrary, a bag and matching shoes today are synonymous with conservatism and provinciality. But with the fact that the handbag should be leather, preferably from natural material (at least outside), most modern stylists agree.
Thus, a handbag can be safely called the main fashion accessory. This element has even become a collector’s item: collections of bags are exhibited in some museums. For example, the Tokyo Princess Gallery — Handbag Museum has the most complete collection of these accessories. Over 2,000 handbags are on display at the Amstelveen Bag Museum in Holland. Own collections of bags are available in the Louvre in Paris and the British Victoria and Albert Museum.
Now, at the beginning of the 21st century, the load on women’s handbags is very high: they serve as storage for a mobile phone, tablet or laptop, chargers, MP3 player, wallet, diary and other necessary things. In most bags belonging to girls and adult ladies, cosmetics can still be found today, but all the contents are not exhausted by it. Therefore, the reticule is clearly not enough. The production of modern women’s leather bags should focus not only on compliance with fashion trends, but also on the requirements of practicality, convenience, and reliability. Therefore, there are many pockets and compartments, various fasteners and locks.
The bag, as an accessory, is subject to all changes in the field of fashion. Trends become outdated instantly, and even fashion industry experts cannot always say for sure which styles and materials are exactly relevant today. The best option for fashionistas is to get two bags: one large leather bag for everyday wear, and the second, more decorative and sophisticated, for going out.
A leather bag is the most practical. In addition to utilitarian fittings — zippers, buttons, buckles — bags contain various decorative elements: applications, embroidery, fringe, rivets and eyelets, embossed stitching, embossing, etc.
Classics in modern processing
Strict tablet for classic style
Gorgeous leather briefcase
Benefits of a leather bag
Genuine leather in a modern person is strongly associated with high status, wealth, good taste and success. Therefore, leather bags are unlikely to become less in demand in the near future, and their production is unlikely to decrease. Even the most minimalistic and simple bag made of genuine leather looks solid and dignified, wears well and does not suffer from frost (unlike leather substitutes).
Do you think that a leather bag is too banal? Looking through the latest collections of various couturiers, you will see that this is not so. Today, fashion designers sew accessories not only from traditional horse, sheep, pig, calf and deer skins, but also, for example, from reptile skins (snakes, crocodiles), even from fish and bird skins, and sometimes they fancifully combine several materials in one product. A leather bag can be matte or shiny, lacquered, decorated with any decor.
Any genuine leather is porous, so leather products breathe, can absorb and release moisture.
In addition to fashion functions, the bag also performs quite practical tasks. Natural leather bags, especially handmade, are durable and serve for years without losing their presentation. The skin is plastic, light and resistant to external influences, withstands serious loads. Therefore, this material is so actively used for the production of accessories, clothing and footwear. Designers are finding new ways to use it.
Scuffs do not spoil the leather bag at all, but rather give it a more respectable look and a touch of antiquity. Such a product attracts even more attention than a completely new one.
Leather bags fit into the wardrobe of any style, do not need complex care (although you still need to follow the rules of operation and periodically put the product in order).
Minor damage to natural leather can be repaired locally, after which the thing can be worn for many more years.
The choice of a leather bag reflects a person’s personal style and taste.
If you list the main characteristics of a leather bag, then these will be:
- High quality and durability.
- Reliability, wear resistance.
- Versatility and individual style.
- High price. High-quality things from expensive materials cannot be cheap. The production of leather bags is a multi-stage and labor-intensive process. But still, a genuine leather bag is a more profitable investment than a leatherette or textile product.
A few words about the mass production of leather bags
The production of any product always begins with the search for an idea and fixing it in the form of a sketch, drawing, diagram, etc. The designer himself comes up with a style or copies an existing model that is in demand (this practice is common in large factories for the production of leather bags).
This is followed by the remaining stages of the production of leather haberdashery:
- Design: development of patterns, their transfer to hard cardboard and sending to an experimental sewing workshop.
- Creation of a control sample. According to it, the correctness of the patterns, defects in the technological assembly and the selection of suitable materials for sizing the product will be evaluated.
- When the patterns are adjusted, they are sent to the production workshop, where all the necessary details of a leather bag are cut out from them. At the largest haberdashery enterprises, where products are mass-produced (several hundreds and thousands of units of each model), they even make special die-cutting presses according to patterns: this significantly speeds up cutting. If a company has been manufacturing a particular model of leather bags for several years, the cost of creating blanks pays off.
- When all the details are cut, they are given to the sewing workshop for assembly. Each of the seamstresses working in the production of leather bags and other products is responsible for one single operation: gluing and gluing parts, preparing handles, assembling the product (in the sequence developed by the technologist of the enterprise).
The production process is built like a conveyor: the workpiece is transferred from one worker to another, from the first stage to the next and beyond. With such a narrow specialization of each worker, no one is personally responsible for the quality of the finished leather accessory, because the main thing is speed. This leads to high rates of manufacturing defects — up to 40% of all products (moreover, defective leather bags also end up on store shelves).
It is impossible to establish the culprit of the marriage in large industries: it is extremely difficult to find out by whom and at what stage the mistakes were made. This is the main problem of light industry.
To make leather bags by hand individually, you must have a high degree of craftsmanship. The master is solely responsible for the quality of his products.
Therefore, the purchase of a bag is always a choice between two alternative options: either to buy a factory-made leather bag at an affordable price, but with a high probability of marriage, or an expensive and unique bag, perfectly sewn by a craftsman or atelier.
Comfortable men’s clutch
Business case for documents
Production of leather bags BRIALDI
A native of Italy, Marco Brialdi, the son of a saddle maker, opened his own leather workshop near the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence in 1852. He counted on a quick increase in demand for leather bags and suitcases in connection with the advent of railways and steam ships, which gave rise to a new category of population — wealthy travelers who needed high-quality haberdashery.
The quality of the BRIALDI manufactory products was really at the highest level and soon attracted the attention of the upper strata of society: the tribal aristocracy, bankers, industrialists and even the royal family.
Each model of BRIALDI manufactory leather bags was designed to be relevant and fashionable for its time. The Brialdi family has been manufacturing accessories for more than a century and a half, passing on the craftsmanship and production capacity from generation to generation.
The main value for BRIALDI has always been the quality of manufactured products: from the choice of materials and seams to customer service. And it doesn’t matter who the buyer was: a simple person who loves beautiful and good things, the president of the country or the owner of a large corporation.
The true value of any heritage is determined by the ideals and reputation formed by it. The ideals that Brialdi has been striving for throughout its long history are attention to the quality of each product, pride in the professional achievements of fathers and grandfathers, and the desire not to lose the honor of the family business.
The personal example of the elders is the best way for the younger ones to learn. This is a captious examination of every stitch on a leather bag, and gratitude from customers, and the style of work itself. All generations of the Brialdi family appreciate the work done with conscience and dedication, and do not represent any other relation to the production of leather bags.
Haste and inattention are bad allies of the master. Therefore, all stages of manual production of a leather bag, from the choice of materials to the final stitch, are carried out in detail, slowly and carefully.
The aim of the BRIALDI manufactory is to produce the most flawless and perfect handbags from genuine leather. To achieve this, you need to constantly improve not only the forms and styles of products, but also your own skills, techniques and work technologies.
The history of the Brialdi artisan dynasty is unique in its own way, as are the leather bags it creates. These are glorious traditions, refined craftsmanship and industrious hands, from under which the best leather products in all of Europe came out.
BRIALDI keeps up with the times, constantly looking for new design solutions. Any bag with the BRIALDI logo is the result of the hard work of seamstresses, designers and other specialists.
All generations of the Brialdi family have striven to create a flawless end product to be proud of. BRIALDI’s business philosophy rests on three cornerstones: perfect products, family reputation and enjoyment at work. The Brialdi today are as committed to these values as their ancestors.
The simple mark «HANDCRAFTED» (made by hand) is of great importance for BRIALDI. In order to proudly display this cliché on every leather bag, you need to live up to the spirit of artisanal production and educate skilled workers who will strive to make perfect things.
Even at the stage of selecting leathers and other materials, BRIALDI’s approach differs from other manufacturers of leather goods. A good-quality bag needs the best leather, so BRIALDI experts choose the rarest types of leather. BRIALDI standards are so high that 90% of all raw leather produced in the world does not meet them, and the choice of material is limited to the remaining 10%. The skins are cut, then doubled, leveled, glued, stitched, sanded, sanded, re-sanded, dyed.
The workers of the manufactory are not limited by time and quantitative norms of output per week — the manual creation of BRIALDI leather bags lives by completely different rules than in-line production, and is not tied to a schedule. The main thing is to create a durable product, adjusted to the millimeter and perfectly executed. To do this, you need to truly love the leather craft and be devoted to it. Employees of the company are taught to be responsible for each operation performed and constantly ask themselves if it could have been done even better.
BRIALDI is rightly proud of the fact that its craftsmen were able not only to preserve the traditions of handicraft production of leather bags, but also to educate a new generation of workers who are ready to invest as much time and effort into creating a truly high-quality and unique product.
Stages of Russian handmade production of leather bags
- Design development.
Like the production of any industrial product, hand-tailoring a bag begins with a sketch. In the case of handmade bags, this is usually a quick sketch without detail.
- Selection of materials and accessories.
Handmade production of exclusive women’s and men’s leather bags is a careful selection of natural leathers, fabrics and other materials from which the product will be made. A quality bag can only be obtained from good leather, produced by leading leather manufactories with a reliable reputation that you can trust.
- Reveal the details.
Patterns of bags are developed according to their own patterns. Products are cut out manually (without the help of a computer program), so each such accessory can be called unique without exaggeration and bearing a piece of the warmth of the master’s hands.
At this stage of production, all the details of leather bags are sewn together. Such things, made by masters, always have their own character and differ from mass-produced products.
- Subsequent finishing.
In any large bag there are many details that the master tanner will have to finalize by hand. A scrupulous approach to finishing and working on small details is possible only in the piece production of leather bags. Products that come off the assembly line will always lose to them in terms of quality.
- Checking for compliance with standards.
Each hand-sewn accessory must meet the highest standards. Before sending a bag for sale, it is carefully checked for defects.
Criteria for choosing a leather bag
A bag is an important accessory for any city dweller. It should be not only beautiful and stylish, but also practical, durable, functional. The choice of men’s and women’s leather bags will be greatly simplified if you know some of the subtleties.
First, decide what size bag you would like to buy. The range of models on the market today is amazing, but all bags are conditionally divided into several large categories. If you know what size and proportions of bag you need and what functions it will perform, you are already halfway to the purchase.
Its size largely depends on the design of the bag, but even within the same variety, products can vary greatly, and 2-3 extra centimeters of width often play a decisive role in choosing.
What will you carry in this bag? If it is designed for large items (for example, a laptop), immediately measure their width and height to compare the dimensions of the accessory with them. Folders for documents, unlike the same laptops, have a standard size. It is not necessary to try on live: on the websites of online stores, the overall dimensions of the products are always indicated.
The simplest and most versatile option is a black leather bag. An alternative to black is various shades of brown: they are combined with denim, you can easily match them with shoes, they are fashionable, after all. If you like military or safari style, choose a backpack or bag made of worn leather in taupe or dark olive tones.
High-quality leather bags are a careful selection of accessories and conscientious processing of details. Such seemingly trifles as the quality of the seams, the shape of the belt and the lining material will tell a lot about the durability of the bag and the level of the manufacturer.
- The shoulder strap plays a huge role for those models that are worn on the shoulder or through the body. It is desirable to have a belt in the kit even for such styles of bags as a briefcase or clutch, designed to be carried in hands. Constantly holding the product in the palms is not very convenient, sometimes there is a need to hang it on the shoulder. The leather strap should be soft, of sufficient length and width (so as not to dig into the body).
- Almost the same requirements are imposed on the handles as on the belt: sufficient flexibility and width. Significantly adds to the comfort of wearing a handguard — a wide strip of leather wrapped around both handles and fastened to connect them into a single whole.
- Pay attention to the lines: they should be tight, straight, all stitches of the same length. Slanted seams, from which threads stick out, and the skin or fabric around it is tightened and skewed, indicate a very low quality of the production of leather bags.
- Look inside the bag. There are never too many pockets and compartments, usually there are not enough of them. The inner cavity of the bag should be optimally divided into compartments so that everything you need fits, and small items like phones, pens, business cards and keys can be hidden in zippered pockets and not be afraid to accidentally lose them. In large leather bags, it is desirable to have at least one pocket with a zipper and a flap-clasp for a compartment reserved for a laptop.
- Not only the appearance and solidity of a leather bag, but also its service life depends on the quality of the accessories.. All fasteners (buttons, zippers, hooks) should be strong enough, ideally metal and stainless. Check the quality of the fasteners, make sure that the decorative rivets and iron plates are well fastened. Fans of antique-style items can buy leather bags with artificially aged brass fittings.
Solid model for important cases
Business case for documents
Where to buy a quality bag made of genuine leather
The highest quality of BRIALDI is the result of many successive operations, the first of which is the selection of material. Only 10% of the leather produced worldwide meets our requirements, and not all of it is honored to become the basis for our products. Only the highest quality raw materials, carefully selected by our specialists, are worthy of turning into a BRIALDI bag. But first, the skin is cut, doubled, leveled, glued, sanded, sanded and re-sanded and dyed.
Our policy towards employees is also aimed at creating bags of the highest quality. They are not limited in time and are not required to issue a certain number of products per week. We do not strive to do as much as possible — we want each bag to be the result of thoughtful and painstaking work, with special attention to detail, without which a high-end product is unthinkable.
Each BRIALDI product is a true handmade masterpiece, because we select our employees as carefully as we select the leather for our bags. All of them are true masters of their craft, for whom an excellent result of work is the only possible result of painstaking creation, and the pursuit of excellence is a constant motivator.
- Free shipping. We will deliver your order to any region of Russia for free
- designer models. Our own model range and small volume of production makes our product unique and emphasizes the sophistication of the taste of our customers.
- Stylish business solution. BRIALDI leather bags will perfectly complement your business look.
- 365 days warranty. We are confident in the quality of our products and that is why we provide a full year warranty.
- Responsibility to buyers. If you prove that the leather is not natural, we will refund the cost of the product in double the amount. In this case, the purchase will remain with you.
- Each masterpiece has its own author. Only one master works on each bag, working according to traditional Italian technologies.
- 8 hours = 480 minutes = 28,800 seconds. The average time it takes a BRIALDI craftsman to create one leather masterpiece.
- Only natural materials. All products are made of high quality leather of elite varieties: Antique, Floater, GreatNappa, Venezia.
- Attention to detail. Masters of the private leather manufactory BRIALDI set themselves the task of creating a perfect leather product. That is why great attention is paid to details.