A leather bag is a timeless piece that makes its way into the majority of people’s wardrobes. With so many options, brands, and styles, it can be hard to sort out the good from the bad.
Leather bags are not made equally. The type of leather, hardware, and stitching can drastically change the function, and longevity of it. That’s why being an educated shopper is essential to make sure your money is not wasted. Prior to purchasing your next bag, know what to look for in a high-quality leather bag with these 6 tips.
1. Type of Leather
While looking for a leather bag, you should always read the label carefully. You will want to look for a bag that is made from full grain leather, as it is the highest quality leather you can get. This type of leather is guaranteed to give you years of wear, as it’s look will not deteriorate with age.
Avoid bags that are made with ‘bonded leather’. These bags, use scrap pieces of leather, that have been reworked into a single piece, to produce the bag. This type of leather will not age well, and is more prone to damage. Knowing this, prior to shopping, is essential. Many companies use sales tactics such as confusing wording to con shoppers into thinking their product is made from full grain leather.
2. Country of Origin
Almost always, the origin of the leather will reflect the quality of the bag. Countries that produce high-quality leather include: Italy, England, France and the US. Many companies know this, and try to mislead customers into thinking their items were made there. For example, a product may have a ‘made in Italy’ sticker on it, when it was simply assembled there. Companies will do whatever it takes to mislead customers, to purchase their product. So, read the label carefully to determine where the leather was sourced from.
An ideal bag should be able to hold a significant amount of weight, without damaging, or breaking. This is why, you should inspect the stitching of a bag, prior to purchasing. The stitching should be straight, without any loose threads or frays. As well, avoid bags where the handles have been glued to the body. These are more likely to snap, when compared to stitched, or fastened handles.
These little parts of the bag are essential to its longevity, and function. Inspect the buckles, handles, locks, and zippers to make sure they are functional, and made of metal. If plastic is used on them, they will be more prone to snapping, and may have you reconsider if the bag worth the cost.
Inspect the interior of the bag, as this can be an indication of the products craftsmanship. If the lining is made from a high quality, and durable material, it is an indication of a long-lasting bag. That’s why, if the interior feels cheap and flimsy, it is a good idea to keep shopping. Keep in mind, the interior of a bag is much more susceptible to tearing. Therefore, if the lining feels cheap, the bag will probably not last as long as you anticipate.
An indication of the quality, and make, of a bag is how clean its edges are. While shopping, inspect the corners of the bag, as smooth edges indicate that a great deal of care went into it. High quality products, will have edges that have been hand polished. Whereas, un-kept sides, are a sign that production was rushed.