Italian language and cultural school for foreigners
Handmade bags
“Firenze nell'Arte”

Handmade bags course

The first handmade bags were created in Tuscany in the 12th century.

In the Middle Ages bags were important. The ones widely used were game bags, bandolier haversacks and shoulder bags. They left the hands free while travelling allowing people to carry everything that was needed. In the thirteenth century the first leather, velvet and silk pouches were introduced. But it was not until the Renaissance that real bags with clasps appeared, much like the ones we have today. In the sixteenth century, there was diversification based on shape and origin: French or Venetian-type bags. In the seventeenth century the bag was replaced by the muff that had an inside pocket for valuable objects. In the eighteenth century at the Sun King's court, the barrel bag was fashionable. This was a big bag that could even hold a pet; this was probably the first introduction to the suitcase. The bag, as we know it today, had its boom in the twentieth century. Women began to travel and fashion was developing: thus travel bags, suitcases, trunks, purses and hat boxes were created.


Pattern making and sewing of a leather bag.

  • Brief study of the basics of leather working.
  • Types of leather and tanning.
  • Pattern making for bags.
  • Types of metal accessories.
  • Creation of a fabric bag in order to learn the main techniques: patterns, cutting, lining, inner pockets, bench work, sewing, finishing.

Lined leather bag

  • Choice and analysis of the student’s design.
  • Design and creation of the models: bench work, cutting and accessories.
  • Choosing materials and accessories.
  • Positioning on the leather.
  • Techniques for preparing, cutting and sewing the leather and lining.
  • Making the bag.
  • Finishes.