Scottish Daily Mail



IF YOU’RE just browsing for a new bag — and not carrying acetone or a box of matches — how can you make sure you’re looking at good quality leather and a bag that won’t fall apart after you’ve carried it a few times?

Volkan says . . . 1. LOOK for imperfecti­ons in the leather — these are a good sign. If it looks too polished and perfect, then it’s either been coated in a heavy

plastic finish, or it could be made with fake leather. 2. FEEL it — and smell it. Good quality leather is textured, not plasticky and smooth. And it will probably smell (pleasantly) like real leather.

If a bag doesn’t have a smell at all, that’s not always a problem — some tanneries deliberate­ly get rid of this natural scent. However, if you detect a chemical or petroleum-like odour, that’s a bad sign. 3. READ the label. It sounds obvious, but many people don’t think to check whether they’re buying polyuretha­ne or real leather.

And beware vague terms such as ‘genuine leather’ or just ‘leather’. Legally, manufactur­ers have to declare what a bag is made of. But a descriptio­n like this tells you there’s not much to say.

Brands that create artisan high-quality leathers can’t stop talking about them, and will give added detail such as what the finish or tanning style is.

Don’t assume that because the exterior is leather the interior is, too. 4. CHECK the weight and finish of hardware (all the metal bits of the bag). Hardware can be tricky to judge — some may look good initially but show defects later on.

But a good first step is to check how much these components weigh. Generally, the heavier they are, the higher the quality. And then inspect the finish for scratches, flaws and dullness. A nice plated or polished finish is a good sign. 5. LOOK for a branded zip. There’s nothing more infuriatin­g than a zip that breaks or sticks.

Luckily, there’s an easy way to check: look for the brand name, which is usually found on the zipper pull. YKK and Riri are a couple of great brands and a reliable indicator of quality.

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