A (Relatively) Concise History Of The Satchel Bag

While their popularity has certainly seen a spike over the past decade, satchels have been around for centuries and have served as a versatile and functional accessory for both men and women. The history of the satchel bag is an interesting and storied one, filled with significant cultural and societal events that have shaped its design and purpose over time. In this article, we'll explore the history of the satchel bag, tracing its evolution from a simple utility bag to the fashionable and stylish accessories you’ll find on Zatchels.

The Origins Of The Satchel Bag

The satchel bag can trace its origins back to ancient times, where it was used as a simple utility bag for carrying essential items like food and tools. Early satchels were made from animal hides and other natural materials, and were worn across the body using a strap (sound familiar?).

Over time, the design of the satchel bag evolved to meet the changing needs of society. During the medieval period, satchels were used by scholars and monks to carry books and other written materials. These early satchel bags were often made from leather and featured a single large compartment for holding books.

The Industrial Revolution & The Rise Of The Satchel Bag

The Industrial Revolution of the 19th century brought about significant changes in the manufacturing of bags, including satchels. With the advent of new machinery and production techniques, bags could be mass-produced at a much lower cost than before.

As a result, satchel bags became more accessible to the general public and their popularity grew rapidly. They were used by students to carry books and by workers to carry tools and other equipment. The design of the satchel bag also evolved during this time, with new features like multiple compartments and reinforced stitching to improve durability.

The Satchel Bag In The 20th Century

During the early part of the century, satchels became commonly used by schoolchildren to carry books, papers, and other supplies. These satchels were typically made from leather or canvas and had a simple design with a flap that could be secured with a buckle or strap.

In the 1950s and ‘60s, satchels became even more fashionable and were adopted by college students and young professionals as a practical and stylish accessory. Complete with a more structured design and multiple compartments for storing books, papers, and electronic devices, satchels at this time were often made from leather or nylon and featured bright colors and bold patterns.

In the 1970s and 80s, satchels continued to be popular among students and professionals, but the design became more casual and relaxed. They were often made from canvas or nylon, with a more minimalist design that emphasized functionality over fashion. That said, leather satchels also experienced a resurgence in popularity thanks to the punk and new wave music scene. Often worn with studded belts and other punk-inspired clothing, the extent to which they could be personalised made them particularly desirable.

Satchels In The Modern Day

Satchels have come a long way from their humble origins as a simple utility bag and they continue to be a popular accessory for both men and women. Available in a wide variety of styles, materials, and colors, today they are used for everything from carrying laptops to weekend trips.

As fashion and style continue to evolve, it's safe to say that the satchel bag will remain a timeless and essential accessory for years to come. As a brand, Zatchels intends to leave its mark on the long and storied history of the satchel bag. Our innovative designs draw inspiration from what’s come before while adapting to meet the needs of our customers around the world. Our classic crossbody satchels, for instance, are perfect for work but add on some shoulder straps and they become the perfect satchel backpack for a day out with friends.

3x Zatchels Handmade Leather Satchels - Brown, Chestnut & Black

Made by hand to order, the Zatchels leather satchel range also includes customisable Midi Satchels, Micro Satchels, and City Backpacks. Best of all, each and every Zatchels satchel comes with a lifetime guarantee so generations to come can still enjoy the bags bought today! For more information on our existing and upcoming ranges as well as exclusive discounts and content, sign up to our newsletter and follow us on Instagram or Facebook.