Understand the making of your Hermes bags....

  1. I thought since we have all these wonderful references on size, style, color, prices, etc we should have a thread to understand what goes into making Hermes bags.

    I know Hermes only takes the top 2% of the leather in the world...and I know it goes thru many quality passses (anyone know how many) and if Hermes doesn't like the leather.....they just stop making it for awhile.....

    I don't know exactly how long it takes to make a Kelly or Birkin or how many stitches.

    how long does someone train to be able to make a Birkin or Kelly?

    Also, gold hardware is what karat and is it just plated? What about [SIZE=-1]Palladium[/SIZE]?

    Anyone know any facts?

    What can we add to understand the Making of Hermes!
  2. Great thread GucciG...I would love to know.

    And I remember a french video link a pfer post few weeks ago, about H Ateliers...I can't find it anymore...
  3. I always wondered if my Herbag was handmade like Kelly and Birkin... are all H styles handmade?
  4. The first thing I remember learning was that all H items are handmade, not just the 'it' bags.
  5. The gold hardware is definetly plated, unlesss you go for the solid gold hardware and then the price will be totally different from your average bag.

    There's a lot of info on how the Birkin at least is made. It takes many hours to make one.

    Some of the H-leather craftsmen later open their own high quality, hand made bespoke stores, April in Paris and Serge Amoruso being two examples.
  6. There was an article in the sept issue of Vanity Fair, I think Megs even wrote a blog about it? It showed pics of the workshop, explained how many hours to make, and how many they send out per week. I'll post if I can find that article again!
  7. oh thank you.

    and I would like to hear any random facts you guys might have to tell me! :smile:
  8. I love reading these articles-- especially Megs' LOL.
  9. From the book Deluxe

    "It takes fifteen to sixteen weeks hours to make an average size Birkin or Kelly. The bigger bags take twenty five to thirty hours. According to the writings in 2005 Herme's twelve leather ateliers in France produced 130,000 handbags.

    The first station in the atelier is the reptile skins table, Three or four men inspect the skins for defects and cut the shapes for the bags. All materials for Hermes bags are cut by press machines except for crocodile, alligator, and other reptile skins, which are extremely fragile and valuable. The artisans in the special order department work with three types of reptile skin: two crocodile and one alligator. The most delicate and expensive is from the Crocodylus porosus of Australia. The Crocodylus niloticus raised in Zimbabwe and the third being Alligator Mississipensis which comes from farm owned by Hermes in Florida.

    An average size bag requires three skins. The belly is used for the bags sides and flap, the underside of the tail which has bigger scales for the bottom or gusset. These skins are not varnished; to obtain the brilliant varnish-like shine t hey are polished with agate stone. As a result the skin and therefore the bag are not water resistant.

    The men stand on spongy rubber mats. They lay the skin which still retains the shape of the animal across big white tables as they inspect the skin and circle defects with a white marker. All skins that have defects must be cut out.
    The pieces are then cut and placed in a tray along with zippers, locks, hardware etc, then handed off to a craftsperson who will build the bag from beginning to end.

    Each artisan works on three or four bags at a time. Same model, same size, same material.

    Diamond are always set in white gold and come with a certificate verifying the weight of the gold and the stones.

    Most Hermes bags are built from the inside out. Artisians use a griffe which comes in several sizes and is pushed along the edges of the leather to mark perfectly and evenly where the artisan will sew the seam by hand. Only the Zipper and the inside pocket are sewn by machine. Everything except the zipper is made of leather. There are no plastic reinforcements, hidden canvas or plastic linings.

    Will add more....
  10. BTW I am partway through reading "Deluxe" and I thought it was very intriguing that the book states that the average bag takes 3 skins. I had always been told by craftsmen that a "regular leather" Birkin is made from only one skin. Wondering if the author inadvertently applied the three skin statement (that I can see making sense when dealing with a croc or lizard) to all Birkins, or whether I just read it wrong? It's definitely possible that I misunderstood as the only time I really have for reading books is right before I fall asleep :p
  11. I wish I could remember who posted this, and when I remember I will definitely credit her, but here is a slideshow of the making of a kelly http://www.umsl.edu/~sauterv/analysis/creativity/ . Scroll down to "In the Beginning, There Was Leather..."
  12. I've yet to see a cow with scales and a tail large enough to be used as a bottom of a birkin. :lol: But, in your offence, it's definelty not clearly written. If you read thourgh it quickly and is a little tired maybe, it's definetly not strange to mix it up.

    Also the paragraphing is weird.
  13. Sorry, I just wanted to make sure I credit gigi123 and CindyYZ... I think...