Its 2am on a Saturday night at the Gansevoort. Your having a blast with your girlfriends, maybe a little to much fun. You spill a drink on your Jimmy Choo, you drop your Prada in a puddle, you set your Hermès on an icky seat. These are the realities of being fabulous in New York. For those that are fashion conscious in this city, accidents are bound to happen to your designer handbags. A great handbag is an investment to your style and social life and needs to be cared for. Luckily there are trained experts who can clean and restore your designer handbag the right way.
For those minor day to day stains that happen, a great emergency spot clean technique is to use some baby wipes. Baby wipes are a fantastic way to lift up drips and spots and help to ensure they don’t eventually set in. For those stains that can’t be blotted off or areas that have serious wear and tear to the material, it may take a lot of work to get it back to its original glory. When this happens your going to want to take it to the professionals.
Because a handbag cannot be dry cleaned the traditional way, they have to be cleaned by hand. When we receive your item our staff meticulously examines the entire handbag to determine how to move forward with the cleaning and restoration.
There are two types of stains, “water based” and “oil based”. We always test in a small area of the handbag to see how we need to approach the stain removal. For water based stains, a cleaning agent is used. This wet approach works well for stains like food and various condiments. Our agents act as degreasers and lift out the lesser oily stains. Then we go over the spots with various tools to see if they can be brushed or scraped off.
The worse the stain is or depending on the material of the handbag, we may use a different approach towards the restoration. For stains like lipstick or salad dressing spots, most likely they will need a bit of dry cleaning.
For items like patent leather and vinyl, dye from jeans pose a real problem to the finish of the material. Dyes from jeans transfer onto handbags as you walk and typically don’t want to come out, especially from light colors such as cream or white. The best thing for this is preventative care. Be mindful of the materials you wear when going out and how they will affect one another. If you have just bought some really dark denim jeans, you dont want to go out with light colored shoes or accessories.
After we spot clean the handbag, we check for any open seams, tears, or any damage to the fabrics and skins of the handbag and carefully repair them.
Next we meticulously match the leather finish to the original color of your handbag. If you go to your local store and try to purchase leather finish, your most likely going to find either black or maybe a cream, and there is no guarantee the colors will match your handbags original color. Our staff works with a rainbow of colors to ensure a proper match.
To get the handbag restored to its original beauty, it takes a lot of trial and error to get the colors just right. Our expert Hassan painstakingly matches the color so your handbag looks as good as when initially purchased it.
For this particular handbag, the tone had gradations from darker pink to lighter pink. To get this just right, Hassan will use various techniques like airbrushing to match the color.
After we have finished matching the color, the handbag is moisturized and hung to dry.
The best care for your handbag is always preventative care. Be mindful of your surroundings when you go out. Watch out for areas where you rest your handbag. Be mindful off its contents as well. Ink, lipstick and other oil based products are difficult to get out, even at the hands of a professional so be careful. Make sure you put all stainable products in their own container like a small makeup or pen/pencil case.
For long term care keep your bag moisturized with a non staining moisturizer. Remember, leather and suede are animal skins and will dry and crack if not looked after. You should never store your handbag in any air tight plastic containers. Your handbag must be able to breath to maintain itself. The best thing to do is store the bag in light fabric covering. This will allow it to breathe and keep it secured from dust.