Credit: Fendi-Firenze

Beautiful handbags interiors are a must!

Handbags can represent different aspects of individual personality and preferences. Not only do their interiors accent style and personal fashion, they quietly make a image statement. As the designer, I am the only one that decides if I will create a handbag based not only on the outside style, leather, etc. but also on the inside lining.

I know, notwithstanding the design considerations that pertain to the actual making of the product, there are other factors to consider. The bag styling must be designed to meet the needs of the maker. In other words, the interior lining of the bag needs to be functional, as well as have a unique balance of style, colour and form in appearance.

What is it going to carry? Is it for daily use or only for special occasions? Does it have one purpose or multifaceted? It helps to know how you intend to use it. What is important to you about your handbag’s interior – strength, security, organization, etc? Make a wish-list about what you want included in the design. These requirements need not limit the degree of sophistication of the finished product nor the quality of the components. You can work to produce the best-looking fashion accessory for your own needs, within the given constraints.

Aesthetics of the bag interior plays an important role in dealing with the nature of the creation and appreciation of beauty in the product. The lining must be beautiful to the eye. My approach is to use a vibrant colour or print as my medium when designing a subdued, conservative  bag style; and to keep the lining in a subtle solid colour if the exterior is very ornate. Keep in mind that lighter colours will show soiling more easily, as well as wear-and-tear.

There are two kinds of bag lining construction – either drop-in or fixed, that can be added to the interior of the bag for support and appearance. Both methods can incorporate a lot of practical storage compartments and zipper pockets, as well as welt seams, adding to the complexity of the design.

The drop-in lining method is perhaps the easiest to make. Basically, you are making it separately from the outside of the bag. These lining pieces are more or less square grids with the bottom corners cut out. This gives a lining the same size and shape as the body of the bag before being inserted into the bag cavity and attached to the opening.

Alternatively, the fixed lining method is made as part of the exterior assembly while everything is flat. In many cases, it is sewn on three sides, with the fourth side left open for turning. It is important that you think about the construction step-by-step so that you can do the necessary operations while you have access to the part. You cannot sew a pocket into the lining or attach carrying straps after the bag is complete. You have to do the operation when it will fit into the sewing machine.

Suitability for a given purpose is my rational for using synthetic and treated fabrics for linings in my handbag designs. While they are called man-made, it is somewhat interesting to realize that they have a lot in common with the amount of ‘man-made’ in do-it-yourself. Choose from fabrics, such as percale, faille, and moiré, that are tightly woven, then bond them with fusible knit interfacing or flannel. This special treatment gives them their strength and their value. Normally the fabric linings available in fashion come from the garment industry. They are thin and inexpensive, but they cannot match bonded fabrics for strength and durability, and won’t fray or stretch.

Lining is a very important factor for judging the quality of a bag. Generally speaking, poor quality will not do well enough in the long run. Most of us judge a bag’s quality based on its appearance, yet seldom pay attention to details of its lining. If you like the looks of the inside, you’ll like the outside also and you’ll like designing your own bag even more.


Filed under Design Insight


  1. I love love this site!!! I have been making bags and purses for a number of years and still learned from your site….I will be using it from now on!!!

  2. Thitia

    This is wonderful sharing knowledge from you. I feel thankful for your generousity, I’ve always search for these idea and concept for bag making for years and finally found! Thank you. thank you, thank you!

  3. Aussierob43

    I Recently purchased your bag making class on Crafsty and I was so pleased with your teaching. Amazing. Some things such as bag hardware is a little difficult to find in the counrty but I have now located a place in Sydney Australia.
    Now I have found this site which is fantastic. I love finishing the interior of my bags to the highest standard too. Yes I love learning too Don thank you again Robyn

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