|I just made a outfit to match this bag, it's coming up soon!|
These bags get dents and scratches easily. The good news is most dents come out pretty well with a steam iron. To remove a dent, take your steam iron holding it two inches away from the dent and steam the spot for 3-5 minutes, alternating 30 seconds of steam and then rubbing with your fingers or a soft cloth across the warm patent. Continue working with the patent until the dent comes out for the full 3-5 minutes. The dent should be faded and smooth out. If not on the first try, wait a few hours giving the patent time to reshaped itself, then have another go at it. I had a major dent in my black bag and this technique worked really well, again be careful with the steam avoiding getting too much water near the stitching and hardware. It's great having the soft cloth ready to wipe away extra steam droplets as you go. You will find this process is great for scratches too. For scuffs use a Magic Eraser. Your bag will look new again!
Leather bags wear the most at the seams, these areas are called bindings. Over time bindings can turn a whitish color, they look faded and worn. The edges can be fix with some leather dye. I can't tell you how many bags I have saved by dyeing their binding with this great leather dye product. The trick is to find a matching color of dye. It's also important to test. To start, make sure you have cleaned your bag with some leather cleaner and allow to dry. Prepare your work area, placing your bag on an old towel, wearing plastic gloves is helpful too. The dye comes with it's own applicator, which I do not use because putting the dye directly onto the leather can lay down too much color. I have found that using a soft cloth and removing some of the color on the towel first, makes it easier to be consistent. If you apply small bits at a time the color be more even. Once you have the bindings looking good, allow them to dry and enjoy! One thing to keep in mind is that the color dye can come off slightly when you clean your purse. This is normal. Also this process is not going to restore cracking leather. In this case, you may want to have a leather restorer replace your bindings. If you have a Coach bag, you may be able to send it back to the company for new binding. I had a vintage, coach bag that needed new bindings, so I sent it back and they put brand new bindings on and the purse looked great.
We have talked about the beaded bag and sewing on a bead. This can be easy done with the right bead. Here is an article with more information on using beads. I found it so useful. I only have one beaded bag, so I haven't had to put on any beads, but I didn't want to leave this information out for you gals who love beaded purses!
Bags get stored in so many ways that can wreak havoc on the structure of a purse. Sometimes a bag's shape can be repaired, and sometimes not. If the structure of the bag is pliable. You may be able to mold it into shape with some steam, siting in a sunny place, or using a hairdryer. Heating up your bag will make it softer. You want to keep your handbag stuffed slightly, a t-shirt is great for this. Remember it took sometime for your handbag to get out of shape, it may take some time for it to remold itself. Be patient and persistent. Keeping your bag full will help it to maintain it's shape. I have been able to change the shape of one bag in my collection. It's not perfect, but much better and sits less sideways.
I made a video on how to make your own linings for you vintage purse, check it out here. I make a lot of linings for my bags and enjoy the functionality of them. If making linings are not your thing and you want to clean the existing lining, try some Oops cleaner to remove stains. Lipstick is the worst offender, if you have a lipstick stain, dab the stain, very lightly with denatured alcohol and then use some dish washing soap on the spot. Rinse with a wet cloth. For ink stains use rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball. Gently rub stain, if it doesn't budge, try using a little fingernail polish remover. Careful with these products! They can take color out along with the stains.
I have a beautiful, black bag with a broken handle. I am going to replace the handle with the help of my shoe repair guy. If you have a handbag with less than perfect handles, there are a couple of options that you may want to think about. Firstly, you can buy new handles at any crafting store. I found some at Joann or you can buy a vintage bag for it's parts. Because I am a handbag nut! I always lean towards finding a vintage item to replace a vintage item. I was able to find a beat up black, patent bag that I am going to use it's handles for a bag that I truly love. If you have a sewing machine that will sew through anything this may be a DYI project if not, a good shoe repair place may be the option for you. They can sew the new handles on for you pretty quick.
Well, I am wrapping up these posts on the vintage handbag. I hope they were helpful to you. Above all, enjoy your bags, use them, love them, show them off!
Have a wonderful vintage day!