When Coco Chanel created a bag that was both chic and easily carried in 1955, the handbag industry was revolutionised. The classic Chanel flap bag, identifiable for its flap top, unique leather handles wrapped in protective chains and the iconic interlocking ‘CC’ on the clasp, comes in a number of styles and colours making it an ideal accessory for a variety of outfits and remains ever popular today.
We recently received a classic Chanel flap bag in the softest quilted lambskin leather. It was in perfect condition but the client wasn’t getting optimal wear out of it as the chain was too short and they wanted it to be the length for a cross body bag.
The classic Chanel flap bag
After a physical assessment, as is a standard process in our atelier, our artisan decided to lengthen the original bag strap by adding a piece of the same leather between the two end links of the chain. This would involve the artisan cutting the chain to make a break in it in order to add an extra piece of leather.
Tools prepared to cut the chain
The first step was to carefully open the links at the end of the chain. Our sourcing experts then sourced the perfect match of black lambskin leather that would be the addition to the chain.
Next, taking into consideration the measurements provided by the client of the preferred length, the atelier assistant created a paper template for the piece of leather. Then the leather was cut and skived to the perfect thickness and a piece of reinforcement was glued to the leather to prevent any stretching that may occur when the bag is in use. This will naturally occur over time with leather straps or handles as they carry the whole weight of the bag. The trick is to try not to overfill your bags, as tempting as it may be.
The end result
Then, a special paint was used to coat the edge of the leather which seals and strengthens it. After a few layers of edge coat, ensuring it was completely dry, the new piece needed to be stitched to the pre-cut chain links by hand. The end result was a subtle change that made a big different to the client as the bag could finally be worn.
If you think your request may be out of the ordinary or an impossibility, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Our team of designers, creatives and makers will also come up with solutions to your requests, however wild they may or may not be!
You can get a preliminary quote using our form here.