Types of Bag Handles

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When it comes to making or ordering a custom purse, you’ll need to learn a lot of bag vocabulary. There are numerous types of bags including clutch, frame, hobo and messenger. Each bag has a few types of handles that could be attached to it. A poorly placed handle can disturb the aesthetic of the bag and can make it more difficult to use.

Messenger Handle

On a messenger bag the handle is a strap that is worn over one shoulder, often draped across the torso to hold the bag on the opposite hip. Messenger handles are usually made from durable cloth and they have an adjustable ring that allows them to be shortened or lengthened. Messenger handles are named after the messengers, couriers or postal workers that are known for using the bags.

Top Handle

Top handles are attached to the top of a bag rather than to the sides. They are often attached to a flap on the top of the bag that will open to reveal its contents. This can make it difficult to open the purse while you are holding it. Top handles are commonly used on frame bags, which are stiff and inflexible bags that were popular in the 1950’s.

Bracelet Handle

Bracelet handles are small straps that you can hold or slide over your wrist. They are attached to the corner of a small bag and are used as an alternative to a clutch. You can sometimes attach a bracelet handle to a clutch that does not have any handles to make it easier to carry. Often bracelet handles are attached to the inside of a convertible purse so they can be tucked in and hidden when not in use. They are usually made of leather, cloth or plastic and are formed in the shape of a closed circle.

Braided Handles

Braided handles can appear on any type of bag. This type of handle is generally made of leather, cloth or plastic and features a braid of three or more strips of material. Often purse manufacturers braid these handles around a rope or foam core.

Shoulder Handles

Shoulder handles are commonly used on backpacks. The handles run from top to bottom on the back of the backpack. Each handle goes over an arm and rests on the shoulder. Backpacks are also called knapsacks or book bags. They are most popular among students; however, you can purchase designer leather bags that have shoulder handles.