True Quality CleaningStraight talk about caring for fine garments & household textiles from an expert who calls it like it is. In plain English.

The cleaning and restoration of a handbag: Prada leather handbag

Some handbags can present quite a challenge.

Firstly, the manufacturers of handbags never intended that their handbags ever be cleaned. As a result, they use materials (suede, leather, canvas, nylon, patent leather, plasticized canvas, etc.) and combinations of materials without any consideration of the effort it would take to remove the stains, dirt, scuffing and scratches that are bound to occur in the normal course of usage.

A perfect example of this problem is a Prada brown leather handbag sent to us by the wife of the owner of a high-end Phoenix men's store.

At the outset, we recognized that, even if we were able to remove all the staining, the handbag would have to be redyed afterwards in order to achieve a consistent finish. That's because this handbag displayed numerous issues, the two most important of which was a large coffee stain and oil stains that had penetrated the skin in numerous place, particularly in the handles.

We started out by extracting as much of the oil as possible from the skin and the handles. Then we focused on the coffee stains. The coffee presented quite a problem as ink and protein (the milk in the coffee is a protein stain) are, in all probability, the two most difficult stains to remove from suede and leather. After removing all the coffee stains, we then cleaned the inside of the handbag using a process that kills 99.9 percent of all viruses and bacteria.

The next task was to mask off all the metal hardware, to mix the dye to achieve a color that was as close to the original color as possible, and to carefully apply the newly-mixed dye to achieve a finish that was as consistent and uniform as possible.

The following before and after photos reflect the transformation of this Prada leather handbag from oil-stained and coffee stained to as-good-as-can-be-achieved-without-buying-a-new-handbag..

BEFORE

Prada front 3932 Prada front 3934
Prada front 3933 Prada front 3935
Prada bottom 3938
Prada side 3939 Prada side 3940
Prada coffee 3941 Prada coffee 3942
Prada top edge 3936 Prada top edge 3937
Prada logo 3943
Prada logo 3944

 

AFTER

Prada front 5176 Prada front 5180
Prada front 5177 Prada front 5181
Prada bottom 5182
Prada side 5183 Prada side 5184
Prada corner 5187 Prada corner 5188
Prada corner 5189 Prada corner 5190
Prada logo 5178 Prada logo 5179

 

Please note that all handbags, purses, backpacks, wallets, belts, etc. should be cleaned BY HAND only. Never allow a cleaner to clean your accessories in a dry cleaning machine in much the same way as they would clean, say, a black leather jacket.

RAVE FabriCARE is the only dry cleaner in Arizona that employs a full-time handbag cleaner whose SOLE job is to hand clean handbags, purses, backpacks, wallets and belts. Unlike other cleaners, we never send your accessories to outside parties for cleaning. In that way, we are able to deliver the very best technologically achievable results and to return your items, in most cases, in about a week and a half.

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