Leather bags for women comprise an essential part of their wardrobe. The bags could be matched with the outfit, convey the style statement and most importantly the bag should be able to contain the necessities and a little bit extra as per the occasion. For example, formal occasions require a different bag than the casual ones which further differs from the professional ones. For shopping, a bag should be large enough to carry all the bought items, and for a night out a small bag which is easy to carry around is required. So what distinguishes a quality leather bag from the others? Let’s find out below.
Features of a Quality Leather Bag
Good quality leather bags have several distinguishing features. These may include the grades of leather, the tanning process involved, accessories, finishing, and even the size. All of these features together make a quality leather bag. These requirements are further elaborated on below.
Size of The Bag
This depends upon the perspective of the user. Office-going ladies should opt for a bag that has a lot of pockets and is large enough to hold a laptop with other items and should be easily carried on the shoulders. If going overnight leather bags having a large space along with side zippered pockets with both hand and shoulder straps will work perfectly. For shopping, a big Tote bag with an ample single compartment with drawstrings or zippers will do the work.
Quality of The Leather
Good bags are made of high-quality leather. The leather required goes through many tests and is either Full Grain or Top Grain Leather. These two grades are considered the best overall in descending order. These grades of leather age well. The look of the bags comprising of this leather gets better and better with the progression of time. Top-quality leather bags gradually develop a natural weathered sheen or patina. The better the leather quality, the better the patina develops. One distinguishing feature of quality leather is the nice aroma of leather that comes from it, while quality leather gives a harsh chemical smell.
Leather Tanning- Chrome vs Vegetable Tanning
Leather for bags goes through a tanning process. The leather can either be Chrome tanned or Vegetable tanned. The chrome tanning process involves tanning through Chrome and other chemicals while Vegetable tanning uses plant materials like Tree bark. Though the chrome tanning process is quicker, the leather tanned from this process adversely affects the leather as well as the environment. The chemicals react harshly to the leather and affect its quality. The vegetable-tanned leather is more eco-friendly and treats the leather gently. The leather tanned this way is thick and sturdy. It gets softer over time and has a classic leather scent devoid of chemical twinge. Higher-end leather bags for women use vegetable tanned leather as these are far superior to chrome tanned ones.
Lining on The Inside of The Bag
Lining or a layer of cloth on the inside of a bag is an important component as it reflects the aesthetics and improves the overall look of the leather bags. The lining should be made with good quality fabric. One important requirement is that it should be soft and smooth but not break down easily. Care should be taken that the lining material is sturdy and does not wrinkle. The lining could be made of Cotton or Polyester, Silk, Twill, or even ‘Cordura’ which is a waterproof material, so there is no fear of spoiling the bag through accidental spillage. The lining generally matches the outer color of the leather but sometimes red or other colors are used for their contrast factor. The lining should be glued or stitched securely to the inner part of the leather.
Check the stitching of the bag. Handcrafted leather bags for women will have detailed stitching that looks beautiful compared to mass-produced bags. The stitching should not be irregular. It should be even and straight. No stray threads should be poking out. The thread used for stitching should be of heavy gauge and bonded which adds strength to the bag.
Accessories and Hardware
All parts of the leather bags should have the same consistent quality. The straps and handles should be of the same high-quality leather as the body of the bag. Locks and buckles should be made of premium quality metal. The zippers should be durable and not break down easily. These should preferably be made of metal instead of plastic. While shopping online you do not have the luxury to check the leather bags in person, so do zoom in the photos of the product provided and check minutely for details.
Durability and Finished Look
The longevity of the leather bags depends on the durability of the leather used to make them. The leather should be of top quality with excellent and precise stitching. The bags should be capable of holding a certain amount of weight compared to their size and function without the leather tearing up or stitches flying off. That is why Full grain or even Top grain leather should be used to create the bags. The finished look of the bag should feel perfect. Stitching should be nearly invisible to the naked eye. The edges should be excellently painted, the leather smooth and sturdy with no sharp metal parts protruding. The handles should be attached to the bag securely and not be glued which can come apart easily. This should be done either through reinforced stitching or by using metal rings and buckles.
Colors and Shades
Good quality leather handbags for women generally come in black and shades of brown like tan, light, and dark brown. For office and formal occasions opt for a dark brown or black bag with conventional features. These are smart, sensible, and elegant and convey a professional image. These colors remain in vogue perpetually. For casual occasions use a tan and light brown bag or even a dual-toned bag with contrasting lining and stitching which represent fun and trendy persona.
While searching for leather handbags for women do check the above-mentioned requirements and features. Keep in mind the occasion while using a leather bag. The correct choice can boost your style statement and project the image you want to convey.