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Style revisions to stabilize leather bag prices

Smaller bags and recycling offcuts help reduce outlay amid escalating expenses.

India suppliers of leather bags are adjusting designs to cope with rising material costs.

Leather bag
Indus Valley stitches together offcuts to lower costs, as illustrated by the HB 035 model. The hair-on cowhide tote goes for $25.10.

Rates for genuine and synthetic hides increased at least 20 percent in the past six months. The value for fabric lining and metal embellishments is also climbing.

Under efforts to maintain price competitiveness, makers are coming up with styles that are economical to produce.

The simplest way is to minimize material utilization. Instead of oversized hobos and totes, the latest releases are small and medium clutches and satchels. These measure 8 to 15in long, 8 to 18in high and 2 to 4in wide. Pochettes generate extra savings by not having handles and straps.

In terms of structure, fewer sections are incorporated. Bags have one main compartment and two exterior or interior pockets.

Businesses are also cutting down on the use of decorations. Bold and heavy buckles and studs have been replaced with dainty hardware and tassels. Laser-cut patterns provide visual appeal without consuming additional inputs.

Moreover, PU and PVC leather are being adopted. Between the two variants, the former is preferred because it does not require harmful plasticizers. Both are less expensive than locally sourced cowhide even if they are purchased in mainland China and Taiwan.

Some suppliers are recycling offcuts. Among them, Indus Valley offers patched models that employ hair-on cowhide. Regenerated leather, which is made by binding scraps with natural rubber, is applied as well. This strategy is also in line with environmental protection initiatives.

Under the Indian Leather Development Programme, about $44 million is allocated for the installation and upgrade of infrastructure for ecological preservation during 2007-12. Industry associations such as the Central Leather Research Institute and the Indian Leather Industry Foundation are helping with projects, including the establishment of facilities for effluent treatment. Many large tanneries are now able to recycle water. In Tamil Nadu, a zero liquid discharge rule is being implemented, while 10 other areas have designated safe landfills for waste disposal. All bag exporters interviewed for this report procure raw materials from 'green' tanneries.

India-made leather bags start at $6 and can reach $100 depending on the materials and accessories utilized. The majority of output comes in buffalo, bull- or cowhide as these types are the most abundant. The materials may have a full, top or corrected grain. Shiny, matte and distressed finishes are available.

Designs that consist of fewer assembled pieces are pricier because they are more durable. Besides vulnerability from the presence of seams, the larger parts are typically from areas of the animal that receive a higher grade.

Product gallery

Leather bags price guide

Related articles:
Evening bags: India makers aim to protect margins
Leather bags: Suppliers emphasize 'green,' nontoxic inputs
Leather jewelry: Companies mix diverse materials

Synthetic leather
Product gallery

Aesthetic International

Model: AIFBG 046
MOQ: 200 pieces per color
Delivery: 75 days
Price: $28
Description: Synthetic leather; single handle with buckles; contrast stitching; interior zipped pockets; 16x3.5x10in

Full-grain cowhide

Aesthetic International

Model: AIFBG027
MOQ: 200 pieces per color
Delivery: 75 days
Price: $35
Description: Full-grain cowhide; double handles; quilted; 14x4x16in

Sheep nappa

C'Sky International

Model: New Bag
MOQ: 100 pieces per color
Delivery: 60 days
Price: $20
Description: Sheep nappa; medium shine; cotton jersey lining; double handles; two exterior patch pockets, interior pockets

Hair-on cowhide, suede

Indus Valley

Model: HB07
MOQ: 50 pieces
Delivery: 45 days
Price: $29
Description: Hair-on cowhide, suede; suede lining; double handles; brass accessories; interior pockets; 10x3x14in

Patched, dry-milled, hair-on cowhide

Indus Valley

Model: HB 035
MOQ: 50 pieces
Delivery: 45 days
Price: $25.10
Description: Patched, dry-milled, hair-on cowhide; suede lining; double handles; nickel-plated accessories; interior pockets; 12x3.5x15in

Top-grain cowhide

Sai Shree Exports

Model: SSB 123
MOQ: 100 pieces per color
Delivery: 60 days
Price: $24
Description: Top-grain cowhide; double handles; brass accessories; interior pockets; 14x4x15in

Note:This article was originally published by Global Sources, a leading business-to-business media company and a primary facilitator of trade with China manufacturers and India suppliers, providing essential sourcing information to volume buyers through our e-magazines, trade shows and industry research.

All price quotes in this report are in US dollars unless otherwise specified. FOB prices were provided by the companies interviewed only as reference prices at the time of interview and may have changed.

Disclaimer: All product images are provided by the companies interviewed and are for reference purposes only. Those product images featuring products with trademarks, brand names or logos are not intended for sale. We, our affiliates, and our affiliates' respective directors, officers, employees, representatives, agents or contractors, do not accept and will not have any responsibility or liability for product images (or any part thereof) which infringe on any intellectual property or other rights of a third party.

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