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Glossary of Types of Bags, Materials and Care

Types of Bags

Backpacks: Come in varying sizes and construction. Depending on purpose, backpacks can be used for carrying school books and supplies, hiking and as a travel bag.

Baguette: Oblong purse similar to a loaf of French bread.

Barrel (Bucket): Similar to there namesake are usually one big compartment to hold your wares.

Briefcase:  Made to carry your business papers, pens, pencils and what-not for work and travel.

Coin Purse: (or change purse) is a small bag to hold coins. Some are part of wallets while others are separate single small bag having either a zipper closure, snap or clasp (hasp).

Clutch: A small purse in which to hold only the bare essentials such as phone, wallet and small cosmetics when going out to a dinner, theater show, etc. They come in varying styles many women like to have matching clutches to go with specific outfits.

Cosmetic: Bags are small usually zippered bags to hold toiletries/cosmetics when traveling.

Cross-body Bags (Messenger Bags): Are smaller versions of Shoulder Bags meant for men or women freeing hands when on the go. Falls into the catagory of Sling-back bags. 

Diaper Bags/Nappy Bags: Made to carry your infant/toddler needs when you are out and about. Most have multiple compartments for storage and organization. Some come with changing pads.

Drawstring Bags: Varying in size with one main feature which is the closure is a string cord that draws the bag closed.  Earliest version in man-kind.

Flap Bags: Purses with a flap that folds over to close the bag vs the zipper closures.

Laptop Bags:  Come in varying sizes and materials to store and carry laptops for protection from the elements.  Not all are water-proof.

Luggage:  Old-school square/rectangular zippered bag to pack clothes in for traveling.  Now available with wheels and adjustable handles for easier hauling.

Purses: Simply a broad term for all sorts of handbags.
Shoulder Bags: Have a longer strap to go over the shoulder to carry with you freeing your hands for other things.

Satchels: Double handled bags sometimes single to be carried. Frequently they will come with a shoulder strap as an alternative way to carry them.

Tote Bags: Come in varying sizes and are generally made of canvas having a wide mouth with one compartment. Used many times to carry towels, books, sunscreen, etc to the beach.

Waist Bags: (Fanny Packs) are small bags made to go around the waist to carry essentials when running, hiking or visiting places where you need a hands free way to have your important essentials.

Wallets: Are small to medium sized square or rectangular shape to hold your ID, credit cards, and cash. Women's wallets tend to be larger then the men's having more slot compartments for cards.

Wristlet: Small clutch-like bag that can be carried on the wrist with the loop handle.

Types of Materials

Eco-Friendly made of recycled materials/products and organic materials safe for Mother Earth.

Fabric bags are materials such as canvas, cotton, denim, satin, silk, velvet, twill, linen, nylon and polyester. Most times bags will be a combination of fabrics.

Leather comes from the hide of animals. Comes in varying quality from top grain using the top layer of hide to split leather using the top, middle and bottom layers of the hide.

Microfiber is woven synthetic fibers to give the look and feel of cloth materials.

Nappa Leather is generally un-split sheep or lambs hide for its soft pliability.

Patent Leather is a shiny or glossy finished leather such as seen in leather products with a wax finish.

PU Leather:  can be made of cheaper leather material coated with polyurethane backing or it can be 100% synthetic falling into the Vegan category.  Cheaper alternative to leather, however not as durable as real leather.

Raffia is a palms fiber and all natural that is weavable.

Straw includes not only straw but corn husk, raffia, willow, rattan and sea-grass. (grass materials)

Suede has a velvet-like finish by treating leather to produce the look and feel texture.

Vegan Leather (faux leather) comes from anything that is not animal related.  While some vegan products are cork or kelp based, most of these products are made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polyurethane (PU), which are plastic based materials. Hence the name pleather meaning plastic leather. Vegan leather is not always synonymous with Eco-friendly. Some materials may be less damaging than others, but it does not always mean safe for the environment.  

Care of Bags (fabric only)

1. Empty the Bag.

2. Use Lukewarm water in a container with mild soap.

3. Moisten a cloth. Make sure to wring it out. Preferably use a white cloth to avoid dye bleeding onto your bag.

4. Wipe the bag down with the moistened cloth. Some stains may need gentle scrubbing.

5. Blot dry with clean cloth.

6. Allow bag to air-dry over night.

Never immerse bag in water.

Never Machine Wash or Dry as doing so will cause the inner lining to pucker and may ruin the fabric.

If your bag contains any leather parts do not wipe those areas with water/soap. Only use products made for leather.

For metal hardware use a metal polish or cleaner.

Leather bags need maintenance care using leather products which keep your bag soft, pliable and increasing its longevity.

Note:  If care instructions come with your bag, follow those guidelines only!


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