Anatomy of a handbag

The handbag, also known as a purse or tote bag, is an accessory widely used by both men and women.

There are multiple types of handbags, each one created for a specific purpose. That is why there are handbags made of different materials, colors, designs and shapes. 

Because there is no single pattern for handbags it is difficult to identify all the parts, as each one has particularities. Some of the parts common to most of them are:

  • Frame → Steel or other metal structure that gives shape to the bag.
  • Mouthpiece → Piece composed of two metal bars that form the mouth of the bag and have a closing system, usually two balls that fit together under pressure.
  • Base → A flat, semi-hard piece that, placed at the bottom, allows the bag to stand upright when placed on a surface.
  • Padding → Padding that serves to protect the outside of the bag from the metal nozzle.
  • Lining → Fabric that covers the inside of the seams, joints and frame. It is usually suede or leather, although it can be fabric.
  • Interlining → Reinforcement element between the lining and the bag.
  • Handle → Depending on the style, it is made of the same material as the bag or of a more resistant material, such as a metal chain. It must be strong enough to support the weight of the bag. They can be adjustable, removable or integral if attached to the bag.
  • Closure → Mechanisms for closing the bag, ranging from zippers to buckles or decorative closures.
  • Pocket → Compartment, usually placed inside the bag, to store items.
  • Gusset → Gives slack to the base and sides of the bag.
  • Stylistic details → Ranging from innovation to luxury decoration.