“What Should I Consider When Designing a Handbag Interior?”
Clutches, satchels, hobos, buckets, shoulder-drops, slings: all are names for different types of handbag styles. Yet, each has one thing in common… an interior that is perfect to hold all your necessities, while catering to your fashion consciousness. Every woman is unique in her tastes and needs, and the handbag market reflects this. You, as the designer, have total control.
One of the first things to consider when designing a handbag interior is need. What does the user need the handbag to do? Keep in mind: bag size/proportion, occasion, time of year, climate. Yet functionality need not limit your creativity. Aesthetics are important too. Interiors should look beautiful. An easy and simple way to achieve this is through fabrication and colour. Take this opportunity to get away from conventional materials and colour schemes. Here is your chance to use high-quality luxurious fabrics, rich patterns, textures, and colours… all of which will reflect your own personal tastes. Or perhaps the fabrication must multi-task? Not only should your choice be based upon its appearance but possibly its properties too. Consider using thermal linings, waterproof linings, stain/mildew-resistant linings, plush linings, padded/quilted linings as part of your design specifications.
Organization is another important consideration when designing a purse interior. There should be compartments for storage and security. Think how the handbag is used, picked up, opened, looked through. An enclosed space or compartment for the things carried the most often is what you want to include in your design. Is the pocket, pouch, slot accessible? Is it positioned comfortably to reach in and retrieve objects? Compartments and their placement can be customized to your own preferences. Does it need to be secured? Inset zippers, dome-snapped flaps, elasticized openings, gripper straps often add security features to your interior styling.
If your aim is to design a handbag unlike the high-end designer handbags found in the marketplace, do use better quality hardware such as high-quality zippers for pocket openings and employ better sewing techniques. Often times while exteriors are fussed over, their interiors are slapped together poorly and quickly. They will not endure for long, the inner lining materials tear easily and they end up having “swallow holes”. Swallow holes are those empty spaces in the lining of a handbag where small items like coins drop into the space between the lining and the exterior of the bag. There should be even, smooth machine-stitching with no skipped or broken stitches. One of the suggestions I often make is to reinforce the lining fabric with a Knit-fuse interfacing or back the lining material with a flannel interlining to stabilize and strengthen the interior lining. In handbag designing, an impeccably executed bag interior will only complement a well-constructed handbag exterior.
The final consideration is to put your personal “stamp” on your handbag design. Custom features such as monogramming, placeholders for key-rings or pens, coordinating wallet or eyeglass holder, or telescoping umbrella are just some ideas you may want to include in your interior styling to complete your total fashion image and add uniqueness to your handbag design.
Handbag interiors are as individual as the women carrying them and should be designed for beauty as well as necessity. Their style, materials, features and workmanship will all be factors in the overall design of the perfect handbag. Most women, however, just find them indispensable.