A Baby to Vintage

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  1. Hi Ladies,

    I hope you'll forgive me for being away from tPF for as long as I have, it was the only way I could prevent myself from buying new bags instead of saving for my graduation trip.

    Since then, I've found a Coach Murphy Bag at a little vintage place in town. I've been falling more and more in love with vintage bags lately and I think this bag is just beautiful! I was so excited when I found it that I picked it up right away!

    Seeing as this is my first vintage bag, I think I'm going to need some help figuring out the best way to clean it up. I've already read through some of the threads and posts that have written about the best way to rehab a bag but I guess I'm not really sure what I should do for my specific bag.

    This is what I have so far for the process:

    1. To begin cleaning, fill the sink with Woolite, Ivory, Dawn or another dye and fragrance free soap in sudsy warm/lukewarm water. Be careful not to use hot water as this may cause any glue holding the bag together to melt. Put the purse in the sink for 45 minutes.
    2. After 45 minutes of soaking, rub the bag down with a soft cloth and give it a rigorous bath, paying special attention to the dirtiest areas.
    3. Remove the bag from the water. The water may be coloured due to the dye running into the water. Empty the sink and wash the sink to remove the remaining soap. Give the bag a light wash under the faucet. Fill the sink with warm water again and put the bag in the sink for 15 – 30 minutes.
    4. Pat dry the bag inside and out with paper towel.
    5. Hang the purse upside down and let the bag air dry in an area where there will be a lot of air circulation. Wait 24 hours and then stuff the bag with towels or paper towel to help shape the bag. Alternatively, you can stuff the bag after allowing the bag to drain in the sink. Use old towels to reshape the bag and let it dry on another towel for 24 hours. Then take the towels out, rotating them periodically and let it continue to dry over the next few days.
    6. Once it is almost completely dry, consider retouching the colour on the bag using a variety of products. Such products include shoe polish, permanent marker. Does my bag need this retouching?
    7. Once done, apply Lexol, Apple, Leather Therapy – Restorer & Conditioner or another leather conditioner without silicon to the bag. Let the conditioner settle and in a day, check to see how much of the conditioner has absorbed. You can pick up the bag and bend the leather gently to make sure the conditioner is distributing evenly. Once the conditioner dries, you need to rub the bag with a soft, clean cloth to buff it. If the leather still doesn’t look good, you may want to repeat the conditioning process. Condition the bag again every other day by adding more conditioner to the areas that need it.
    8. When the bag is almost done, use Wenol or Brasso or other metal polish to shine up the hardware. Try not to get the metal polish on the bag but if you do, just quickly wipe if off with a damp cloth. Should I be replacing the hardware?
    Are these instructions relevant to my bag? Are there any additional tips that I should consider? Any help would be appreciated!






  2. I haven't branched out in vintage..."yet"...but I'm sure those experts will chime in..glad you found something.
  3. I don't know where you got these instructions, but some of them don't seem to apply. I have used hot water on occasion but it isn't necessary. There isn't really any glue that will be melted away on a Coach bag. The main reason you don't use hot water is to prevent the color from bleeding too much.

    Before you plop your bag into a bath, examine your bag for any trouble spots that might need pretreating, such as ink spots. You will want to work on these before you dunk. Also clean out any loose debris.

    I've never soaked for as long as 45 minutes. I don't see that it is necessary in most cases. As soon as the leather has completely soaked through, you can start working on the spots. I don't let my bag sit in the rinse water for any length of time either. I don't know what this accomplishes. I just rinse until the soap is gone. Then wrap in towels to absorb the drippy stuff.

    I wouldn't wait 24 hours before stuffing a bag. Some bags will be mostly dry by then. The stuffing is the most important part because it gives you the chance to reshape the bag into the perfect shape.

    DO NOT use shoe polish or permanent marker on your purse! If it needs retouching, which doesn't seem likely, you should only use leather dye or acrylic paints.

    You can start applying conditioner before the leather is completely dry.

    The hardware looks pretty good. If you want to get professional, you can remove it before the bath and clean it thoroughly with Wenol and even polish it with a Dremel. There are discussions about this in the Rehab thread. You should probably read this thread before you start.

    Your bag doesn't look to be in very bad shape. A quick bath and conditioning is probably enough.
  4. I wouldn't EVER use shoe polish or a marker! That will eventually rub off on you anyways. And I use lukewarm water and sprinkle Oxiclean in the sink, It's worked best for me. I also would not soak the bag for that long, you risk loosing much of the color, in fact I don't soak my bags I just give them a good dunk and scrub gently with my hands. As soon as you take her out, immediately pat dry, and stuff with towels. Apply several coats of moisturizer for a couple of times a day for a few days, being sure to get every nook and cranny. I use lexol. Hang her or set her on a table somewhere to dry. When you shape her with the towels remember to shape it as it should be because if you don't it will dry funny and take on that shape.
  5. Also, I wouldn't worry about replacing the hardware. Your bag looks to be in great condition!
  6. Nice bag! Here's a couple of links that you may find helpful, good luck!


  7. Thanks ladies! I apologize for the slow response, it has been a hectic few days. I was actually refering to the links that katev suggested when I wrote this all up. So I guess that's why I was confused when I first read some of your comments. I'm so glad that I posted this first.

    Thanks for the info :smile: