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Creating a backpack

Creating a backpack needs a complex chain of steps. From choosing materials, designing the style or patterns to completion of product, it’s a combination of every meticulous stage. We found a post that comes from a visit to Riutbag factory we would like to share. Following here is several stages to complete the product.


CUTTING MATERIALS Once the factory has created its final manufacturable version of the plant , it knows how much of each piece of material it requires. This means it can put in an order with each of the material manufacturers and have that amount delivered to the factory. Using their final manufacturable version of the company, they know what each of the pattern pieces needs to look like too.

Starting with hundreds of yards of each material, the factors has different sized cutting moulds prepared. At least more than 1000 of each piece will be cut.

It’s difficult for us to imagine the process required to make thousand of rucksacks. That’s double number for straps each of which is made of more than 10 pieces – thousand pieces in total just to make the straps! – and a large number of zip pulls, for instance. So if there are 80 pieces which make up each backpack, that’s more than hundred thousand pieces in total to cut and collect.


Using their mould, it’s placed over hundreds of layers of each piece of fabric required for the given bag design. The mould is placed on by hand and a machine is used to press the mould over the material to cut it, one shape at a time. When required, tens of production line cutters will cut pieces by hand if needed.


EMBROIDERY AND PRINTING All the details on the fabric you see – embroidered logos, panels, designs or prints – must be added after the material is cut and before the pattern pieces make their way to the production line stitchers. Piles of cut material make their way up to production line to begin being sewn into individual parts of the bag. One or two people are given the design, they practice it under instruction of the production line manager and then make as many as is required.


In the case of each brand, the front panel is embroidered with the brand logo. This will be embroidered by machine on to 1300 panels by one or two people. The same goes for the printed logo on the inside tablet holding panel. Once they are ready all material is stacked and moved to the production line.

SEWING SMALLER COMPONENTS Thinking about a backpack, there are some individual pieces which must be made first before the whole bag is constructed by one person. Each strap must be constructed first. So one person has the task of learning to make, refining their approach, testing and then creating more than 100 components each day.


Unless the design lends itself to doing two processes in one, the person will systematically do one process at a time. 1) Sew inner foam to mesh padding; 2) sew foam/mesh padding to outer; 3) sew adjustable chest strap holder to rest of strap; 4) attach glider; 5) sew binding on to outer panel; 6) sew outer panel on to rest of strap as so on. This is to make one component. Other components on the bag which must be finished before final construction include the large padded strap at the top of the knapsack, bottle holder compartments and the three-compartment laptop holder.

MAIN BAG CONSTRUCTION This is the bit that one person does. A single person takes all of the components and builds them step by step into one bag. Depending on the size of the order, there maybe one or many people completing this stage. At the beginning, you’ve got pretty small piles of flat components lying around. But once you’re at this stage, the thing you’re producing by the end of each process is pretty huge! So the piles of finished productions is a small mountain. That means a smaller number of bags is practical to handle at any one time. For a medium sized backpack, no more than 40 can go through this final process by one person before being finished.

QUALITY CONTROL One person takes the final version, cuts off all the individual threads sticking out and tests the bag. The bag is turned inside out to inspect each seam, the finish on zips and corners. Having to cut the threads off the bag all over gives this person the perfect reason to look at every seam, nook and crannie. You might think this is an impossible task for one human to do; but once you’ve done one of two bags your eyes start seeing differences very quickly. Anything that looks out of place might be invisible to a consumer, like us, who hasn’t seen 100 others, but to this quality control and thread checker the design is imprinted on their mind for this production run. Finally, they are counted, stacked and sent to the packing room.

PACKING When your bag is completed it makes one more trip in the factory. It’s counted, put into its own protective packaging and a carton – cardboard box – for shipping. One person does each of these steps. Of all the rooms in the factory, this room had the least bustle.

WHAT ABOUT ETHNICS BACKPACK? We are always amazed when travelling around South East Asia, to see how people can handle this hard process in an artisanal way. Of course, the model displayed will be more about transmitting sewing skills, and the bag will be less resistant than those made through industrial process ( depending on the factory … ), we wanted to share a few places where you can find those backpacks if you are around : – Sapa, Vietnam ( definitely the center of ethnics culture from North Vietnam, and south China – we love their scarffs either ) – Dalat, Vietnam ( the main ethnic city in south Vietnam, must see for road trip in the middle of coffee culture, and for night market ) – Bangkok ( To go to Narayana Phand Shopping center where the Thai brand called Naraya ( google it if you don’t know about ) – Bali & Jakarta to find some IKAT, a special rare tissu, than can help producing nice backpack and bags.


That’s it for the process to make a backpack. Just let you know, we used the information from Riutbag company. However, each brand has their own production of making backpack, this is only for reference.

[the content using reference source at:]


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