RAVE FabriCARE'S True Quality Cleaning Blog

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

Category: Handbags, Purses, Wallets & Handbags

Changing the exterior color of your leather handbags, purses and backpacks

Handbags, purses and backpacks that are in relatively poor condition may not respond favorably to cleaning & conditioning alone. Quite often, the only way to transform the accessory is to recolor or repaint it after cleaning and conditioning.

If the handbag, purse and backpack requires recoloring, many clients elect to retain the original color.

But there may be another option: Depending on certain elements associated with the construction of the handbag, purse or backpack, you may be able to create a one-of-a-kind accessory by changing the exterior color of your handbag, purse or backpack.

In this post, we illustrate the recoloring opportunities by showing you the results we achieved on a beaten up, dirty olive Balenciaga handbag that was recolored gray.

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Removing odors from new, used and vintage leather garments & accessories

Leather soaks up smells and odors like a sponge.

The smells and odors in brand new leather garments (handbags, purses, backpacks, etc.) or accessories (shoes, boots, etc.) typically comes from the leather tanning process.

The smells and odors in used and vintage leather garments (handbags, purses, backpacks, etc.) or accessories (shoes, boots, etc.) can come from a variety of sources such as food, mildew, mold, perfume, perspiration and smoke. 

In this post, I’ll discuss some of the options available to remove odors and smells in new, used and vintage leather garments and accessories.

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Cleaning and restoring handbags: Removing ink stains from interiors and linings

One of the most difficult stains to remove from the interior or lining of an accessory is ink.

The reason why ink is so problematic is because of the number of variables involved and the thousands of combinations of those variables.

In this blog post, we discuss those variables, caution against the use of various “miracle cures” that can be found on the internet and illustrate, through two examples, the results that can be achieved — one almost completely and the other not at all (because of the type of lining involved).

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Do it yourself handbag cleaning: Exercise caution – a case study

If you’re going to clean your leather or leather trimmed handbag, purse, wallet or backpack at home with any type of “cleaning product, we’d suggest that you proceed with caution.

If you, nonetheless, proceed to use one of those “cleaning products” and the results produced are not as expected, we’d suggest that you ignore any advice you might fin=d on the internet on how to fix the problem caused by one of those “cleaning products”.

Why?

Because there is an element of experimentation involved with using these cleaning products. The outcome is often a crap-shoot. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t. You’ve got a 50:50 chance of getting it wrong and the consequent results can be disastrous.

And if you take the advice of some internet-based Helpful Heloise, you’ll probably just compound the problem.

In this blog post, we illustrate this point with a Prada leather handbag with an ink stain that was cleaned at home with one such “cleaning product” and then further complicated by poor internet advise. Then we show you the results that can be achieved with the application of the right skills, judgement, products and processes.

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Cleaning and restoring handbags and accessories of sentimental value

Handbags and accessories of great sentimental value must be handled with the utmost care — irrespective of the original cost, age or condition of the handbag or accessory.

Every one of these handbags and accessories handbags of great sentimental value has a unique story that relates to the circumstances surrounding the acquisition of the handbag. Typically, the handbag was received as a gift from a family member or friend, or the handbag once belonged to a family member or friend.

In this blog post, we illustrate this TLC principle by guiding you through the transformation of a handbag of great sentimental value — a handbag that belonged to the deceased daughter of our client.

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Cleaning handbags: Perfection vs best achievable results – a case study

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 a prior blog post, we explained the reasons why perfection is, for the most part, an unrealistic goal.

The overwhelming majority of clients understand this reality.

On the other hand, there will always be someone who, irrespective of the condition of the handbag or other accessory on the day it was dropped off or sent in, will always demand perfection. And who will accept nothing less than absolute perfection.

In this blog post, we illustrate the perfection vs best achievable results dilemma with a concrete example of the consequences faced by handbag specialists when a client demands perfection in the face of reality.

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Cleaning and restoring handbags: Removing exterior ink stains

The most frequent stains found on handbags, purses, wallets and backpacks is general soiling, liquid spills, oil stains and dye transfer from jeans.

As a general rule, these types of soil and stains can be removed or remediated.

Ink is one of the most difficult stains to remove from the exterior of an accessory. And the problem is particularly acute if the ink stain is on leather.

In this blog post, we explain why ink is amongst the most difficult of all stains and illustrate the results that can be achieved through the application of skill, process and time.

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Cleaning & restoring handbags: Perfection vs best achievable results

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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