A Brief History Of Pure Leather Handbags

You probably know that the essential element of a woman’s wardrobe is a handbag, which is both fashionable and functional. You can use it to carry lipstick, wallets and other essential, but apart from that, you can use it to present your style and personality.

The human history states that both women and men used handbags throughout the years for practical purposes. For instance, ancient people used bags to carry tools, weapons, and flint for fire making.

According to experts that found Otzi the Iceman, the 5 thousand-year-old mummy in the Italian Alps, he had a pouch with a belt as the first example of the bag using in the history. Today, we have various brands from Adamis genuine leather handbags to other types and professional, handmade pieces.

Egyptians from the Old Kingdom used bags made of papyrus and linen. On the other hand, The Ancient Greeks had a thing called byrsa, which was a coin purse with a belt that you can hide in pockets, or folds of clothing.

Archaeologists have found an ornamental leather bag in Britain in Anglo-Saxon burial mound. The bag featured traces of silver, gilt and garnet ornamentation. This particular purse also included 40 gold coins, which was for religious purposes.

At the same time, we have to mention Byzantine relic pouch from ninth century found in Switzerland. A bag contained blue background with embroidered lions and red silk.

If you want to learn more on Dark Ages, you should click here. Dark Ages

During the 13th century, most western Europeans used and carried small purses that people called almoners. That was specific; alms beg that held enough coins so that person could give to the poor.

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Artisans, working people, peasants, and pilgrims used something similar to today’s handbags. The main way of transportation during the Dark Ages was by foot, which means that bags were the most convenient way to carry small and essential goods.

The poor man bag features heavy fabric and recycled leather, and it contained amazing artwork that changed the way people perceived things around them. When it comes to aristocracy and royalty, they used more sophisticated versions with the idea to leave the perspective of power.

Visit this link: https://naturalupholstery.com/2012/09/what-is-recycled-leather/ to understand the difference between natural and recycled leather.

They ordered beautiful handbags, and in most cases, they presented them as gifts with decorated humorous and romantic motifs. In that particular time, men’s would try to find a bride with an appealing bag filled with coins.


The 15th century brought another trend in the form of large handbags that contained metal frames. In most cases, male royalty and aristocrats carried them, and as time went by, they become more appealing and specific, made with elaborate embellishments and elegant fabrics.

People from Elizabethan times used an acorn-shaped purse because they wanted to wear designs that will represent an allegory of their personality and ideas. You can see the frog-shaped bag in the Museum of London. It features silver mesh, cream-colored silk, and frog’s mouth are opening of the bag.

In the 16th and 17th century, small bags were fashion symbols, especially for women. They wore, embroidered, small bags to hold spices, petals, and herbs with the idea to reduce the body odor. This particular period saw the development of an evening bag.

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Both women and men wore flat bags with the idea to hold coins and gaming chips for gambling. Bottoms feature various decorations as well as a name for identification. Specific handbags were used as an addition to evening dress, and they had interesting shapes with interlocking panels.

18th Century

At the beginning of the 18th century, men wore small coin purses that they attached to their belts. The main idea is that hanging belts were feminine for men in those times. On the other hand, women carried small bags on their wrists but used large ones as well.

Work bags become popular in this particular time, as well as pear-shaped bag that people wore belted at the hip to carry personal items such as opera glasses, fans, and salts. The word pocketbook started from a small pocket, which was a book that included recipes, calendar, fashion engravings or songs.

Aristocratic and empire fashion created transparent handbags made from reticule, which was filled with silk. That is the moment when the general population recognized novelty bags.

19th Century

Since the fashion of the 19th century changed with each decade and gradually brought larger and larger skirts, thing changed significantly. Women started carrying frame handbags and drawstring reticules, while others worse small hand held bags for small personal items and coins.

On the other hand, ideal bag for a Victorian woman was bagged with sentimental scenes as well as beaded images of flowers and homes. Women most commonly added personal touch, so handbags were artistic showoff as well as need to show needlework skills. If you want to see how Victorian fashion was, you should check here.

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Women started to wear bags for various occasions, similar as today. They had bags for travel and shopping both commercially and handmade. At the end of the 19th century, tapestry bags become prominent as well as carpetbags. That was the first time when Louis Vuitton introduced hand-held travel bags and luggage with hand painted initials that remained to this day.

20th Century

At early 20th century, exotic textiles entered the general population and introduced silver mesh bags, hand-carved frames, large velvet bags that features fairy tale castles and many more. Manufacturers added beautiful motifs from antique and embellished textiles with lace and ribbon.

The early 20th century also brought to prominence leather shoulder bags by The Suffragettes. Fashion offered plain, slim handbags that people wore close to the body. In 1923, saddle and feedbags became part of fashionable accessories and included fasteners and cargo zippers. The best way to learn more on The Suffragettes is to check this site: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/politics/eight-things-didnt-know-suffragette-movement/.

In 1932, Vuitton produced satchel that you can use to carry champagne bottles, and its style remained the same until this very day. World War II influenced classic and simple styles, and manufacturers started making them from knotted rayon, fabric and cardboard. They looked like envelopes with closed flaps with toggles or simple clasps.

The hippy culture created a trend that returned to oriental and ancient designs. They used shoulder bags from exotic materials as well as a small tote bag for a few personal items. Hand tooled leather and suede bags also became popular, and the rest is history.