How to take care of your luxury bags?
Know how to maintain a luxury bag which is an exceptional product. Whether it is a bag in coated canvas and leather as a Vuitton Alma or Speedy, a Chanel Timeless in wonderful lamb leather , or a Kelly from Hermèsin box-calf (calf leather), all deserve your utmost attention.
In essence, luxury bags are not very fragile, as the materials used to make them have been chosen with the greatest care and also for their solidity. A minimum of care is still required and we often have the products on hand.
Maintain the exterior of a luxury bag with basic products. What is the minimum care?
The coated canvas :
It must be cleaned with a sponge soaked in soapy water and pressed.
Be gentle, including for drying, which you will do with Sopalin paper. This allows you to clean the small cells of the plasticized canvas which inevitably become a little dirty over time.
If the canvas is very dirty, you can add a couple of drops of white spirit vinegar. If the canvas is a little abraded, a little linseed oil on a cotton ball can work wonders.
The parts in vegetable leather (natural):
Pinkish beige when the bag is new, they take on beautiful colours as they mature; golden beige, then blond sand, until they become caramel, or even chocolate for old bags.
If the handles get too "marooned", lighten them with a cotton ball soaked in cleansing milk - choose the most basic one possible - to which you have added a drop or two of white vinegar. Keep it light and test the mixture gradually.
Then let it dry naturally. Repeat the operation, if necessary, two or three times, two or three days in a row, to let the leather dry well and see the effectiveness of the treatment.
If the handles are very brown, you can gently erase them with a pencil eraser first. If you don't want to lighten the leather, makeup remover will suffice.
This treatment, milk and vinegar, is only for natural leather. It should never be applied to coloured leather, as the vinegar may remove colour.
Another way to care for your luxury bag is to treat the jewelry. Clean it with brass products, commonly found in the drugstore. Be careful not to get the product on the leather and canvas parts. To do this, protect them with paper towels.
For very small parts, such as rivets, use a cotton swab and very little product.
All leathers, natural or colored, like Chanel or Hermès leathers, can benefit from a rejuvenating treatment by rehydrating them with cleansing milk. This will not only nourish them, but also clean them.
Coloured leathers :
To re-stain your leather bag, a good quality coloured shoe polish will do the trick. You will find the exact colour you need at any good shoemaker.
Waxing should be sufficient for faded corners.
If the damage is more extensive, there are very good specialists to re-dye the bag completely and even change the colour if you wish.
The inside, despite our care, can become stained with use. What to do?
If it is made of leather, apply the same treatment as the exterior, if necessary.
For canvas linings, ink stains will be reduced with hydrogen peroxide or 70° alcohol. Here again, it is advisable to use caution and to test it first on a very small hidden surface.
For greasy stains, try absorbing them with terre de Sommières, for example.
the smell :
If your bag has taken on a closet smell over time, or if it's a pre-loved bag that smells musty, you can solve the problem by placing a sealed bag containing baking soda in the bottom of the bag (an orphaned sock can serve as a bag).
Fill your bag, on top, with balled up newspaper. Simply change the paper every 3 days. Leave your bag wide open. The problem will be solved after a few weeks.
Some general tips for maintaining a luxury bag.
For Speedy bags: I advise you, when you pull the zip to open it, to grip it well at the base, at the level of the brass rivet and the zipper, to avoid putting too much stress on the leather fastener, which will prevent it from tearing prematurely.
All sewing work or replacement of parts, rivets, leather parts, must be carried out by the parent company. Your LV bag, for example, should only be repaired at LV. Same for your Chanel or Dior bag.
Keep the invoice of the intervention, it will guarantee the authenticity of your article; the big houses, it is obvious, do not repair fakes!
Moreover, don't forget that to have your bag repaired elsewhere is to run the risk of making it look like a fake... The added piece, or the seam in addition, will not be identified, if necessary, as being original.
It is by analyzing the details that we most often begin to identify counterfeits.
Finally, for the storage of your luxury bags, a few last tips: The bags must imperatively be stored in their "dustbag" and not touch each other. Be aware that coloured leather can rub off on lighter bags.
Coated canvas bags can be folded inside the bag if their shape allows it (e.g. Speedy). Those with a stiffer shape or made of leather should be stuffed with paper to keep their appearance.
Remember to always store them in a dry place.
Don't forget: Maintaining your luxury bags is to keep them eternally beautiful and allow you to either pass them on from mother to daughter or to resell them in the best conditions.
Maintaining your bag also means storing it well
Since you don't carry a designer bag every day, a big part of maintenance is simply storing it properly! If you store your bag improperly and leave it loose in your palacard for weeks or even months, then it will get damaged. To summarize, here's what you need to know:
- Always store your bags in a dry closet. Never in the cellar or attic, humidity wreaks havoc on handbags, especially on leather.
- Never store your bags by hanging them up. It may be tempting, but the handles will quickly get damaged and you'll be in a lot of trouble when you realize it. Always store your branded bags flat, it will save you a lot of maintenance later on.
- Use protective covers. This will limit humidity, dust and problems of contact between fabrics (and possible exchange of pigments).
- Store your bags in the shade. Often pigments are sensitive to the sun. Do not leave your bags on top of a piece of furniture that is in the sun every day. Leave them in a dry closet in the shade.