Shopping for the right leather bag can be a confusing job. There are so many fake leather bags in the market, it can be very difficult to distinguish genuine leather products from fake ones. The leather market itself is a huge one, with the global size estimated to reach nearly USD 626.1 billion by 2028.
If you are planning to buy a leather bag of durable quality, there are many things you need to know beforehand. Here are five useful tips that will tell you how to purchase leather bags.
1. Real vs fake leather
If you’re ever confused about whether to buy a real leather product or a fake one, you must always go for the real product. There isn’t any question of purchasing a fake leather bag for a lower price, only to find out that the bag has been worn out in just a few weeks.
Look for “full-grain” leather whenever possible. This refers to leather that has not been masked or coated with additional substances. In case you’re against selling and purchasing animal skin, you can also go for vegan leather bags.
Sometimes, bags that have “genuine leather” stamped on them are often the skin taken from the backside and then coated with various substances. Try not to purchase them.
2. Leather quality
There are basically two factors that determine the leather quality- the selection of the hide and tanning procedures. The selection of the hide means how clean the leather is with respect to the natural markings on the skin.
If the skin quality of the animal is good, the price will shoot up. The tanning procedure refers to the various processes to obtain the final product from the animal skin or hide. It focuses mainly on how to make the leather more durable and prevent decomposition.
A perfect leather bag should ideally have a soft and appealing sensation when you touch it. It should not be similar to any vinyl or synthetic material that is often found in fake leather.
3. The lining of the bag
Any good-quality leather bag’s lining should be soft but durable. Any material that looks flimsy and cheap on the inside should definitely not be bought. You’ll have to consider the purchase as a long-term one. So a material that causes discomfort is definitely out of the option.
One of the most time-consuming tasks is to clean-finish the insides and the edge surfaces. A genuine leather bag has polished edges that have been cleaned thoroughly. This polishing is done mostly by hand so that there are no chances of raw edges.
Zippers are one of the most important components of any bag. Therefore, there should be no compromises when it comes to choosing a smooth zipper or chain. Once a zipper fails to work properly, the entire purpose of carrying a bag becomes zero. Brass is mostly the go-to material for any bag zipper with nickel or copper plating.
A high-quality leather bag will have a zipper that doesn’t have very sharp teeth and a slider that is also made of brass (and not any other inferior metal). The zipper tape fabric is also important because if the cloth along the teeth edges gets worn out, the zipper gets stuck.
It is also important to set the zipper properly inside the bag. If you see the zipper fabric or teeth is already worn out, don’t buy it. Give a few test runs before buying to make sure the quality is good.
5. Handles and straps
Another extremely important feature of a good leather bag is the strap or handle. Ideally, they should feel comfortable and sturdy. The handles should also be made of multiple layers of stacked leather. If the straps feel flimsy or hollow, it means the leather isn’t genuine.
The right length is also essential. You don’t want to end up with a bag that has very long handles since then, the bag will keep swaying. Make sure the stitch between the handle and the bag is sturdy and there is a layer of tack stitching where the handle meets the bag.
Over to you…
When buying the perfect leather bag for you, these are the five most important points you should look out for. Once you find all these criteria in place, you’ll know that the bag you’ve bought is genuine leather!