How to Choose the Right Handbag Straps

The strap is an important part of the bag. Typically, a bag will come with one or more straps. But do you know what it’s called? How to distinguish them? And how to choose the right strap for your bag?

Here we will tell you everything about handbag straps. Read our blog below, whether you are a designer designing straps for a handbag, a consumer choosing a strap for your bag, or a salesperson in a bag shop, you can find and learn some knowledge about handbag straps.

What is a handbag strap?

A brown handbag with strap

First, let’s learn the definition of the handbag strap.

A handbag strap is a long, thin strap. The main function is that when using the handbag, you can carry it on your hand, around your wrist, on your shoulder, across your body, or on your back through the handbag strap.

Typically, a handbag has one or more handbag straps, either detachable or directly attached to the handbag.

Handbag strap materials

There are three main materials for handbag straps, which are the shell fabric of the bag, the webbing strap, and metal chains.

Shell fabric strap

PU leather shell fabric straps

Handbag straps made from the shell fabric of your bag are the ones you’ll see most on the market.

For example, real leather handbag straps, PU leather straps, and fabric handbag straps.

We call them shell fabric straps.

Their main advantage is that they go perfectly with handbags because they are made of the same material. In color and quality, they can be well-matched.

Some materials cannot be used to make straps for handbags because of their particularity.

For example, the cost of handbag straps made of full leather is too high, and some fabrics are too soft or too hard to be suitable for handbag straps.

So, what material should be used to make the straps of them?

Many designers or manufacturers choose to use webbing for handbag straps.

Webbing strap

colorful webbing straps

The webbing strap is made of strip webbing with (or without) adjustment buckles and hooks. Common materials for webbing are nylon and cotton.

The advantage of the webbing strap is that there are many colors and patterns to choose from, and the cost is relatively cheap. The disadvantage is that it cannot be 100% the same color as the shell fabric. For brands with high color-matching requirements, it is sometimes difficult to choose the right webbing handbag strap.

In recent years, colorful webbing has been widely used on handbag straps, and these bags are very popular.

If you are interested in them, please feel free to contact our team. We will provide a variety of styles for your choice.

Metal chain strap

metal chain straps

A metal chain strap, as the name suggests, is a handbag strap made of metal chains.

This metal chain strap is more commonly used on cosmetic bags, evening bags, and some smaller bags.

Generally speaking, metal chain straps are made with smaller-sized chains, so it goes better with smaller-sized bags.

The advantage of the metal chain strap is that it is of high quality and can enhance the texture of the handbag.

But it also has disadvantages, such as high price, and generally, the length cannot be adjusted.

We’ve now taken a look at three common handbag strap materials. Next, let’s take a look at the length of handbag straps.

Handbag strap length

The length of the handbag strap is measured at its longest position, including hooks or other hardware. If there is an adjustment buckle, pull the adjustment buckle to the top of one end, so that the handbag strap is in the longest position, and then test its length.

Depending on the length, handbag straps can be divided into the following types: wrist straps, shoulder straps, and crossbody straps.

Wrist straps

Wrist strap: Approximately 6-10 inches in length. The length mentioned in the wrist strap refers to the length from one end to the other after the wrist strap is folded in half, not the length measured when it is opened and stretched to the longest. Because the wrist strap must be wrapped around your wrist when in use, to achieve the effect of grabbing your handbag.

27 inch shoulder strap

Shoulder strap: Approximately 22-35 inches in length. The main function of the shoulder strap is to hang the handbag on the shoulder or take it off conveniently when using the handbag.

It is often used on larger bags, such as Tote bags, Hobo bags, etc.

47 inch length crossbody strap

Crossbody strap: Approximately 40-50 inches in length. The main function of the crossbody strap is to free your hands, so you don’t have to worry about the bag falling.

Generally speaking, the crossbody strap will include an adjustable buckle to adjust the length of the shoulder strap to suit people of different heights.

Handbag strap width

The handbag strap width is the measurement of the part that rests on the shoulder or the wrist. Generally speaking, the wider the strap width, the heavier the bag that can be supported. This is because the strap contact area increases as the strap width increases, improving weight distribution and comfort.

According to Uncle Nine Leather’s more than 10 years of handbag production experience, the common handbag belt widths have the following sizes: 3/8″, 1/2″, 3/4″, 1″, 1 1/4″, and 1 1/ 2″.

3/8 inch wrist straps

3/8″ and 1/2″ straps: These two smaller sizes of handbag straps are commonly used on clutches, wristlet bags, and mini bags.

1 inch width shoulder strap

3/4″ and 1″ straps: These two sizes of handbag straps are the most common, and they fit almost all bag sizes except for oversized bags, such as travel bags, duffle bags, and gym bags.

1.5 inch width shoulder strap

1 1/4″ and 1 1/ 2″ straps: These two sizes of handbag straps are more suitable for some large-sized bags, such as backpacks, tote bags, etc.

Also, you can combine them with smaller-sized bags for a contrasting effect. In 2021, one of our customers ordered a mini bag with a 1.5″ wide colorful webbing shoulder strap, which has been sought after by local consumers.

Because the size of the metal chain strap is generally less than 1 inch, you can refer to the handbag strap within 3/8 to 1 inch when choosing.

Choose the right handbag strap

After understanding the handbag strap, let’s choose a suitable handbag strap for our beloved bag.

Based on our experience, the following suggestions can help you choose the right handbag straps for your bag and your style.

Love more than anything

There is a Chinese saying: Money can’t buy love. As a consumer, when choosing a handbag strap, buy it if you like it. As a designer, your clients just need to like your designs. No matter what material, size, or color they are.

Consistency principle

The principle of consistency is one of the universal principles in our daily life. The principle of consistency mentioned here is to choose handbag straps of the same or similar material, hardware, and size to match your handbag so that it will look more coordinated.

Contrast principle

The contrast principle is a very special one. If it is used well, it will be the finishing touch, but if it is not used well, it will be very bad.

For example, a small bag with wide straps is a good idea, but not too wide. But a large bag with narrow shoulder straps is very inappropriate. Because it can be uncomfortable to use, the narrower the contact surface between the strap and the body, the more pressure is transmitted to the person.


The above is our understanding of the handbag strap. If you have different opinions or unclear places, please feel free to Contact Us. We are happy to discuss handbag knowledge with you.

We are Uncle Nine Leather, a leading handbag company in China, with rich experience in the handbag field, can provide you with professional service.

If you want to wholesale or customize any type of handbag, we can provide you with one-stop design, development, search, production, and shipping services. Please feel free to contact us.


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