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Learn the Lingo: More Vintage Handbag Terms to Know

Buying an exquisite vintage handbag by a label like Hermès can feel overwhelming — and not just because of the price tag! If you’ve ever wondered what some of the terms mean that you’ve seen thrown around, you’ve come to the right place. Find out exactly what the difference between a double and a single strap bag are here, and then shop the Vintage Hermès Handbags & More: Madison Avenue Couture sale on Gilt.com starting at noon ET on October 15.

This actually doesn’t refer to the embellishment of the bags, but rather the process used to affix the hardware to an Hermes bag. pearling. The craftsperson for the bag (each one is made by a single person), uses precision and patience to nail in the hardware to the bags, rather than screwing it on. This is part of what guarantees the bag’s legendary longevity.

Single Strap vs. Double Strap
The easiest way to distinguish between a Birkin and a Kelly bag — two of the house’s most iconic handbags — are to look at the straps. A Birkin bag has two handles, while the Kelly bag has one.

Saddle Stitching
A signature of the Hermès bags are the use of hand-done saddle stitching on the edges as a nod to the brand’s equestrian heritage. Commonly used in saddle making, the stitch requires pre-punched holes, one piece of thread and two harness, or round needles. The benefit is that even if a stitch or two comes out, the rest will stay in place and not unravel.

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