Making bags

Produced as part of Bags: Inside Out

On now until Sunday, 16 January 2022

More about this Exhibition

Bag making is a complex process. From creative sketches and precise technical drawings, to prototypes and catwalk shows, every stage requires careful thought.

Historically and globally, bags have been constructed and embellished in an enormous variety of ways. Originally hand-stitched at home or crafted in small workshops, today's mass-produced bags are assembled in factories. Each procedure requires special skills, from pattern-making, cutting and dyeing, to sewing, polishing and finishing.

We visited the factories and workshops of three different bag producers to discover more about their design and production.


Take a look behind-the-scenes at Mulberry with Development Team Leader, Alice Gouldbourne to discover more about the precision and technical skill required to produce each one of their iconic bags.

Elvis & Kresse

Co-founder of Elvis & Kresse, Kresse Wesling, discusses how their brand makes a stand against the impact of the fashion industry on the environment. Using traditional, hand-crafted techniques, they turn London's decommissioned nitrile rubber fire hoses into "guilt-free It bags", donating fifty percent of their profits to charity.

Bill Amberg

Industry leader in bespoke leather products, Bill Amberg, talks about the processes, techniques and traditional, specialist tools involved in handmaking a leather bag.

Background image: © Victoria and Albert Museum, London