Restoring a leather bag
The leather bag is a bit of a fashion icon and has been popular for decades. They are popular because of their durability, style, and comfort.
However, with time, they may start to show signs of wear and tear. When this happens, you may want to give them some TLC to restore their former glory.
Once a bag has been damaged to a point where it needs repair, it’s time to think about restoration.
Tailor-made, exotic leather bags are almost always created intending to be able to last a lifetime.
This will require some effort, but it is a simple and effective way to remove all the damage that has occurred to the leather.
Even though this may be a lofty goal, not everyone can afford to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for a bag.
For those who do not have that kind of money, there are several ways that you can restore a leather bag to its former glory.
What to prepare for bag restoration
You are probably one of those people who have a lot of old bags and want to keep them in good condition.
But you are also probably one of those people who have an awful lot of bags that need some form of repairs.
Nowadays it is common practice to bring a piece of your initial fashion style in an item of your luggage or wearables, such as your handbag.
But how many of you actually know how to restore the faded leather?
When planning to restore leather bags, you should use only the best leather care product.
The required materials and tools include:
- a high-quality leather polish,
- a leather conditioner,
- a leather shampoo,
- a leather recolouring balm,
- an isopropyl alcohol,
- a leather protector spray,
- pieces of cloth,
- paper towels,
- saddle soap,
- a quality leather cleaner,
- clean water, and
- a baking soda.
Start cleaning the Bag
To clean your bag,
- First, gently wipe away the entire surface for any dirt or debris using a piece of cloth.
- Then, prepare a mixture of leather shampoo and warm water. Apply this mixture with a clean cloth and wipe the entire bag, paying attention to any scuffs or scratches.
- Let the bag dry overnight and repeat if necessary.
To remove the ink stains, pen marks, or any stubborn stain on your bag,
- First, apply some alcohol on the stain with a piece of cloth.
- Next, sprinkle some baking soda on the stain.
- Rub a little amount of saddle soap or leather cleaner on the stain.
- Then, rub the mixture of baking soda and saddle soap or leather cleaner gently on the stain with a damp cloth.
- After, rinse the bag with soapy water.
- Then, rinse the bag with clean water.
- Dab some leather conditioner on the stain.
- Let the bag dry overnight.
Restoring faded leather bag
Take the following steps for restoring a faded leather bag.
- Test the leather material.
- Clean the bag with a dry clean cloth.
- Add lukewarm water and leather conditioner together. Apply it in the bag.
- Apply colour restorer or the right colour of leather balm on to the bag.
- Let the leather conditioner soak in for 10 minutes.
- Remove excess surface moisture using paper towels or a piece of cloth.
- Let the bag air dry for 48 hours. Use a piece of cloth to remove excess moisture.
- Apply leather polish to the bag.
- Store the bag in a cool, dry place
- Protect the bag from direct heat with a leather protector spray or a protector cream.
Do’s and Dont’s on bag restoration
The leather bag restoration industry has grown at an enormous rate in the last few years.
It is now one of the fastest-growing industries in the world and is not slowing down.
Expanding on the success of the leather restoration market, the restoration of antique and vintage bags is also booming.
Here are some Do’s and Don’ts for restoring leather bags:
- Do not use abrasive cleaners on the leather. Only use them when they are dry and have been treated with a suitable leather conditioning product.
- Damp cloths are fine, and can be used to remove any dust and dirt that might build up from everyday use.
- Use a damp cloth to wipe the surface of the leather and then follow up with a cloth that has been treated with a suitable leather conditioner.
- Do not use anything sharp on the surface of the leather, as it could damage the material.
- Do not use anything hot to clean the leather. For example, hot water will damage the leather and can cause cracking and other issues.
- Do remove all dust from the bag using a vacuum.
- Do use a soft brush to remove any dirt from the bag.
- Don’t forget to protect the interior of the bag.
What to keep in mind is to not attempt to make a repair yourself, unless you are experienced. If you are not experienced, let a professional do it.
To ask for professional help for your leather bag, you must first determine if the existing damage is beyond repair.
Here are a few tips to help you keep your leather bags in top condition.
- Choose the best leather bag for your needs.
- Make sure your bags are cleaned regularly.
- Protect your leather bag from natural elements, especially heat.
- Use leather conditioner on a regular basis. You must do it every 6 months.
- Store your leather bag in a climate-controlled area.
- Use a dust bag for storage and to avoid accumulation of dust.
- Avoid contact with makeup and chemicals.
Basically, if you have done some damage to your favourite leather bag, don’t throw away your favourite piece of fashion just because it is damaged.
Making leather bags last longer requires knowledge and effort. With proper care, your leather luggage will last a lifetime.