Handbags are made by cutting out leather fabric into five sections. These sections will make up the front and back the sides and the bottom of the handbag. A manufacturer will pin the sides of the handbag together, and sew each side together, piece by piece. Leather is a thicker type of fabric, so it is important to sew it together slowly. Because a handbag is made up of more than three layers of leather fabric, a manufacturer will use balance wheels, instead of a regular sewing machine, to sew it together. The front, back and sides are sewn to the bottom of the handbag first, and then the sides, front and back are sewn together. The initial process is finished by clipping the excess leather from the sides of the handbag.
Depending on the style of the handbag, there are many different ways to put the strap on. Usually, a manufacturer will cut out two long pieces of leather fabric for the strap, generally from the same fabric as the rest of the handbag. The two leather pieces will be folded over one another and sewn together, then sewn to each side of the handbag or to metal rings attached to the bag.
Accessories or pattern pieces on a handbag may consist of any sort of pattern, design or fabric that the manufacturer wants. First, the pieces are cut out of the fabric. After the pattern pieces are cut out, they are clamped onto the handbag for sewing, because pins will ruin the exterior of the leather. Finally, a zipper is attached across the top of the handbag, any excess threading is removed and the bag is shipped out to the stores.
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Ted Marten lives in New York City and began writing professionally in 2007, with articles appearing on various websites. Marten has a bachelor's degree in English and has also received a certificate in filmmaking from the Digital Film Academy.