Protecting Your Luxury Leather Bag Collection

Protecting Your Luxury Leather Bag Collection

The ritual of spring cleaning is only a couple of months away when we take inventory of our closets, including the luxury handbag and travel bag collection to determine condition and upkeep.

The reasons for connoisseurs’ purchasing of high-end bags purchase bags may include: to gift as a generational piece, an asset for future investment, or just timeless accessories to outlast any fashion trends. 

Those who own a vast walk-in closet will provide a collector the capability of building a personal museum of these arm candy accessories.  Yet, there still may come a time to access our wardrobe to decide the future of individual pieces whether to store or purge.

When welcoming new owners of Beau Satchelle bespoke bags, it is imperative for our clients to be educated on best practices in protecting and caring for their luxury good. 

Most of Beau Satchelle’s larger bags (backpacks and totes) are lined with either durable leather or perhaps, natural lining, which makes the interior resilient to wear and tear.   The interior on our smaller handbags (cross-body, single handle bags, and clutches) are designed with more delicate hides such as lamb, goat, or suede and the owner must be mindful of how items are stored and carried.

Professional Care

First and foremost, we strongly advise expensive bags be cared for by a leather specialist.   Search for a highly referred local cobbler in your community through online research, personal referrals, or industry recommendations.   An alternative is to mail out to a repair shop that specializes in cleaning, conditioning, repairing, and alterations of leather bags.

The following leather experts (handbags and/or shoes) have received high marks and awards within their leather restorative industry peers and by the fashion media:

1.      Art Blog    New York City, New York

2.      Cobbler Concierge  New York City, New York

3.      Leather Surgeons    Doylestown, Pennsylvania

4.      The Handbag Spa    Harrogate, United Kingdom

5.      Sole Man    Buffalo, New York

6.      Rago Brothers    Morristown, New Jersey

7.      Bedo’s Leatherworks Inc.    Fall City, Virginia

Below are basic care and maintenance instructions and additional accessories that can provide protection in daily use of your luxury leather product. 

Daily Care

·         Leather will stretch.  To keep the orginal shape of the bag, be preventative by not overfilling your leather handbag, wallet or purse.


·         Daily wipe down your interior and exterior bag with a soft cloth for dust and dirt.

·         Avoid spilling beverages and liquids as they may leave a watermark; even mineral water can leave a mark if not attended to promptly.

·         When carrying lotion or bottle liquids, be sure the cap is tightened.  Also be sure your ink pens are closed and optimally, in a carry case to prevent leakage.

·         Since water is not a great friend of leather be sure to carry an umbrella with the threat of rain.  The ultimate protection against Mother Nature’s occasional downpour is to have on hand a handbag raincoat.

·         if you change bags daily, a purse caddy is handy in protecting the interior of your bag and saves time just by lifting up the organizer and switching bags effortlessly.

·         I grew up around women that believed in the old adage to “never put your bag on the floor because it is bad luck financially”.   True or not, avoid placing your leather bag on dirty surfaces to protect it from dirt and grime.  Be intentional in holding your bag on your lap or in a chair.    A magnetic holder called a handbag valet allows a bag to hang from a table as opposed to the floor.  

·         Most high-end bags will be designed and built with the appropriate  number of feet hardware on the bottom as another protection barrier from dirty surface, in addition to elevated the bag’s luxury persona.

·         Everything in the bag should have its own protective storage vessel:  a writing utensils case, change/cash purse, a make-up case, a standard leather wallet or a smaller credit card/ID fold-over wallet, and a separate business card holder. 

·         The Coronavirus has created the constant habit of using hand sanitizer, so be conscious that the alcohol base does not touch your handles.   Besides the health concerns from the spread of germs, another reason to continuously wash your hands is to prevent your bag from  becoming stained or soiled from dirt, makeup, hair products, etc.  A beautiful silk scarf wrapped around the handle is a good preventative measure of oils from your hands being transferred to the leather.

·         Avoid placing your handbag on/in places where it may get scratched or stained; shopping cart trolley, file cabinet drawers, salon countertops or anywhere a splinter, rough edge or chemicals can damage your Luxury Leather product.

Storage

·               Because of mold and mildew, bacteria, and the possibility of drying out, we recommend you do not store your Luxury Leather product in plastic nor direct heat. 

·               Leather needs to breathe.   The accompanying custom dust bag will help keep mild dust off when not in use.

·               When storing, stuff the bags with old T-Shirts, towels, acid-free tissue paper, or clean soft rags to maintain the structure of the bag.  Wrap the hardware and loose accessory items separately in tissue paper.

·               To prevent fading, do not store your leather products in direct sunlight.

 

Cleaning and Maintainance

·         Just like your skin, leather needs to be delicately cleaned, conditioned, and moisturized.  You can use
 non-alcoholic baby wipes to lightly dust off your handbag regularly.   Air out leather bags regularly.  Use Premium Luxury Cleaner/Cream Conditioner for your specific type of leather product.   

A New Home

You’ve kept your handbags in pristine and flawless condition with all original packaging and accessories.  Yet, at some point, Marie Kondo has been speaking to you and it is perhaps time to reduce your luxury handbag collection.A wonderful sustainable tip is to purge a bag (or two) to a secondary reseller or consignment shop, providing a second home to be used and loved all over again.

Here is our updated list of the 2021 top ten online sites for reselling designer bags:

1.      Rebag

2.      The Real Real

3.      Vestiaire Collection

4.      Tradesy

5.      Poshmark

6.      What Goes Around Comes Around

7.      Luxury Garage Sale

8.      Collector Square

9.      The Luxury Closet

10.  Stock X

In working with T. Michael, I am privileged to witness the meticulous work that goes into the design and manufacturing of a bespoke piece, so this blog is our annually revisit and update to owners of our bags (or other leather luxury bags) on handling your treasure with love and appreciation of the artisan or designer. 

With proper care, your handbag, case or accessory will last a lifetime.   -AJ

Share your thoughts or questions on leather care in the comment section below or on Twitter.  Be sure to follow us on Instagram to keep up with our latest projects.

Thank you to the following sites which provided source material for cleaning handbags:

Shoe Service Institute of America

Aspinal of London

Thank you to the following photographers used for this blog:

Huy Nguyen – walk in closet

Michael Conway – Cobbler storefront

Polina Tankilevitch – Spilled Red Wine

Shiny Diamond – Snakeskin Makeup Pouch

Clem Onojeghuo – Woman wearing Leather Backpack in the Rain

Victoria Borodinova – Children under umbrella  sitting on leather case

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