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How a Hermes Kelly Handbag is Made

The Kelly Bag (named for the actress and princess Grace Kelly) is made by one individual craftsman in about 18 hours of work.

The skins arrive at the factory already laid out in perfect symmetry, ready for the expert to being his (or her) magic. Goat skins are used for the lining and this is the first part to be actually sewn.

After the lining is made, the base of the handbag is handsewn to the front and back with waxed linen thread. A double saddle stitch is used and each thrust of the needle is carefully done. A tiny hole is made with an awl before each stitch and the stitch size dictates the size of the hole. Adjustment is made for the particular grain of the leather to work with the natural pattern.

Hermes Kelly Handbag

The handle comes next in the careful construction of the Kelly handbag and the shaping is done by hand with painstaking attention to detail. The layers of the stitched leather is smoothed with sandpaper and then dyed to match the handbag. Hot wax is applied to protect the handle from moisture.

The distinctive front flap is then added to the bag body and next is the distinctive hardware and 4 feet on the bottom. Each of these metal parts are hand riveted.

Believe it or not, the handbag is then ironed to gently smooth out the wrinkles in the calfskin. Last (but certainly not least!) is the famous gold stamp that says "Hermes Paris".