How are bags made? | The Bag Workshop

4. Hand sampling

A one-off sample is made by hand

After asking you questions in the first stage about what you want the bag for, what it should contain, the weight it should withstand and the size it should be, we will have gleaned enough information from you to quote the bag and sample it.

Before launching into manufacturing thousands of bags, we make a physical sample of the bag. It is made by hand, by our expert sample maker. She will order and cut enough fabric for two samples of your bag plus the other accessories required to make a pre-production sample of your bag.

When we’ve made the bag, we send it to you by courier.

The sample allows you to see the bag in the flesh. When you receive it, you can show it to your client to get their feedback. It’s essential that you use it to see if the desired contents fit correctly, put your phone in the phone pocket, hang it off your shoulder and see if they are long enough to sit on shoulders (put your coat on, try the bag out when you have a coat on as you’re likely to use it outside of your house), maybe the straps need to be adjustable and you’ve not thought about that before now).  

It’s important to note that the sample is made by hand and not in a production line or by machine which leads to consistency across larger quantities. It’s also important to note that the fabric or hardware used for the sample will be one-offs. It will be the same fabric type, for example it could be a 7oz natural cotton. It will be ordered and cut from a 7oz cotton reel, but only enough for the sample. The fabric in the full production will be from a different batch and very slightly different or the hardware may be marginally different due to it being bought in a larger batch for the full production and the sample being made from one offs bought at market for the sample stage. Most fabric is from a natural source and even synthetics are made in batches and therefore pre-production samples can differ from full production very slightly.

Dye swatches

In some cases, fabric is Pantone matched. We will sample the bag in a stock colour and send you swatches of fabric dyed to a Pantone reference. You will choose from the swatches your preference in colour, the one you think is closest to your Pantone reference. It’s your choice.

Dying fabric can take 6-8 weeks. If you haven’t got this long and need you dyed bag sooner, we can over print fabric and colour match so the outside of the bag will be the desired colour and the inside of the bag will be white.

Jo .F

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