The History Of Bags
Despite their simplicity, bags have been fundamental for the development of human civilization, as they allowed people to easily collect loose materials such as berries or food grains, and to transport more items than could readily be carried in the hands. The word probably has its origins in the Norse word baggi, from the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European bʰak, but is also comparable to the Welsh baich (load, bundle), and the Greek Τσιαντουλίτσα (Chandulícha, load).
Cheap disposable paper bags and plastic shopping bags are very common in the retail trade as a convenience for shoppers, and are often supplied by the shop for free or for a small fee. Customers may also take their own shopping bags to use in shops. Although, paper had been used for purposes of wrapping and padding in ancient China since the 2nd century BC, the first use of paper bags (for preserving the flavor of tea) in China came during the later Tang Dynasty (618–907 AD).
Bags have been around for hundreds of years and have been used by both men and women. Bags have been prevalent as far back as ancient Egypt. Many hieroglyphs depict males with bags tied around their waist. The Bible mentions pouches, especially with regard to Judas Iscariot carrying one around, holding his personal items. In the 14th century, wary of pickpockets and thieves, many people used drawstring bags to carry their money. These bags were attached to “girdles” via a long cord fastened to the waist.
Women also wore more ornate drawstring bags, typically called hamondeys or tasques, to display their social status. The 14th-century handbags evolved into wedding gifts from groom to bride. These medieval pouches were embroidered, often with depictions of love stories or songs. Eventually, these pouches evolved into what is known as a chaneries, which were used for gaming or food for falcons. During the Renaissance, Elizabethan England’s fashions were more ornate than ever before. Women’s wore their pouches underneath the vast array of petticoats and men wore leather pockets or bagges inside their breeches. Aristocrats began carrying sweet bagges filled with sweet-smelling material to make up for poor hygiene.
In the modern world, bags are ubiquitous, with many people routinely carrying a wide variety of them in the form of cloth or leather briefcases, handbags, and backpacks, and with bags made from more disposable materials such as paper or plastic being used for shopping, and to carry home groceries. A bag may be closable by a zipper, snap fastener, etc., or simply by folding (e.g. in the case of a paper bag). Sometimes a money bag or travel bag has a lock. The bag likely predates the inflexible variant, the basket, and bags usually have the additional advantage over baskets of being foldable or otherwise compressible to smaller sizes. On the other hand, baskets, being made of a more rigid material, may better protect their contents.
An empty bag may or may not be very light and foldable to a small size. If it is, this is convenient for carrying it to the place where it is needed, such as a shop, and for storage of empty bags. Bags vary from small ones, like purses, to large ones for use in traveling like a suitcase. The pockets of clothing are also a kind of bag, built into the clothing for the carrying of suitably small objects.
In recent years, bags – apart from their basic function to carry objects or loads – have become an indispensable symbol of social status. As their prices range from a couple of euros to millions of euros, so do their owners. Very often it is exactly the bag that makes you stand out in a crowd and testify to others of where its owner belongs.
Many fashion houses understand this increasing trend and employ various gimmicks to make their bags not only unique in terms of material and design but also one of the most coveted wardrobe elements for any respectable fashionista.
The houses of Moynat, Faure Le Page, Delage, Goyard, Delvaux, Moreau, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Bottega Veneta, Lanvin strive for matchless perfection in their finished leather goods which – logically – is reflected in the prices of their products. It goes without saying that it is not only about the commercial aspect but also about preserving and nurturing the very history of each piece they manufacture.
One of the oldest malletiers Moynat serves as an excellent example of unsurpassed quality through the 200-year-old history of the brand. To keep you intrigued, we shall dwell on the zests of the aforementioned trunk-maker in our next article. Stay tuned and thanks for sticking with us!