All you need to know about leather bags – A Buying guide
Many fashion aficionados have recognized it as one of the most valued materials, leather. It has won over the hearts of both men and women because of its durability and elegance. Whenever you are out for buying bags, you always go for leather bags as their durability has been tested by time.
Many designers and big labels use top grain leather to craft luxury bags. While the market is also saturated with cheap fake leathers with poor craftsmanship and low-quality hardware that breaks down after a season or two.
Don't get tricked with the overpriced crap by seeing fancy offers and luxe designs. Whether it is a leather briefcase, leather duffle bag, or leather messenger bag for men, always look for quality trademarks.
To help you in your shopping for leather bags, we have compiled this guide to separate immaculate from ragged. From leather types, and craftsmanship quality, to buying quality leather bags, here are the details of what goes on under the hood.
Why Should You Buy Leather Bags?
Leather is the most reliable material that can easily be trimmed, shaped, and designed differently. A well-made, handcrafted leather bag always looks better, and its flexibility increases over time. Leather bags do not develop worn spots, rips, snaps, or show any signs of age.
Leather bags offer:
- Strong Craftsmanship
Genuine leather bags often have the most durable and detailed craftsmanship. The expert construction, especially at the bottom and straps, signifies that they might last far longer than other bags made from different materials.
Protection against rips and water
Apart from the iconic natural scent, leather has a high resistance to cuts, rips, and tear threats. Leather bags are also waterproof with anti-fungal properties. If, in any case, the bag gets wet, leather will be less likely to develop fungus or stains.
Good value for money
Leather handbags often seem surprisingly expensive. If you compare them at a price to designer models for good reason, you will find them a better investment. Buying a high-quality leather handbag is a long-term investment as you are less likely to go for repairs or maintenance.
What Are The Leather Commonly Used For Bags?
Leather is being used in many types, including the highest quality to the lowest grade. The following are the common leather ideals for bags.
- Full-grain Leather
Full-grain leather is the most natural and popular type that ranks at the top of the chain for quality and durability. This leather doesn't get smoothed or buffed out to eradicate marks or imperfections and is always featured in top quality leather bags.
- Top-grain Leather
Top-grain leather is a thin fragmented layer of the original leather with the imperfections taken away by sanding and finishing the surface. This type of leather is easier to work with and commonly used in the manufacturing of high-end products, like handbags and wallets. It always has a polished look and also prevents stains.
- Suede Leather
Suede leather material is made from the underside of the animal skin, like Goat, Lamb, calf, or deer. It has a thin surface and is not as durable as full-grain, classic leather. Suede leather is split and sanded to attain an appropriate thickness and always has a signature textured feel. It is less durable, absorbs liquid quickly, and has a quick nap that gives it the velvety feel.
- Corrected Grain Leather
An artificial grain is added to the surface of genuine leather to make corrected grain leather and is sprayed with a dye for a more natural appearance. It is not a high-quality leather and doesn't look as beautiful as top-grain or full-grain leather.
- Italian Leather
Italian leather is famous for its eminent craftsmanship and made only with the best quality hides. Many Designer labels use natural vegetable and plant extracts to turn to hide into leather and produce high-quality leather bags.
How to identify quality leather bags?
If you want to buy great quality leather bags, investigate these quality trademarks to avoid any poor investment.
- Perfect Tanning
Leathers are usually priced and graded according to the cleanliness of the hide known as tanning. Usually leather bags are tanned via vegetable/chrome/oil extracts. Excellent tanning makes leather bags more durable and less vulnerable to decomposition. Coloring and sanding may also occur during the tanning process, leaving a soft touch to make leather bags look more natural and inviting.
- Lining & Finishing
When you are buying leather bags, think of the long-term investment. Polished bag linings should not be overlooked, as it shows the quality of exceptional craftsmanship. Leather bags made from a durable material with edges that have been polished by hand will have a long-term performance. Un-kept raw sides are not signs of exceptional craftsmanship and quality.
- Hardware, zippers, & stitching
Zippers, clasp, stitching quality, and other hardware elements are essential components of a bag to make it long-lasting and should never be compromised. If you buy a bag whose zipper fails after a few months, the bag might become useless.
Whether you are buying sling bag, leather bag tote, leather laptop backpack, or a quality messenger bag, make sure the zippers are made with brass and platings in nickel or copper. Check the zippers, functioning with a few test runs to ensure it glides smoothly with no friction.
After zippers, look for the hardware in the leather bag you are buying. If it has buckles, clasps, d-rings, and rivets, make sure they are also made with durable metals. If the hardware falls off or breaks, it will be harder for you to continue using it. Materials like solid brass, copper, plated zinc, bronze, or nickel silver, are ideal. Ensure the hardware is clean, showing no cast lines, sealed, and all stress points are well stitched.
Check out sassy backpacks from here.
- Handles & Straps
Handles and straps are also the most crucial component of a bag because they carry all the load. Make sure the bag you are purchasing has comfortable, adjustable straps. The handles should feel comfortable in hand and not long enough to make the bag sway when walking. Handles and straps should be fabricated from multiple layers of stacked leather and have an extra layer of tack stitching. If you are buying a backpack, make sure the straps are padded with additional support behind to avoid pull-through.
- See the Imperfections
A high-quality, authentic leather bag typically has minor imperfections such as an inconsistent surface pattern, scratches, wrinkles, and creases. All these imperfections are actually an indication of top-grain or full-grain leather.
- Feel the Warmth
Another quality trademark of authentic leather is its warmth. Leather bags made from natural leather have a warm and cozy feeling to the touch, whereas Faux leather has a cold and lifeless feel.
- Smell the Product
A signature leathery smell will be clear in the bags made from natural leather, while those made from synthetic leather material will smell like plastic. So, smell the bag before buying and make sure the shopkeeper is not staring at you.
Handcrafted leather bags are better
Avoid buying machine built or highly processed leather bags; look for handmade instead. When bags are handcrafted, it will take more care with every stitch and detail, and these bags also last for a longer duration.
- Don't mind the expensive price tag
If you see a leather bag at a cheap price, maybe it is not a top-grain or full-grain leather. Because leather bags are made from high quality, original material always has an expensive price tag irrespective of how hard you bargain. You will never find a cheap deal in leather shopping.
Which bag fits your individual needs?
When choosing the right bag that's perfect for your needs, you might feel confused as there are many options available in the market. So, how do you know which bag fits you? You need to go through all the types, compare them, and decide what might work best for you.
Check these options and select the right leather bag for yourself.
If you are an adventurer or an aspiring outdoorsman, you need something sturdy, easy to carry, and classy. Yes, it's a solid backpack you need, like your resilient personality. A back is hard to beat in terms of functionality, accessibility, and elegance. It is the most comfortable bag to carry while on the go as it has enough space for every essential. A backpack also enables you to stay hands-free while moving around. You can cycle, hike the tallest mountains, or go for the longest trails feeling no load. It's likely to be your best bet.
If you are searching for something professional for the workplace, a briefcase should be your pick. You can buy a leather briefcase to look sophisticated while at the office. Buy a simple, sleek, and highly functional briefcase to keep everything organized and at arm's reach.
Our convertible briefcase or a laptop briefcase can be a classic choice for cultured men in the workplace.
Want to go on a weekend trip with no fuss? Duffle bags are perfect for carrying your stuff and heading out with no hassle. If you aspire to go on a long vacation and want something simple, solid, drama-free, durable, and trustworthy, buy a duffle bag.
Most people call duffle bags "Unicorn bags" as they are insanely comfortable to carry and come in perfect sizes.
- Tote Bags
Tote bags are ideal for shopping, day trips, or simply moving around the town. If you are going on a road trip, a leather tote is perfect for carrying the essentials. These bags make a sturdy everywhere bag that's always been by your side as you're moving around the world. A leather tote bag has now been made into a male fashion scene and a reasonable alternative to the briefcase.
Are you a college student or just going for a day out with friends? You might need a stylish mini backpack to carry your essentials like your phone, lipstick, mascara, or wallet. A hand-stitched leather backpack embellished with Japanese beads, crystals, delicate motifs, and thread embroidery can be a perfect style accessory for a fashionable diva.
If you are a mom who wants her hands free to hold her kids, a crossbody bag might be a good option as it doesn't slip off your shoulders. A hand-stitched, stylish leather bag with decorative elements like floral motif, crystals, beads, & pearls at the top flap will be an eye-catching accessory for every lady.
Everyone loves a sleek, stylish, easy to access, durable leather bag. But often you can't get the pure leather and get tricked with fancy deals. So, when you are buying a leather bag, make sure of your investment. Always look at the functionality, durability, and also its aesthetics. Look at the most useful element a bag can have that can meet your needs.With Miajees’ leather bags, the quality of the leather will keep your peace of mind. We only sell handmade, full-grain leather bags at a price you can justify.