Cleaning and restoring leather & leather-trimmed handbags: Removing water-based stains
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.
Cleaning and restoring Louis Vuitton brown monogrammed PVC handbags
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.
Cleaning and restoring handbags: Removing dye transfer stains from jeans
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.
Shoe repair shop handbag cleaning: Exercise caution
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.
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.
Cleaning and restoring handbags: Killing the germs should be part of the process
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.
Cleaning and restoring sports memorabilia: Sporting patches
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.
Cleaning and restoring handbags: Sometimes the only option is to replace the lining
The lining of your favorite handbag, purse, wallet or handbag gets soiled from general usage and/or stained by a cosmetic, pen, beverage, candy and the like.
In most cases, these stains and soils can be removed by gentle hand cleaning.
On occasion, however, the accumulated soils and/or stains are so extensive and/or so ingrained that no amount of hand cleaning is going to return the lining to “like new” condition. At this point, it’s appropriate to consider replacing the lining.
In this blog post, we illustrate this idea with the transformation of a white Chanel handbag from disastrous to perfectly wearable.
Cleaning and restoring a custom-made vintage silk coat
When you’re restoring a garment, household textile or accessory of historical significance, maintaining the integrity of the original components (color, buttons, hardware, linings, etc.) is critical.
When you’re restoring a garment, household textile or accessory for your own use, you might need to compromise in order to achieve the result you desire.
In this blog post, we illustrate this point by guiding you through the restoration of a 40 year old, blue silk coat. While the results exceeded our client’s expectations, the rotted lining could not be restored and required replacement. In other words, we compromised to achieve the desired result.
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