TLC for your leather handbags

I am so excited to write this particular blog.  You all know, I know and love leather handbags from sketch and production to sales and repair.  Handbags have been my life blood.  SO, I am going to answer the most often asked questions from my customers:

1) Repair: 

 Large tote with wool scarves for storage and shape.

Large tote with wool scarves for storage and shape.

If you have a leather handbag that is valuable, I suggest sending it to NYC for repair.  Valuable means:  you paid a great deal for it or you have an emotional attachment to it and want to be sure that it is carefully repaired.  For years, Fordham Repair (Midtown, Manhattan) has rescued many leather handbags for me and my company.  Scott Meyers continues to manage his family's sixty year old company.  His company has flawlessly repaired my leather handbags that I often I cannot tell where the repair was made. 

You may also want to explore repairs at Artbag (Upper East Side, Manhattan), which has  a good reputation for repair and restoration work on Madison Avenue.  Insured post or UPS are recommended when shipping your treasured handbag.

Local shoe repair shops may also be an option for small jobs.  If you have a good shoe repair service, they may be able to fix a zipper, mend a tear or stitch a strap.  But, it you really want to make sure that your leather handbag is well mended - it is best to send it to NYC to one of the companies mentioned above.

2) Cleaning:

 White tissue paper rolled to fit inside bag.

White tissue paper rolled to fit inside bag.

This is a very tricky situation, to be completely honest with you.  Leather does not clean easily and often marks.  Light colors are the most difficult to clean.  Grease almost never comes out.  However, if your bag is slightly dirty, you can carefully use a damp cloth (ever so slightly damp) over all with a light hand to lift some dirt and dust.  Be sure to immediately and quickly wipe the leather surface with a dry, soft cloth.  Leave no dampness on the leather for even two minutes.  Some wear is inevitable and often makes a bag look much-loved.  Brand, shiny new is not always necessary to enjoy a handbag.  If you have any doubt about cleaning your leather handbag either do not do it or send it to Fordham Repair or Artbag for professional work.  Leather cleaners which are available from the store shelf are not a good idea.        

3)  Storage:

 Small clutch inside dust bag for storage.

Small clutch inside dust bag for storage.

Tissue paper is the very best way to keep your bag's shape when it is not in use.  Lightly stuff the bag with clean, white tissue paper until it stands up on it's own.  As we caution with shoes, handbags are best stored flat.  If you hang a handbag from it's handles on a hook, it will become misshapen.  You can use soft cloth also for the inside stuffing.  Please see photo below for ideas.

If you can keep your original cloth storage bags, it is really best to put the bag into it's original dust cover.  As with all things, a little care when the item is not in use will result in a long life for your bags, shoes and all accessories.