By Sagar Mehra, Head of Restoration at BagSpa – a designer bag restoration store and online service at

Fashion and Beauty on Female First

Fashion and Beauty on Female First

Your investment in a designer handbag doesn’t stop the moment you have it in your arms. You should also take steps to ensure that your bag is cared for every step of the way to prolong its life.

But when the time comes, it is possible to give your old bag a new lease of life whilst maintaining its originality, and here are a few ways it can be done.

Use a stiffening service

Over time, with general use, your once structured bag can become much more slack, or lose its shape altogether. But there is a way to give your bag the ultimate face (and body) lift – try using a stiffening service. Due to the level of complexity, it is advisable for you to take it to a professional like BagSpa. A stiffening service usually involves using materials to reinforce the lining inside the bag to bring back its original shape so it hold up once more instead of going limp. It provides dramatic results and is very long-lasting, so is a sound investment if you’re wanting to give your bag a second life.

Dye the bag

If you find that the lime green purse you bought on a whim doesn’t actually match anything else you have in the wardrobe, there’s no need to banish it and leave it unused!

Instead, try dyeing it with the appropriate material dyes and follow the instructions carefully to avoid damage, or skip the work and leave it in the hands of a restoration service.

You can dye the outer material to enhance the natural colour of the bag, or you can change it completely but note that it is much easier to darken the colour than it is to lighten it.

Give it a thorough cleaning

A simple tip but one that provides one of the easiest and best ways to give your bag a facelift. Ensure you use the appropriate cleaning items for the material of your bag, and don’t forget to moisturise your leather bags afterwards – leather should be treated with care like your skin.

Also, polish your hardware with a lint-free cloth to avoid permanent scratches to the surface – once gleaming, this can revitalise the whole look of your bag.

Restoring the colour

Over time, the original colour of a bag can fade - and the fading is not always even, especially if it has been stored in direct sunlight in the same position for a while! Restoring or enhancing the original colour of your bag can make it look bright and brand new again in an instant. Restoring the colour can also have the added effect of hiding any odd discolorations, scratches or marks that have appeared over the years,

Replace the straps or change out the handles

It’s easy to throw everything we have into our bags but over time, the strain this places on the straps can cause the stitching to come apart which can impede its use and unnecessarily age the bag.

It may be a more complex job but strap replacements are a very common procedure. You can choose a style similar to the original straps, or change it up altogether for a brand new look. From chains and leather straps to bars and handles – there are a variety of ways you change up the way you carry your bag.

Replace the hardware

Your designer bag can come with all sorts of zips, clips, tags and more. It’s partly the hardware that contributes to the specific look of the bag, but again, as with everything else, with use, the hardware can become worn and damaged, especially if it has been knocked around or caught. Also, if the bag hasn’t been properly stored, the metal could rust or become discoloured. Replacing the hardware is a quick and easy way to upgrade the look of your bag, plus you get to choose the style so you could fall in love with your bag all over again.

Repair any damage

Try not to let the damage accumulate on your bag – see to any issues as you go along to avoid having to look into a complete renovation at a later point. It’ll also keep your bag looking newer for longer. A full bag repair can do wonders for turning back the clock. Whether it’s seeing to scratches on the material, re-doing the piping or stitching if it has come apart, or restoring the logo if it has rubbed off, a bag MOT is a great way of looking after your bag from the inside out.

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