When it comes to material, few things are quite as time tested as leather is. The amount of time that it has been used and cherished is somewhat staggering to think about, and it doesn’t appear that the material is going away anytime soon. In fact, leather is still a material that is widely used today for a variety of reasons.
However, we are here today to talk about leather bags! More specifically, what are some things to consider before purchasing one? Hopefully you will find some useful information in the five things listed below that you should always think about when shopping for a leather bag.
1. What Type of Leather is It?
Leather is leather, but there are still quite a few very distinct types of leather to choose from. Some are better than others, in fact. For instance, you should probably attempt to stay away from bonded leather, as it doesn’t age as gracefully as you’d like it to. When it comes to purchasing leather goods, you may want to spring for the highest quality that you can find and afford, as this is not exactly an area that you want to cheap out on.
2. Which Tanning Process was Used?
When leather is tanned, it typically goes through one of two tanning processes. These processes are “chrome tanning” and “vegetable tanning.” Supposedly, vegetable tanned leather is a bit better for high end leather bags, as the material starts off very stiff, but slowly becomes softer and more agreeable as the leather is broken in. Chrome tanned leather, however, is perfectly acceptable, but it is a bit of a cheaper process and not quite the same quality as vegetable tanned leather. For a more long term bag, you may spring for vegetable tanned leather, but for something a bit temporary, a chrome tanned leather bag will also be efficient.
3. What is the Origin of the Leather?
It is common knowledge that some countries manufacture some products of a higher quality than others. Leather is no different, as countries such as Italy, England, France and the US have leather tanning and product creation down to something of a science. However, you should always be careful about exactly where the leather bag comes from, as there are some companies that claim they create their products in somewhere such as Italy, but only in a technical manner. This results in the leather bag not being of the quality that you are paying for.
4. Durability and Handiwork
When it comes to a leather good, you will always want to look at the durability and handiwork. Doing a little research on what to look for in a quality product can be highly beneficial to you, as you will be able to look closely at the stitching of a leather bag, as well as the type of leather grain used. These factors are very important and should absolutely play a factor in your purchasing decision.
5. What Hardware Does the Bag Boast?
Looking at the finer details of a bag should be a routine activity. Taking a good, hard look at any buckles, clasps, zippers, and fittings can tell you a lot about a bag. Do they look secure? Do they appear to be of good quality? What material was used in them? Paying close attention to these features can also tell you about the overall style of the bag, and whether or not you think that you’d appreciate the appearance for years to come.