Good leather is not everything - it is impossible to make a proper leather bag using poor-quality components. At Sartolane, we use only the highest-quality hardware and we like to talk about our suppliers. We select our business partners using one simple rule: their products must be of the highest quality.
If you want to know what hardware we use to make our bags and why we do that or if you are simply curious how to recognize a good zipper or generally metal hardware, please read the article below.
A zipper - or commonly a zip - is the component tasked with protecting the content of a bag and has to withstand hundreds or thousands of uses per year - sometimes under quite a heavy load. A good zipper should not break or spread even if the handbag is absolutely full*.
*We advise against making such tests at home - stresses from stretching transfer to leather and may leave irreparable marks.
DOES EVERY ZIPPER SAY YKK ON IT?
Although many people immediately associate any zipper with the three magical letters “YKK” (which is quite justified as this Japanese company controlled over 90% of this market in the 90s’), you won’t find these zippers in our products. Although the Japanese have dominated the market, its exclusive segment was always controlled by the European brands.
Our products utilize zippers from the Italian company Raccagni, which was established in the 70s’ and provides zippers for the largest number of luxury brands (Tom Ford, Gucci and Dior among others). We have selected them due to the both quality and number of available finishes and combinations.
Since 2016, we have been using zippers only from the highest Raccagni line - Simmetrica. It is the absolute top when it comes to polished zippers. The name of the line comes from its special, symmetrical “teeth”. Thanks to precise design, the zipper moves freely in both directions, does not jam and its lifespan is dozens of years.
Reliability is the key factor here - we have never had a complaint related to a failure or wear of Raccagni zipper in any of our bags.
HOW MUCH DOES A GOOD ZIPPER COST?
In case of our products, the quality of components has a significant impact on the final price. Price of some of the elements may be surprising - the price of the zipper alone is about 15 EUR per bag, which may be the entire production price of a bottom-tier bag!
However, the high price of the zippers is fully justified by the quality, reliability, place of production and the aesthetics - these zippers simply look much better.
In opposition to cheap zippers, they do not get misalign and always lie straight and flat. Plus, the teeth and the slider never lose their original colour.
Another important fact is that in our bags the colour of the zipper tape is matched to the colour of the leather. Many producers, even when using expensive zippers, try to save some money on the colour of the tape and, for example, use a black tape for all their products.
The literal base of the whole bag. These unassuming metal protrusions are tasked with protecting the leather bottom against scratches, dirt and moisture.
We use the most durable type of feet. Each of them is a solid stainless steel cast - not a piece of bent sheet metal - which makes them virtually impervious to crushing or indentations. The feet are produced by the SOOCCI company, which also casts our fittings.
We never glue or screw the feet into our handbags - they are permanently attached. This makes them impossible to remove without damaging the leather, which, thankfully, is extremely difficult to do.
This is an undervalued and often forgotten part of a bag; although it has to bear quite a bit of weight.
On one hand, the weight can be literal - when we hold a bag by its handles or attached straps it is the metal fittings that transfer the load between the handle and the bag itself.
And on the other hand, the appearance of a handbag rests upon the fittings - even a bag made of the best leather will look bad with cheap hardware. It’s similar to a kitschy belt buckle - no amount finest leather will save it.
Since 2018 we have been using only SOOCCI hardware in our handbags. They produce solid stainless steel casts, made especially to our order.
Stainless steel is the best possible material for hardware due to its appearance and durability. It will never flake like chrome-plated plastic. They will age better than the popular ZnAl (an alloy of zinc and aluminium) that is also less durable than steel.
Cheap steel fittings are most commonly of the folded type, which makes them less aesthetically pleasing (the “gap”) and less effective in handling loads, which may lead to them deforming or even breaking. A step up from folded metal are screw fittings that look better and are more resilient. None of these two options can hold a candle to solid casts - this solution is practically indestructible under normal use conditions and has no weak points.
Just as with our zippers, we have never had a complaint related to SOOCCI fittings.
Since the start of our company, we have strived to improve our products by selecting the very best components available. Our current specification for bag components has remained unchanged since 2019, so for now we can call it the ultimate one - it is extremely difficult to find better alternative to the hardware we use.
We believe that our bags have reached the absolute peak of quality - they have been designed and created in such a way as to serve for the longest possible time and to be easy to renovate. If we find any possibility to perfect our products further - you can be sure that we will use it.