RAVE FabriCARE's True Quality Cleaning Blog

Straight talk about caring for your fine garments, household textiles and accessories
from experts who call things like it is. In plain English.

Cleaning & restoring handbags: Perfection vs best achievable results

If perfection can almost never be attained, aim for the best achievable result
By: Stu Bloom

It’s a simple fact of life that 95% of the handbags and other accessories brought or sent in to a handbag specialist for cleaning and/or reconditioning have seen prior usage — sometimes extensive prior usage. Even abuse.

No handbag specialist can guarantee perfection where perfection is defined as the condition one would find in a brand new, identically-styled, identically-colored handbag or other accessory currently on display in a boutique or department store.

As a result, a handbag specialist can only focus on delivering the best technologically achievable result.

In this blog post, we examine the perfection vs best achievable results dilemma and explain why perfection is, for the most part, a pipe dream.

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Cleaning and restoring vintage Louis Vuitton brown monogrammed handbags

Vintage Louis Vuitton accessories present additional maintenance issues not faced by their more modern counterparts
By: Stu Bloom

Vintage Louis Vuitton brown monogrammed handbags, purses, wallets and backpacks present additional cleaning and/or restoration issues that are typically not found in more modern brown monogrammed accessories.

But that doesn’t mean that you have to abandon your vintage Louis Vuitton brown monogrammed accessories because of those additional “issues”.

These vintage handbags, purses, wallets and backpacks can be cleaned and restored to wearable condition with the application of skill, process and a little time.

In this post, we explore these additional issues and demonstrate the results that can be realistically achieved.

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Cleaning and restoring leather & leather-trimmed handbags: Removing water-based stains

Water-based stains and spills can be mitigated or completely removed with professional cleaning
By: Stu Bloom

The most common stains we see on leather and leather trimmed handbags, purses, wallets and backpacks are water-based stains.

With hand cleaning you might be able to lighten the water-based stain to the point that it’s not too visible. But you’re unlikely to restore the accessory to fully wearable condition with cleaning alone.

In this blog post, we explore some of the more common issues you might face when you attempt to clean a leather or leather-trimmed accessory with water-based stains and provide examples of the results that can be achieved with the application of skills, experience and time.

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Cleaning and restoring Louis Vuitton brown monogrammed PVC handbags

When it comes to cleaning and restoring LV brown monogrammed PVC coated canvas handbags and other accessories, you might not know which way to turn.
By: Stu Bloom

Louis Vuitton brown monogrammed PVC coated canvas handbags, purses, wallets and backpacks presents some maintenance issues that are unique to these accessories.

But that doesn’t mean that you have to abandon your Louis Vuitton brown monogrammed PVC coated canvas accessories just because it has some “issues”.

These handbags, purses, wallets and backpacks can be cleaned and restored to wearable condition with the application of skill, process and a little time.

In this post, we explore some of the more common issues associated with these accessories and demonstrate the results that can be achieved.

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Cleaning and restoring handbags: Removing dye transfer stains from jeans

Dye transfer from blue, navy, black or red jeans can be mitigated or completely removed with professional cleaning
By: Stu Bloom

One on the most common stains we encounter on handbags, purses, wallets and backpacks is dye transfer from jeans — blue, navy, black and red.

Professional cleaning can remove most if not all dye transfer from handbags, purses, wallets and backpacks as long as they are leather, suede, nylon, nylon/leather trim, canvas and canvas/leather trim.

When it comes to PVC coated canvas accessories your chances are 50:50 and when it comes to patent leather your chances are close to zero.

In this blog post, we provide examples of the results that can be achieved with the application of the right skills, judgement and hand cleaning processes.

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Shoe repair shop handbag cleaning: Exercise caution

Shoe repair shops offer $5 to $10 shoe shines. Cleaning and restoring handbags is a vastly different process.
By: Stu Bloom

If you’re going to drop off a handbag, purse, wallet or backpack at a shoe repair shop for cleaning, we’d suggest that you exercise caution.

Why?

Because shoe repair shops are in the business of repairing and shining shoes. And, because they “sew leather”, some offer luggage and handbags repair. A few even offer “handbag cleaning”.

The rationale for offering handbag cleaning is that “we know how to shine shoes” and that “there’s no difference between shining shoes and cleaning handbags.”

The problem for the owners of high-end handbags, purses, wallets and backpacks is that shoe repair shop typically won’t invest the time necessary to hand clean, condition, refinish and sanitize the exterior of a handbag and hand clean and sanitize the interior of a handbag.

In this blog post, we illustrate this point with an example of a handbag that was “cleaned” by a shoe repair shop and then reworked by a handbag specialist. The difference is night and day.

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Cleaning and restoring handbags: Killing the germs should be part of the process

A professional cleaning of your handbag should involve killing the germs hiding inside your handbag
By: Stu Bloom

You rest your handbag on the floor or seat of your car, on the floor of a restaurant, cafe, bar or movie theater, on the counter at a retail store, on a desk top at an office, on a kitchen counter, and a host of similar locations.

Bacteria transfers from these surfaces to your hands and to the exterior of your handbag. And from your hands and the exterior of your handbag to the interior of the handbag when you dig for something.

All of which points out the need to clean clean both the exterior and interior of your high-end handbags, purses, wallets and backpacks on a more frequent basis.

In this post, we discuss why every handbag cleaning specialist must incorporate a deodorizer, sanitizer and virucide as part of their cleaning process.

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Cleaning and restoring sports memorabilia: Sporting patches

RAVE FabriCARE restores vintage sporting patch featuring the hydroplane, Miss Seattle, a two-time Gold Cup Winner
By: Stu Bloom

Collecting vintage sporting patches occupies a relatively small corner of the entire market for sports memorabilia.

We restored a sporting patch that was in relatively poor condition: the fabric was fragile and exhibited rust, grease stains and yellowing associated with poor storage over the years.

In this blog post, we illustrate the results that can be obtained through professional restoration.

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