The Handbag Atelier's Guide To Taking Care of Your Chanel Bag
Introduction to Chanel handbags
Whether it is your first investment piece, or you have a wide designer handbag collection, Chanel is definitely on your radar.
So, who is the face behind Chanel? Past and present?
Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel debuted her first handbag in 1929, but it was like all purses at that time that were hand carried. Fast forward 26 years later, in 1955 Coco debuted the shoulder bag which changed the fashion world as we know it.
The idea of having a shoulder strap for a bag was groundbreaking. Women were now able to use their hands, which at the time was considered rebellious. Imagine! Having your hands free as a woman to do as you pleased was considered risqué back then - how far the fashion world has come…
**Photo of Chanel 2.55** https://www.openforvintage.com/chanel-255-the-most-iconic-handbag-ever-made
The Chanel 2.55 was released in February 1955, which inspired the name “2.55” due to the release date. Contrary to popular belief, the classic bag does not include the iconic “CC” on the front. This iconic bag has increased in value over time, making it a fabulous investment piece! In the 1950s a Chanel bag cost around $220 and has since increased to an average of $6,500 (Racked). Just slightly more expensive!
Karl Lagerfield took over the fashion house in 1983 as the Chief Designer and helped build the brand into the world renowned brand it is today.
Karl Lagerfield’s twist on the classic bag by adding the CC logo took off by storm. The now iconic Classic Flap bag sealed with a metal CC is arguably one of the most popular handbags of all time. It is classic, timeless and increasing in value.
Problems with Chanel Handbags
Popularity does not mean perfect by any means. Chanel bags are an expensive investment, which definitely pays off in style, but they have their fair share of issues when it comes to maintenance. It is important to keep the following in mind and be prepared how to best handle it because if you’re going to invest, you don’t want it to go to waste!
Light bags are notorious for picking up colours. Whether it be from your clothing, where you keep your bag, or other items that come into contact, if you have a light coloured Chanel it will most likely taint its original colour.
Bagsamoré offers colour restore which you can choose to pinpoint a specific area or all colour revival. We strive to keep the original look and feel of your bag, despite correcting as much as you wish. We strive to keep the original look and feel of your bag, despite correcting as much as you wish.
If you find the colour you bought is not as evergreen as you originally thought, we also offer a colour change. This can give your Chanel handbag a new lease on life.
Chanel bags are also famous for the classic chain strap, which can become discoloured and worn. To properly service your Chanel bag, that includes cleaning this part as well to avoid it aging. Oftentimes, when you’re cleaning your bag at home or professionally, the leather in the chain gets overlooked. If this happens, that leather will start to stick out especially if you are cleaning the bag itself and forgetting the strap it is the most worn part of the bag!
At Bagsamoré, our chain strap restore includes unthreading the leather from the chain and cleaning, re-colouring and re-finishing the leather itself. Once that step is done, the leather gets re-threaded and we secure the strap with a stitch.
All leather bags are vulnerable to scuffing on corners. Depending on your colour, it can be more obvious than others. We offer a piping repair that will focus on repairing the original leather rather than replacing it to uphold its authenticity.
The most iconic Chanel bags are its leather ones and while leather bags are amazing for a multitude of reasons, they also come with important maintenance. Aside from the issues you may face above, leather is vulnerable to mould. Mould is not only not a pretty sight, but it can have severe issues for your health over time.
If you experience respiratory problems, infections, allergies or asthma, you are especially vulnerable to the effects of mould - especially weakening your immune system.
It can begin growing on one bag and transfer to another, so it is important to keep an eye on your leather pieces. Once you spot discoloration or notice an odour, it is a good time to bring it in for a mould cleaning. At Bagsamoré, we use water based products for our mould cleaning treatment. This helps preserve the delicate nature of high quality leathers rather than using bleach or other harsh chemicals.
So, what causes mould? Moisture! Don’t worry we’ll give you some advice on how to prevent mould.
How to take care of your Chanel Handbag
While Bagsamoré has your back when it comes to repairing your Chanel bag, we ultimately want you to have the highest quality bag. In order to have that, it requires upkeep and care on your side.
How to Keep your Bag Mould Free
As mentioned above, mould is grown in humid climates (something we know too well in Sydney). Mould’s optimal growth temperature is 20°C to 30°C, but has the opportunity to grow in any temperature above 0°C.
Storing your leather purse in a dust bag also helps reduce the growth of mold. It is important to use a dust bag with breathable fabric such as 100% cotton, which is natural and environmentally friendly as well. Before storing away the bag, it must be fully cleaned and dirt free; mould won't grow if it has nothing to grow on such as bacteria and food particles.
Whether your Chanel piece is in a dustbag, or you cannot let go of displaying it proudly in your closet or home, it is important to give it some sun. Like us Sydney-siders, our Chanel bags appreciate some sunshine time. While we require a beach day for our own mental health, our leather handbags need it because the sun kills mould. Avoid airing it out during the peak heat times and in the middle of the night as those are more vulnerable to humidity humidity. Also make sure your bag is UV protected before exposing it to direct sunlight because it may fade the colour. Our luxe leather protector protects against UV damage along with a number of other things.
General Bag Maintenance
After spending thousands of dollars on your Chanel bag, it is important to maintain the pristine condition of your bag. Whether you’re planning to sell it at a future date or have it for years, the quality and appearance of your designer bag can be preserved by following general maintenance tips.
Protect the Inside of Your Bag
Makeup brushes, pens, and grime - oh my! There is nothing more dreadful than opening up your fabulous Chanel bag to see the ruby red interior has smudges from god knows what inside.
This can easily be avoided by keeping a pouch inside your bag at all times. This is a great spot to keep makeup and other goods that can easily rub off onto other surfaces. Bonus points if this bag is washable to allow you to keep that surface clean as well.
Protect the Outside of Your Bag
Your Chanel bag deserves the seat next to you. If there is limited space and no hook for bags, it is worth placing your bag on your lap rather than popping it on the ground. If this isn’t something you prioritise, just think, would you let someone kick up their dirty shoes on your prized possession? We’re assuming not! But that is exactly what is on the ground.
By reducing placing your bag on dirty or wet surfaces, it is able to extend the exterior life of your Chanel bag for years to come.
Another way to prioritise the condition of your Chanel bag’s exterior is to protect the exterior. This can be brought in to be done professionally to ensure quality and coverage. At Bagsamoré, we use advanced fluoro carbon technology to protect leather whilst letting it breath. While excessive moisture is bad, it is important to not stop it completely, so using a leather protector that promotes breathing is vital to your bag’s upkeep. The protection treatment also stops liquid staining, oils, dye transfer and UV damage.
Bagsamoré sells its luxe leather protector as well, which allows you to have it on hand to use regularly on your Chanel bag or if you have other leather products you want to protect.
This water based leather handbag stain protector is the highest quality product for your Chanel bag because it deserves the best! This protector is best used prior to using your handbag and then applying every 2-3 months. This protector will protect against problems such as:
Oil and grease
Ink and paint
Day to day dirt
If you’re here because you’re looking for an at home remedy for cleaning your Chanel bag, we also offer a luxe leather cleaner. This cleaner is water based as well and is not intended for heavy stain removal. This cleaner is perfect for general cleaning of day to day dirt build up on your Chanel bag.
We have seen our fair share of Chanel bags over the years. From the 2.55 reissue that we mentioned above to the Classic Flap and lots in between.
Click here to get a quote for yours!