French VS Chinese Longchamp Le Pliages

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The Le Pliage, the bag that was inspired by the Japanese art of origami. Simple yet ingenious, it has become a classic around the world. In the beginning Longchamp only manufactured in France but in order to deal with the worldwide demand of its iconic bag, it moved some of its production to China in recent years. When a customer browses our Le Pliage range in our store, the first thing they will check is the inner tag to see if the bag was made in China or France. If the bag was made in China it goes straight back on the shelf. There has been a shadow lingering over Chinese Le Pilages for some time now. Buyers believe the quality of the bag is subpar to that of the French version due to Chinas mass production. So in this post we are going to compare the two version to see if this is the case.
Le Pliage Large Long Handles (EU version) And Le Pliage Small Long Handles Made In China.
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Le Pliage Large Long Handles (EU version) And Le Pliage Small Long Handles Made In China.
Le Pliage Large Long Handles (EU version) And Le Pliage Small Long Handles Made In France.
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Le Pliage Large Long Handles (EU version) And Le Pliage Small Long Handles Made In France.
The difference in inner tags.
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The difference in inner tags.

Round 1: Hardware:


The hardware is identical on both bags, they both use the same button clasps and zipper pull tags. This is because the hardware itself is made in China and distributed from the same source to the Chinese and French factories. The zippers themselves are of course YKK and use a size 45 on both versions.
Closeup Of The French Le Pliage Pull Tag.
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Closeup Of The French Le Pliage Pull Tag.
Closeup Of The Chinese Le Pliage Pull Tag.
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Closeup Of The Chinese Le Pliage Pull Tag.
Closeup Of A YKK Zipper Used In Both The Chinese And French Version.
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Closeup Of A YKK Zipper Used In Both The Chinese And French Version.

It is a draw!

There is no quality difference as far as the hardware is concerned.

Round 2: Leather:


The leather on both versions are visually different, no two cows are the same so no two leather cuts will be identical. The traditional criss cross emboss is clear on both as well as the jockey on the front lip. However the leather used on the French version is notably thicker and stiffer than the Chinese version. The underside of the lips are soft to the touch like beautiful suede leather. The emboss of the Jockey is clear on the Chinese version but faint on the French version due to the thicker leather used.
The underside of the French version, it is very difficult to see the imprint of the emboss.
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The underside of the French version, it is very difficult to see the imprint of the emboss.
he underside of the Chinese version, you can clearly see the imprint of the emboss.
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he underside of the Chinese version, you can clearly see the imprint of the emboss.
Both versions display the iconic criss cross emboss clearly as well as the Jokey logo.
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Both versions display the iconic criss cross emboss clearly as well as the Jokey logo.

This round goes to the Chinese version !

It is our opinion that the thinner leather on the Chinese version allows the lip to bend more easily over the zip, the underside is softer compared to the French version and the emboss is more prominent.

Round Three: Stitching:

The first thing you notice is the thread used on the French version is thicker, more and likely due to the tougher leather used on the bag. The stitching quality on a Le Pilage can be a hit or miss sometimes regardless of where it has been made. Always inspect the stitching of your bag before purchasing. If ordering online from the likes of eBay, always ask the seller about their return policy before finalizing the sale. In this comparison the stitching quality was better on the Chinese version on the inside and out.
The stitching on the Chinese version is cleaner.
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The stitching on the Chinese version is cleaner.
The stitching on the French version is not as clean as the Chinese version.
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The stitching on the French version is not as clean as the Chinese version.
The inside stitching of the Chinese version
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The inside stitching of the Chinese version
The inside stitching of the French version. You can clearly see the poor stitching of the pocket.
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The inside stitching of the French version. You can clearly see the poor stitching of the pocket.
French version on the left and the Chinese on the right.
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French version on the left and the Chinese on the right.

This round goes to the Chinese version !

The stitching was cleaner and consistent throughout, whereas the French version had doubled up on some areas and the inner pocket was not stitched to the nylon correctly.

Final Round: Bag Material

Both versions are made from nylon and both appear to be of the same quality and thickness, as the material itself is made in China and distributed to the factories in China and France.

It is a draw!

Overall Victor!!!


The Chinese Version.

China has a reputation for fast and cheap manufacturing, producing lower quality products inferior to that made in the west. This is just not the case when it comes to Longchamp bags or any other contemporary label that manufactures in China. The brand has an image to maintain so the quality control levels are the same as  their counterpart factories in the west. In our comparison the Chinese version trumped the French version however there were only minor differences, so whether  you buy a Chinese or French Le Pilage you are still receiving a top notch bag.
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