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Finding Handbag Hardware

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R.Kay Design: Finding Handbag Hardware

Friday, September 23, 2011

Finding Handbag Hardware

I'm having the hardest time finding the right hardware for my newest handbag pattern. I'm at the point in my design process where I'm ready to make a prototype out of real fabric. I've already made the pattern in muslin but didn't include the handle or add the hardware, as I didn't want to spend the time or money on the muslin piece. So, with that part of the design still in my head, my next step was to head down to JoAnn's to buy fabric and pick up the hardware, as JoAnns has a pretty good stock of handbag hardware.

After spending almost two hours picking my fabric (love it, love it, love it), I headed over to the handbag hardware aisle. I was confident I would find what I needed and really disappointed when it didn't pan out. What I thought would be an easy purchase became very difficult, very quickly. They had one piece I needed in the color I wanted, but then the clasp that would attach to it was way too small. So I looked for a larger one, they had the larger one but not in the color metal I wanted. And even if I changed the color, they didn't have the first piece in other color. I started thinking to myself, "are you serious?". So I put everything back on the shelf and decided that I'd make the hardware purchase on the internet.

The next day I started looking on the internet even though I wasn't completely sure that was the road I wanted to take. I was trying to consider the person who will buy my pattern, do I really want to sell a pattern that requires my customer to search the internet for the needed hardware? Not really, but I decided to take a look anyway.

You know what? There's not much to be found on the internet either. I found some suppliers on Etsy and Ebay but none of them had exactly what I wanted. I even stopped by Michael's to see if they had anything - nope. You think maybe I should check out Lowe's or Home Depot? I'm starting to think that maybe I'll go into the purse hardware business, or at least offer for sale the hardware that I use on my purses. That's definitely a consideration for the future. So anyway, I was back to the drawing board AGAIN. I needed to find a new way to attach the handle to my bag.

Last night I took the purse I made from muslin, stuffed it with towels, and stared at it for a while. I was trying to envision a new way to design the handle. Actually, I think I was greiving the loss of the original design and I had no idea how to change it without starting completely over. This morning I decided to look at pictures of purses to see if I could find some inspiration and I think I found it. I came up with a new way to attach the handle. It still requires hardware but I think it's hardware that I can easily find at Joann's (we'll see)...and it maintains my original vision with just a little more work than before.

Wow, who knew handbag hardware was so hard to find? Have you had trouble finding just the right piece of hardware to finish a handbag you were making? Do you know of any great places to buy purse hardware? Do you think it would be a good business decision for me to consider selling handbag hardware in the future? Post a comment, I'd love to hear what you think.

I'm going to be working on my prototype this weekend. Hopefully I'll have something to show you soon.

Until later ~


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At September 28, 2011 at 10:18 AM , Blogger Samantha said...

Hey lovely,

I know you're not in the UK but try some of these as they might still be viable even with the postage cost on top.

and the option I usually go for.... and I get my husband to take the prongs off cos I'm a wimpy girl!

See if you can find any buckles you can remove the prongs from and they might work just as well as triglides for you.

Hope this helps
Samantha xx

At September 28, 2011 at 10:18 AM , Blogger Samantha said...

p.s. just realised some of those are US and Canada so will be even cheaper!

At September 28, 2011 at 4:21 PM , Blogger Reba said...

Oh that fabulous! Thanks so much Samantha!

At October 3, 2011 at 9:22 AM , Blogger Jeanne said...

You know I have struggled for 3 months trying to find a supplier for minaudiere cases. I have hit more rock walls, stumbled on more concrete tiles, etc., trying to find them. Still no luck. Sure would appreciate help if someone knows someone who knows where I can purchase these. I am contracted for 3 weddings in the spring to make matching purses. Arrrrghhhh help!!!


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