Bags are made from many different parts. A handbag can contain as many as 20-30 parts, while more than 100 parts can go into the making of a business bag.
One part that is considered to be the most vital to the life of a bag is its handle.
This is the part that the owner comes into contact with the most, and the ease with which the handle is held and how it feels in the hand can have a major impact on the impression of a bag.
Toyooka’s specialist handle manufacturers, which are rare even throughout the whole of Japan, use their semi-mechanized production lines to meet their customers’ requirements not only in terms of quality, but also cost and delivery.
However, when made only by machine, gaps can form between the core material and the material enveloping it, which can cause wrinkles. For this reason, the sewing process is conducted by hand by skilled craftsmen, who press each handle down one by one as they sew.
Handles are only small parts, but they require many processes to complete.
For example, there are eight stages to handle production: cutting → skiving → gluing → core wrapping → pressing → sewing → cutting → polishing.
Each of these stages consists of even more detailed processes. For example, the “polishing” stage includes undercoating → beveling → roughing → undercoating → semi-finishing → burnishing → polishing > final finishing.
These processes are carried out on the straight section of the handle, before the necks of the handle (both ends) are treated in the same way.
Handles also have to be able to support the weight of the bag’s contents.
The maker predicts which sections are more likely to sustain damage, considers how best to reinforce those sections, and orders an original formula for the adhesive.