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Amanda's Bags

Leather courier and messenger bags have been around for a long time. I have seen people, in writing or in verbal explanation, attempt to distinguish the difference between the two leather bags. Actually, there is little or no difference between the two cases. The dictionary usually uses one term to synonymously define the other.

The courier or messenger bag is distinguished from other leather briefcases and bags by the size, shape and style. They usually have a flap from the top of the back over the main compartment to one-half or full coverage on the front. This flap provides protection and a place to put another zippered pocket or to attach smaller compartments to organize and store smaller gadgets. They can be a horizontal or vertical format and be as small as a man bag or document case; or as large as a laptop case or satchel - such as a mail bag.

In my opinion, more important issues lie in determining the history of the two bags and explaining their usefulness. Couriers or messengers have been deployed in times to war to carry important documents from one commander to another. Courier bags have consisted of little more than a leather pouch with a pocket large enough to hold paper sized documents, and possibly contained a map pocket or plastic window to protect the map in adverse weather conditions (in more modern applications - WWII and on).

Another type of messenger case has been developed by those supplying electrical and telephone line men. They have used a shoulder bag with a flap, from one-half to full overlap. The bags have been made of canvas, leather or a combination of the two materials. They were used to carry tools and heavy metal fasteners up the poles, while keeping the line man's hands free for climbing and working.

Postal carriers have used a large leather bag fashioned in the same configuration. The Pony Express even used a leather messenger bag so the weight of the mail could be evenly distributed for a comfortable ride, protect the mail from rain and dust, and be handed-off quickly. Bicycle couriers in the large cities have also used this style and format to dispatch their mail and documents around the major cities.

The leather courier or messenger bag is durable, versatile and stylish. They fit nicely on Wall Street or the Santa Fe Trail. On horseback or in the air, they protect and organize your gadgets, computer, documents, I Pad, pens, cameras, or even a change of clothes. You are always in style when you choose a leather courier or messenger bag that wears well and improves with age.

Leather is made from animal hide which has been tanned. Is it one of the oldest human inventions and has been used in many applications. Today it is used mainly in clothing for belts, shoes, purses and leather handbags.

Different types of leather are found by the type of animal skins used and the tanning and manufacturing methods employed. The most commonly used hide are made from cow hide, but leather from other animals, such as eel, kangaroos and ostriches, are also popular in the fashion industry.

The Tanning Process

The hide can be tanned with vegetable-based products using tannin and other vegetable matter such as tree bark. The desired colour is obtained by using a chemical mix.

Alum-tanned leather, is made with aluminium salts. It is less supple than vegetable tanned skins, but it can be made into much lighter shades than vegetable-tanning. Both vegetable and alum-tanned leather will rot in water.

Chromium salt tanned leather is a new method of tanning which leaves the hides very supple and more water resistant.

Brain-tanned leather or buckskin is washable and significantly softer. This type of tanning process is time-consuming to produce and so is more costly than the methods described above.

Different grades of hides

Full-grain leather is made from the best quality hides. This is used in the finest products. This type of leather is not altered from the original hide other than removing the hair and tanning the hide.

Top-grain leather is sanded on one side and given an artificial grain in order to hide imperfections in the raw material. The other side of top-grain leather is fuzzy. Suede is fuzzy on both sides, as it is cut from the inside of an animal hide.

Patent leather, is very shiny and smooth, which is made by coating the leather with plastic.

Napa leather is known for its softness, as it is made from the hide of a calf fetus.

Italian leather is best known in the fashion industry, especially those produced in Milan and Florence. Only the best hides are used with high quality dyes and chemicals, to produce top quality leather used by the fashion industry.

When purchasing leather products look for the stamped markings, that state full-grain, top-grain or leather. If your buying online knowing the type of leather the handbag, purse or belt is made from will give you a guide as to how the item will feel.

Visit us at Amanda's Bags For beautiful hand made italian leather bags

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