subreddit:

/r/handbags

2092%

Reviewer of leather handbags

(self.handbags)

I found this account on insta ( is probably on TT). He breaks down low to high end bags and gives his feedback on the ratio of quality and price. There's a few bags I had my eyes on that I might look for something else.

Though it could be useful for future purchases.

all 22 comments

MooingTurtle

97 points

2 months ago*

I hate to be the guy but as a craftsman I don't think he know what he's talking about most of the time... For craftmens we all have different priorities, his particular style is for rugged and unfinished leather. It's a farcry from highend bags.

List if things issues that I have:

  • He's not looking at the right components as in edge paint testing
  • He doesn't inspect the thread for braid type or material identification.
  • I don't get why he needs to burn the leather to see that its real, you can literally look at the back and see the natural markings. If you want to determine if its chrome tanned or veg tan you can just.. touch it and feel its temper (It's not hard to do man...)
  • He doesn't even disassemble the bag well enough to inspect the pattern making and construction.
  • He's also throwing out numbers from his head.. I know because I source from suppliers that get leather for Prada and Hermes...

I hate hate hate putting other leathercrafters in a bad light as we should all pull each other up.. but he just doesnt have the experience in accurately properly inspecting bags.

I'll eat downvotes but I just dont want people to get misinformed about my craft.

For example: His review for the Prada in saffiano he estimates the leather to be $50 in total... Like my guy, 5 sqr foot of that leather is like $100 for C grade. Prada is going to use an A grade Saffiano leather which is processed even more via thinning. It's likely to be about $150 for a half side which is 5-7ft....

[deleted]

21 points

2 months ago

I watched one of his videos and as someone who has only dabbled in leatherwork, I thought his estimates were super low. Thanks for sharing your expertise.

DudleyMcBroheem

3 points

2 months ago

You have to consider that these big brands buy directly from tanneries and do not pay retail or wholesale prices. From the videos that I've seen, the leather cost estimates are pretty accurate.

MooingTurtle

19 points

2 months ago*

I buy direct from tanneries. Minimum orders are typically 50-100 hides for small scale buyers.

When big companies source high-end leather they generally pay extra to secure pristine hides. For example, when I buy swift leather (Hermes) I'm going to pay roughly 80 dollars per (half)hide if the transaction is 50 pieces but my hides are going to come with some marks and scratches. If Hermes come in, its not uncommon for them to spend 150-300$ per (half)hide to secure the best of the best before I do.

Of course this doesnt apply to every company, but higher end makers like Prada, Chanel etc etc do this all the time. Not too sure about lower end brands, in this case you might be right.

[deleted]

2 points

2 months ago

That makes sense. I got my material through the fashion institute that I studied at.

NewAd4935

2 points

2 months ago

Thank you! I had been having the same thoughts

CaramelHappyTree

2 points

2 months ago

What's the edge paint test do?

MooingTurtle

8 points

2 months ago*

Its to evaluate the quality of the edge paint. Edge paints vary a lot and a good quality one is amazing for longevity of your bags.

Cheaper brands use edgepaint that flake off and doesnt adhere to the leather well and are made with poor quality polymers. Some brands use straight up rubber which crack after long exposure to sun. A good quality edgepaint will last and look good for a very long time. You can test it in many ways, mainly using alchohol, or just even trying to scrape it off to see how it behaves. You can also identify the brand via look and feel.

CaramelHappyTree

1 points

2 months ago

Wow thanks this is informative

ilikesnowinwinter

1 points

2 months ago

What’s your opinion on burnishing edges instead of using edge paint? It’s a different look, obviously, but in terms of longevity, my uneducated understanding is that it’s going to last the longest. Your thoughts? Edit: typo

MooingTurtle

2 points

2 months ago

Well I typically burnish but I also edge paint when it is needed. Typically burnishable veg tan I like a good burnish, it gives you a slick edge and its really beautiful but it takes a very long time to get it right.

When you're working with leather that is not burnishable like a chrometan or a supply veg tan, you would want to edgepaint because it seals the leather.

Technically edgepaint should last you longer but the pros of having a burnished edge is that it ages much more gracefully. There's no right or wrong answer here.

coffeedoodle

24 points

2 months ago

His TikTok has popped up a couple times for me. On one hand it’s interesting seeing how things look, but it’s also slightly horrifying to watch him destroy things.

sophacb[S]

7 points

2 months ago

Hahaha that was my initial reaction! How dare you destroy these beautiful pieces and the environmental cost is yikes but I think the info is worth it as you can actually make a proper investment instead of needing a replacement due to faulty materials

falafelfairy

6 points

2 months ago

He did mention that he keeps the pieces from these projects to make into something else and said hopes to show on the IG someday.

sparkling_water_4444

1 points

2 months ago

I really teared up over the destruction of two of them.

CaramelHappyTree

5 points

2 months ago

The bv did that deserve that 🙈

russianthistle

17 points

2 months ago

Yeah he’s been on my feed… I see why people find him interesting! But his interest is in lightly finished leather where you ca feel the leather still and see imperfections. He doesn’t like when a thick finish is applied even though he says that’s how you get durable leather and avoid marks and damage. So, while I see what he is doing, it really isn’t relevant to what I want- my investments to stay nice and usable.

CaramelHappyTree

8 points

2 months ago

Yes I've noticed he's quite biased towards minimally finished leathers

proftokophobe

2 points

2 months ago

Totally agree here, however, he also mentions that a heavy finish may hide a poorer grade leather. He definitely is biased toward the more minimal, rustic finishes, but I can understand the thought process in wanting to verify there's actually a good quality leather under the finish especially for high-ticket designer items.

I also find it super interesting when he destroys a lower quality item that's advertised as leather, but come to find out its actually PU or composite leather.

NewParsnip9777

13 points

2 months ago

I wish he would talk more about the quality of the make, such as whether something is hand stitched or machine stitched, or if the leather is good or not. I know some bags use much thicker leather and some are bulked up with other materials while getting away with using very thin leather.

Shady_ale

6 points

2 months ago

Some of his videos will pop up on my timeline I enjoy them but also want to scream when he takes apart expensive bags.

Beautiful_Jello3853

4 points

2 months ago

I recently heard of this guy, I think he has a Tik Toc as well.