Monday, July 24, 2017

Leather care project: Bally patent handbag and patent leather 101

A patent leather handbag is a lovely thing.  If you happen to own one, your patent handbag is your go-to bag for the rainy season.  It's fabulous, glossy exterior seems to repel rain without much effort.  However, during prolonged season of high humidity, especially if you live in the tropics, the patent develops an undesirable, sticky feel.  Patent leather does not hold an excellent track record when dealing with heat and humidity. 

By the way, patent also goes by the term 'vernis'.  

A highly humid environment can make the patent glue melt, resulting to overall stickiness of the leather.  Yes, this thing happens.  When it does, your precious handbag becomes  more susceptible to color transfer from other bags; or you may also find the patent bag staining other bags in your closet.  In a scenario like this, prevention is far better than cure.  

Here are some basic tips on how to take care of your patent handbags, also for patent shoes:
1.  Make sure to air your patent bag regularly.  Don't just lock it in your closet for months.  Chances are, if you have so many bags, there is a tendency that you will forget about the bags that are silently aging in your closet.
2.  Damp a white cotton cloth with water, and use it to wipe your handbag clean.  Make sure your bag is dry before you keep it in the dust bag.
3.  Store your bag in a dust bag. No dust bag? A soft pillow case may also double as a dust bag.
4.  To retain the shape of your bag, use a stuffer when storing your bag. 
5.  Avoid spilling any form of solvent on your bag.  Solvent may cause the color to bleed. 
6.  When the patent becomes sticky, refer to Tip # 2, and then store your bag in a cool, dry place, and observe if the stickiness will disappear.  
7.  If you must apply a leather cleaner on your patent handbag; cleaner must be intended for patent or vernis.  DO test it first on a hidden portion of your bag, before you apply it to the entire bag. 

Here is one of my recently completed leather care project, featuring a Bally patent handbag. 

BEFORE:  very sticky patent; discoloration - from white to yellow, ink stains and color transfer.  After cleaning the bag, the discoloration and most of the stains were deemed permanent.  

PROCESS:  clean, disinfect, recolor
OUTPUT:  patent with deep red hue

For more before-and-after photos, visit our Facebook and Instagram pages @leathercareproject.  

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