5 Helpful Hints for a Stunning Vintage Handbag

Nothing quite matches the stylish charm of a vintage handbag. We’ve written here before about why vintage Louis Vuitton bags are actually better than buying new and the many other great reasons to go vintage.

But how should you care for your handbag to keep it in its iconic vintage condition?

With our simple guide to vintage handbag care you’ll see that maintaining or restoring an older bag isn’t too hard at all.

Dealing with Scuffed and Worn Edges

The edges of bags are often the first to show signs of wear and tear. Edges can easily become scuffed and appear a lighter shade than the body of the bag. For black caviar skin or lambskin bags, take some black boot polish and gently buff over the areas needed with a tissue or cloth until the polish covers the affected areas. This is a relatively cheap way of concealing worn edges of a bag. This method is ideal for touch up areas like corners and edges but it is not advised to restore an entire bag this way. Always ensure that the polish matches your leather before applying!

Removing Make-Up Spots

Makeup and foundation marks often devalue vintage bags and are one of the most common stains found within bags. To remove foundation, nail polish, blush, lipstick, and mascara marks, take a cotton bud dipped in regular acetone nail varnish remover and gently rub over the affected area. The makeup will start to lift off of the leather.

This process may take a few applications to lift the product out from the grain of the leather. Before starting, test a hidden area of your bag to make sure the remover isn’t going to damage the leather of your bag.

Dirt, Be Gone!

You'll need some product for removing dirty spots from your bag. Track down a good botanical cleanser, ideally, one designed especially for bags. Slowly work a small amount of cleanser into the bag, applying in a circular motion, and the dirt lifted from your bag almost instantly. More ingrained dirt may take a few applications – be sure to let the leather dry first before re-applying. A good cleanser will also deodorise your bag, which is useful because some older handbags can have a musty smell.

Keep Your Bag in Shape

When storing your vintage handbag, always stuff it with tissue paper to maintain its shape. Be careful not to overfill your bag, which can lead to expansion and irreversible damage.

Store Your Bag Properly

The best cure, as always, is prevention. Store your bag properly to avoid scuffing and marking from occurring. If your handbag came with a dust bag, use it. If not, a cotton pillowcase is a great stand-in and will protect your bag well. Once in the dust bag or pillowcase, store your bag in its original box or a shoe box.

Explore our range of designer bags and Louis Vuitton handbags online and get in touch advice about product care or handbag selection. As Brisbane’s trusted vintage dealer, Harrington & Co. has the range and the expertise to complete your collection.