Bag handles (A list of 18 types )

Different kinds of handles and straps used for bags and purses

The wrong choice of bag handle can lead to discomfort strain and even injury and the right one can make your bag look aesthetocally pleasing and withstand wear and tear. The right choice of handles, whether they are made of leather, chain, fabric, or other materials, can make the bag look stylish.

1. Leather /Synthetic leather handles

leather bag handles

When you think of bag handles a leather handle is what comes to the mind first and foremost. They have unparalleled elegance. Even when ordinary cloth bags are fitted with leather handles, the look of the bag is completely changed for the better.

Glossy or matt finished, clear or coloured Vinyl handles are also used with vinyl bags/fabric. Their charm is that they are very inexpensive compared to leather handles

Advantages of leather handles : Leather handles are durable, long lasting (if they are high quality leather). They are timeless and popular always. Leather handles can develop a beautiful patina over time, giving them a unique and character-rich appearance as they age.

2. Fabric handles

fabric bag/purse handles

A fabric handle is the most popular type of handle, when you make the bags yourself. They are easy to make and can be made matching to the bag you have.

You can make flat straps/handles with fabric made stiff with interfacing or insert plastic flexi-tubing inside to give strength. The Reinforced tubing made of  Soft PVC  is inserted inside the fabric strap.

Advantages of cloth handles: Cloth handles are usually padded, so they give good grip and comfortable to hold or hand for long time. And you can wash them along with the fabric bags they come attached to.

3. Wooden handles

wooden bag handles

This could be Solid Wooden Handles or made of bamboo wood. They are great with  crocheted, knitted or woven bags.

Advantages of wooden handles: Wooden handles have a special aesthetic look about them . And wood is a durable and long lasting material . If you are environmentally consious these handles may appeal as they are made from a renewable resource.

4. Metal handles

metal bag handle

Metal handles include oval shaped and round shaped ones used in clutches and frames around purses and also longer handles. They come in silver, copper gunmetal and gold shades and are usually attached to bags with washers and screws.

Metal chains are long chains used as cross body straps for shoulder bags.

Advantages of metal handles: Metal handles have a sleek and modern appearance. Most of them have locking mechanisms or clasps which makes them a secure choice among all bag handles. They are very durable and long lasting. And they are available in all sizes, shapes and patterns.

5. Crocheted handles

crotcheted bag handle

A crocheted handle is used with fabric handbags and crocheted bags.Other than crochet handles, another option is to use Macrae handles made with  100% cotton rope.

6. Straw handles

straw purse handle types

Handles made of straw are usually attached to basket bags and beach bags made of straw. These woven bags are made with straw from Palm Leaves. Usually, they are woven as one with the bag.

7. Webbing

webbing used as  bag handle

3/4 inch or 1″ Heavy Cotton webbing is available in different colours for using as bag straps and handles. You can use it as it is to make bag straps and handles or cover it with fabric for a sturdy handle.

8. Rope handles

rope handles for bags

You can use twisted/braided jute or hemp rope as an easy bag handle.

9. Soft cord handles

cord handles

Soft cotton cord handles are used as an alternative to the rope handles. These are commonly used for casual bags – very easy to add – no sewing or anything complicated. You can insert it through an eyelet and knot it for an instant handle for your bag.

10. Thread/yarn handles

thread bag handles

You can manipulate or tie thread/yarn in many ways to make unique handbag straps/handles.

11. Beaded handles

beaded bag handles

These are handles made with strings made of plastic or metal or even yarn threaded with beads. The beads add a beautiful charm to the bag.

12. Ribbon handles

In a cinch, even ribbons are used for making bag handles – though not the sturdiest of material, they make cute  straps for small drawstring gift bags

13. Plastic Handles

plastic handles

14. Braided handles

braided handles for bags

These handles are made by braiding multiple strands of materials together. Braided handles can be made from a variety of materials, including leather, fabric, rope, cord, or even synthetic materials.

Handles can also be classified according to their position on bags.

15. Shoulder handles

shoulder straps

These are handles placed on the back of backpacks with which they can be carried on the shoulder

16. Bracelet handle

bracelet bag handle

A variation of the top handle – this is a short, looped handle resembling a bracelet, through which you can slip your arm. The handle rests on the ankle as if it is a bracelet, making another jewelry there superfluous.

Bracelet handles are used on evening statement clutches or small handbags and wristlets. Wristlet bags are small bags with a looped handle that can be worn around the wrist.

17. Top handles

top handles for bags

These handles are for carrying the bag by hand. These are usually used on professional bags along with detachable shoulder straps or crossbody straps. When a bag is very heavy, if it has top handles, they reduce strain on your shoulder or back

18. Long and medium Straps

long straps for bags

No need for an explanation on these. The ever-present medium and long straps on almost all the bags you carry. Long and medium straps allow you to carry the bag crossbody or over your shoulder, leaving your hands free for other activities.

Related post : How to sew bag handles – 7 ways;  A list of Materials needed to make bags; Best fabrics for making bags30 types of Bags

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

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