In the food world, it’s said that we eat with our eyes first. The same could be said when purchasing luggage: we are attracted to a bag because of its looks before we consider the merits of its construction. Today, I want to highlight some of the fabrics used in the TravelPro lines so that you know what you’re getting when you purchase a soft-sided piece of luggage.
Polyester and nylon are the preeminent fabric choices, and the strength and durability of each is determined by its denier and weave pattern. Denier is the thread count, the measured thickness of each individual strand of yarn; the higher the denier, the higher the quality of the material, usually.
Nylon is typically viewed as stronger than polyester, but the industry has seen major improvements in polyester’s durability in the past five years, making it a viable alternative to nylon.
Fabric weight is also something that is factored into the manufacturing of a bag. Factors that can determine the fabric weight are the denier, fabric backing as well as fabric coatings. Fabrics that are advertised as having water resistant or water repelling coatings not only repel liquids, they help protect the fabric and the overall condition of the bag from scratching, wear, and dirt. These coatings also make the bag easier to clean (see our article on how to clean your luggage’s exterior).
Aesthetic features for luggage are also taken into consideration when using fabric. Both nylon and polyester yarns can be woven in such a way as to produce patterns that are not only eye-catching, but strong. Accents often include leather, which is most often used to make handles and other grips ergonomically efficient and durable.
When eyeing your next piece of luggage, do your homework, and you’ll go home with a bag that not only looks great but will serve you well for years to come.