Thursday, October 15, 2009

Buying wisely - guidelines for purchasing a fabric purse or handbag on line. Part 3 - Other materials and hardware.

More about what to look for in a fabric bag when buying on line. Part 3 - other materials and  hardware.

*Other materials used in the bag: Look for quality and sturdy zippers, snaps, clips, closures and hardware.

When reading the description of a fabric purse, also check to see what materials are used in the product. It's important to check out the other materials used in a bag that aren't visible but will tell the consumer about how the bag has been constructed. I use fleece to face the outer material, and I face the lining fabric with interfacing. Not only does the fleece provide softness, it also stabilizes the bag and gives it body. The same is true of the lining. My bags, while soft to the touch, will stand on their own, and aren't flimsy. In my opinion, it's well worth the extra time and money to purchase, cut and apply interfacing and fleece, because you have a more substantial bag in the end.

Also, some purse makers use cardboard to reinforce their bag bottoms. Not only does cardboard loose it's shape quickly, (once it's bent, it stays that way). And, it's not good once water hits it. No matter how washable a fabric is, I wouldn't recommend washing a purse that has a cardboard bottom because the cardboard just will not hold up. I use plastic mesh for my bag bottoms - sag resistant, perfectly washable and practically indestructible.

And, I take one more step to stabilize my bag bottom, and that's means wrapping the plastic mesh in a separate envelope of fabric and hand HAND stitching it to the bottom of the bag. The hand stitching assures that the plastic will not shift, and the fabric envelope cushions and protects the outer fabric. Even though I cut the plastic to have no sharp edges, the plastic is more stiff than the bag fabric, and over time, the rubbing of the 2 surfaces will weaken can and possibly poke hole in the exterior fabric. I use upcycled synthetic fabric because it is more resistant to wear than cotton, and also because it utilizes pre-used fabric. It's awkward to stitch that plastic "envelope" into the bag, but it assures that the reinforcement stays put!

Tomorrow - "Workmanship, workmanship, workmanship!"

1 comment:

  1. I think you have a way cute online shop and would love to feature you on My email is: Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you. Tara