Handbags and accessories have had a profound impact on fashion since the earliest stages of civilisation. However, women’s emancipation in the earlier centuries was the most influential factor in the shaping of the handbag. More and more women were employed and as they became more mobile, their handbags had to meet a growing variety of practical needs. This resulted in all sorts of bags for specific purposes such as leather document cases for going to the office, practical leather and plastic daytime bags for walking and visiting, elegant, sparkling bags and minaudières (metal clutches) for evening use.
Coming to the present day trends, utilities and fashion statement, modern world bags are known to be highly ubiquitous and available in a wide range of varieties and material, one of the most prominent being, LEATHER BAGS.
Today I'm taking you through everything you need to know when it comes to getting yourself a perfect leather bag to meet your style and utility! Lets begin with understanding various types of leather.
1. Full grain leather/ Top grain leather: This is the highest quality leather. This is the upper layer of a hide which is split into layers by a splitting machine to various thickness. This outer layer will show natural scars and haircell patterns if left as uncorrected natural grain.
2. Corrected or Embossed grain leather: You can safely categorize it as the second best quality of leather. Hides which have an excessive amount of scratches or scars are further processed by "correcting" the natural grain of a Full Grain skin, and hence the name.
3. Split Suede ( "functional and inexpensive leather hides" ):The second layer or lower layer of the skin left after removing the Full Grain layer is the Split Suede and will be suede on both sides. These types of leathers also will come in various thickness depending on application.
4. Nubuck Sueded Grain ( "look but don't touch - very sensitive leather"): This Full Grain layer of the skin is given a suede effect by lightly sanding the natural grain to open the hair cell and results in a velvety suede feel. This is also correcting imperfections in the natural grain and although soft to the touch, it is a sensitive effect. Care must be taken against soiling or staining as it is very difficult if not impossible to clean afterward. This effect is utilized in many garments and Upholstery products.
5. Reconstituted, Bonded or Fibre Leather ( "Recycled, particle board" ): Here, leather remnants and scraps from garment and shoe factories are ground up and recycled. In these types of leather the fiber particles are bonded with adhesive into a fabric followed by the application of a synthetic grain, hair-cell pattern and finish. This material will have a suede back and looks of smooth Full Grain leather , while it is essentially Particle board leather.So these are essentially the 5 types of leather, we're skipping the faux leather terminology and explanation and its a vast topic in itself and can be covered in some other blog post, maybe!
Now that we know about various types of leather, we're moving towards understanding a sustainable way to get the best of leather fabric for your needs without sacrificing other precious entities of this environmental cycle. Sounds impossible right? I thought the same too, until I came across www.mahileather.com
Mahi Leather strictly believes in responsible leather production, which means, the leather they use is a by-product of meat and dairy farming in India.For example, many families in India raise two to three cows for their own use and rely on the money generated from selling their hides to buy fresh livestock. Their leather is tanned using Chromium-free Vegetable Dye, produced in Germany under strict EU regulation. This business plan, supported with made to order business model ensures that energy consumption and wastage are always kept to a minimum. Sounds amazing, isn't it?
If you visit their website, www.mahileather.com, you'll come across their impressive Responsible Commerce policies that states: "The crafting of MAHI Leather-ware provides important employment for people in the local area but MAHI recognises a wider responsibility. $1.50 from every MAHI is donated to Frank Water, a UK based charity which provides aid to the 76 million people in India who do not have access to clean drinking water. So far MAHI have donated over $17,173, sufficient to provide drinking water testing equipment for 2.84 million people."After been genuinely impressed by the kind of business model Mahi Leather had been following, and studying their website and various resources,
Team Mahi Leather and I came together for a creative collaboration. I got my hands on their Florence Tote which is made of 100% pony hair leather exterior. 100% cotton lining interior.It's a relaxed, stylish and chic design is edgy on the outside and highly functional on the inside, with ample space to occupy an A4 notepad and 13" laptop, this tote is a practical handbag that can be carried with ease due to its reinforced sturdy grab handles. Have a lookI styled The Florence Tote for a fun day out channeling its stylish, chic exteriors and making the most of it's highly functional interiors.
Have a look: