Making a custom made leather bag in Hoi An
Hoi An is famous for its tailors and shoe shops but the trend for custom made leather bags in catching up.
Since we summarized all there is to know about the leather in Vietnam on the shoes in Hoi An page. (click here)
I will go straight to define how to get a high quality custom made leather bag in Hoi An.
The making of
By now, after reading previous articles on how to recognize leather, you should be ready to start ‘designing’ your bag so here are the things to watch out for: (some of the advises are relevant to shoes as well)
1# The zippers
Especially when it comes to travel bags that after a couple of weeks in Vietnam will probably be overloaded, there will be some serious pressure on the zipper and if you chose the wrong quality you may end with a broken zip before the end of your travels.
Chose a good metal zipper, ask the shop to show you the samples they will have a couple, it may cost a few more dollars but in the long term it will save you on getting it replaced back home. (costly business)
Again buckles just like zippers, they will have samples in the shop chose the heavy metal ones as again the substandard light metals will just break very quickly. Agree on all these minor details before you even start talk price, just like shoes the leather is the main cost for the maker but all these little ‘accessories’ to add up in the cost and if it is not discussed in most cases they will use the cheapest buckle and same goes for the zippers.
Left: The best quality, thick and strong.
Middle: The mid quality, still fine for small bags.
Right: The ‘cheap’ quality that I highly recommend you don’t use.
3# The lining inside
Exactly the same problems as making shoes in Hoi An, there is some serious cost saving to be made by using tissue instead of leather sued for the lining inside the bags. Again to avoid any bad surprise when receiving the good or a couple of weeks down the line, make sure to tell them that you want a strong suede lining inside.
Glue… mentioned over and over again. Tell them that you want proper stitching for the bag.
- Free delivery, during the rainy season ask the shop to deliver, they will do it for free.
- Credit card 3% charge – the shop should cover the Vietnam bank charge, stand your ground
- Glue, I know I am repeating myself, ask for stitching, it is and should be free.
- Do some ground work on real vs fake leather so you will be able to tell the difference!
Where to buy a custom made leather bag in Hoi An?
Friendly bags owned by the same owners of Friendly shop is the shop in town to get a custom made leather bag.
Just like their sister shop, it is the only shop in Hoi An that only uses genuine leather and have access to the best leather available.
They have some great bags already on display in the shop but if you have a design of your own they will be able to make it for you.
I have made a handbag for my wife 2 years ago and still looking great and I have used plenty of times to make gifts for family relatives, never disappointed.
They follow the same policies as their other shop, 100% reimbursement if you are not satisfied with their products. No Like = No Pay is their slogan.
Address: 44 Phan Boi Chau street, Hoi An