We have been talking about inspiration, design and craftsmanship. But eventually, it all begins with the basics. What do we really need? Therefore I want to give a little overview of the bag hardware. Let’s talk about zippers, rings and other hardware you need to design and make your newest bag!
Lock it up!
I don’t know what it is with locks but I just love to collect them. If I don’t like the lock on a bag it isn’t likely I will buy it. But to choose between what kind of lock you need we need to know a little bit more about the different kinds of locks.
- Kiss lock: I love the name of it. But in my opinion, it is more like a hug than a kiss. The two parts ‘click’ together. Once they passed the other it is locked. I also used it in the little DIY kiss lock makeup bag, click here for the instructions.
- Twist lock: As the name already states, you will have to twist the lock to lock it. Famous bags, like the Kelly bag, have this kind of lock.
- Spring lock: A ‘lock’ or closing mechanism made of spring metal. It will close your wallet for example when relaxed, and open if pressure is applied.
- Tuck lock: Often used as a replacement of a buckle, since it is easy to use. Just tuck it in and press to release.
Put a ring on it!
Look at your hand, do you wear a ring? If not, wouldn’t it be nice to add a little glam to it with a ring? If you are, it does add that little bit of extra charm, doesn’t it? So if it works for us, let’s make it work on your bag too! What kind of rings do we have, besides some diamond rings?
- D – ring: With rings, it is easy to recognise the type. It is named after its shape of the letter in the alphabet. In this case, you can recognise the capital D. This type of ring is often used to attach a handle or a shoulder strap to a bag, like my camera bag.
- O – ring: Just like the one before, it is the letter o. This might be the most standard type of ring to use.
- Square ring: For a more modern look you can also use the square ‘ring’.
You’re off the hook
To make your shoulder strap (de)attachable you might want to add a hook. You can combine it with the rings mentioned above or with a leather loop. There are again like million types and shapes but these two are the most common.
- Swivel hook: swivel hook can swivel. It will give you a little more room for moving around. The hook will twist independently of the ‘D-ring’ attached to it.
- Fish hook: A fish hook is known for its sharp point. Although in leathercraft this is not always the case. It is a hook which doesn’t close and can therefore easily be hooked and unhooked. This can be used for bracelets or belts for example.
To give your bag a more fancy look you can also use bridges. These can, for example, be applied on the top of the bag to attach a loose handle to it. Often they are fastened with screws or with metal flaps which have to be bent outwards.
- Round bridge: The round once can be used for a little bit more flexibility of the handle. They aren’t really round but more like a U-shape.
- Square bridge: The square version of the bridge can also be used to guide a strap along the bag. Just like the Birkin bag of Hermès.
And much more hardware…
More and more accessories are made every day. When you have a brilliant idea, you might even want to mass-produce it. Below I have mentioned some more hardware.
- Magnets: strong, sometimes invisible type of closing mechanism with the use of opposite attracting magnetic poles. I love to use them but be careful with things like bank cards and phones.
- Chicago screws: to be or not to be a rivet… Setting a rivet is quite final. The only way to remove a rivet is to break it open. A perfect solution, often used in belts, is the Chicago screw, a removable ‘rivet’.
- Rivets: If you don’t want it to be removable, a rivet is a strong solution to keep your strap for example into place. To set a rivet you need the two sides and a special setting tool. This can be done by hand or with a special press.
- Buckle: I think this might be the oldest type of bag hardware. We have seen a similar kind of hardware with the Romans to keep their togas into place and since then it has been reinvented over and over. Nowadays you can choose between different sizes, thicknesses and materials.
- Bag feet: to overcome stains on the bottom of your bag, you can give it little feet. Just like studs you can make a little incision and fold the feet into the bag.
- Zipper: Last but not least, the zipper! The zipper might be the most important one because it is used to close a bag, to open up little pocket within the bag or to decorate the bag. You can choose from either a plastic or a metal zipper of many different sizes and colours.
Don’t forget to save it!
I hope you can use this little hardware guide for your designs. Don’t forget to save it in your Bloglovin’ or on Pinterest because you never know when you might need it. Do you think I have missed a major one, leave a comment below and I will add it to the list!