The desire for leather bags has been growing for the last couple of decades. Most major fashion brands have a leather bag for sale. But there are leather bags for £40 and similar-looking leather bags for £400. What’s the difference?
The main difference between a quality bag and a cheap one is the leather itself. Many animal hides are used to make leather, and each has a different quality. You might find a lovely looking leather bag at the lower end of the price spectrum but it’s likely that it was made from goat leather. Now, no offence to goats – those wonderful makers of milk, cheese, and mischief – but when it comes to leather... they’re not so great.
Soft leathers like goat, mass-tanned on a production line, produce low-quality bags. Your straps will stretch, your leather will stain, and the desired weathered look will never appear.
Only by touching an artisan leather bag will you be able to tell the difference. The thickness of the leather, the feel of it, the smell of it. You’ll know instinctively that this is something that will last. And if you can’t touch it before purchase, use a merchant you trust, who can prove the provenance of the leather.
At Sam Brown London, we only use leather that is tanned in the UK using traditional methods. Our ‘honest leather’ is cured slowly, the way it always has been, to ensure a solid, quality leather that improves with age. Thick, English bridle leather is used in all our artisan leather bags to ensure quality that lasts.
Fixtures and fittings
In addition to using the finest leather, a premium bag will also have other quality components. To many manufacturers, stitching is just a necessity, which is why you see so many lower-price leather bags literally coming apart at the seams. Thread spun by machines at speed might help bring the cost of your leather bag down, but it’s not going to help with longevity.
Your thread and buckles take the strain when you load up a bag and sling it over your shoulder. Without strength in these components, you’re likely to get bent buckle pins, thread coming away at the seams, and discolouration.
Likewise, lining a leather bag appears to be an afterthought for many producers. Some don’t even bother, even though lining adds additional durability, flair and colour. It also helps protect the goods in the bag, and the leather from the goods. Many bags have linings made from cheap material, easily stained and torn, ruining your bag from the inside out.
When we create a Sam Brown London bag, we are dedicated to using components with craftsmanship in every tiny detail. Our waxed thread is handwoven in Ireland for additional durability, our buckles are sand-cast in the UK, with metals to suit your personal look, and our linings are traditional Harris Tweed from Scotland or lovingly crafted Irish Linen.
Customised Artisan Leather Bags from the UK
While using the very best components is key to the quality of every Sam Brown London bag, the additional value comes from making the bag to your specification.
When you choose one of our traditional leather bags, you decide what goes into it. We customise every bag to suit your desires. You pick the colour of the leather and which thread you would like to highlight it. You decide which metal the buckles should be made from and the lining you prefer. Of course, we’re here to help and advise!
It’s easy to pick up a low-end leather bag, but it’s not going to last or age with you and you’re likely to see the same bag ten times a day on someone else’s shoulder. A quality custom-made leather bag is an extension of you.
Buy an artisan leather bag that will age with you, a product like no other that you’re proud to own and love to use. Visit Sam Brown London and start creating your perfect artisan leather bag today.