Can you help me rehab this basic vintage Coach bag?

  1. #1 Jan 6, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011
    I got this one several years ago on eBay. I do not want to throw it. The color looks a bit of dark brown but in real life is like a mahogany shade. I have my doubts before the authenticity because it has no serial number but I was informed that Coach had the itch of pasting the creed number in a once upon a time.


    I was thinking of dye it in a different color and get the straps in that same shade cause they are pretty bad... maybe black, a bolder color or try it on the same shade. I do not know how the process of rehab works so please enlighten me!
  2. #2 Jan 6, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011
    Don't throw it out yet! First paste these photos in the Authenticate This Coach thread on the shopping page to get expert input on authenticity. It looks like a Basic bag to me - but wait for the experts.

    Here are my suggestions:
    I almost always give vintage bags a bath and they come out great! Soak for about an hour in a luke warm soap and water solution. I usually use Ivory dish soap or woolite. I give extra attention to stained areas and sometimes I change the water and turn the bag inside out and soak it again!

    Next, rinse it thoroughly, allow it to drain a bit, stuff it with old towels and shape it and let it dry on a towel for a day, rotating it occassionally. Then I take the towels out and continue rotating it and letting it dry for several days.

    When it is dry I almost dry I apply a leather conditioner such Apple (available online or at some Burlington Coat Factory stores). It may take 2 or 3 applications of conditioner to restore the suppleness of the leather. Be sure to use a conditioner that doesn't contain any waxes, dyes, or fragrances.

    Then I use brasso to polish up the hardware a bit and that's usually all it takes.

    If you try all that and the bag still has issues, post new pics here and the tpfers will try and advise you. good luck!
  3. #3 Jan 6, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011
    Hi Katev...glad you commented cause you do such a great job with the older and vintage bags

    The bag is authentic and IS the "Basic Bag" (with the glued on serial number that fell off).

    I asked "zowye" to post on the forum because I knew you and Bunny (and others) have "rehabbed" some bags that have problems.

    I've never actually dyed a bag, though I "think" I recall someone who did...but I can't recall what they used or how it worked out.

    I do agree...the bath would be the first step. Then see what happens once that's done.

  4. This picture shows the only part that would worry me on repairing it:


    ^It kinda seems like the leather got "torn" or damaged in the lighter areas on the left side of the bag... either that or it's really dirty!

    Cleaning first, then you move on to considering other options. I would wait on dying, I really haven't heard of an older bag that took to ANY of the suggested dyes (tarrago? forget the name) as they just kinda "sat" on top and didn't saturate well.
  5. Bunny that is one of my biggest worry and no is not dirt.
  6. I've replied again to your pms, zowye :smile:

    Like I keep saying, just *don't* be scared. :smile: And don't be surprised if it turns the color of my same bag once it's well conditioned. It does darken ... but oh the richness of the leather! :biggrin:
  7. Then clean it, let the spot dry, and I would ONLY suggest you treat that area with some sort of sealant (to protect the leather, since you can't really repair the spot). The ONLY repair that would improve the look of the "roughed up leather" would be some sort of liquid sealant (like the sealant used on the edges of leather to protect it on coach bags) but it would DEFINITELY stand out as repaired ;(
  8. #8 Jan 6, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011
    (By the way, I have gone through the whole soaking, rinsing, stuffing, drying, conditioning process with her, in depth, during conversations earlier today. I just keep emphasizing to her *not* to be scared of the whole thing. :smile:

    The bag is pretty much identical to the NYC-made Basic Bag I just rehabbed .... "bag twins"! Quite literally. :lol: :biggrin:
    So I'm dying to see how hers turns out. )
  9. There's plenty of pictures of me putting mine in the sink in water :smile: It looks scary, but once you do it once, you'll feel more comfortable in the future, trust me!
  10. #10 Jan 6, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011
    Exactly. You, bunny, were the one who gave me the nerve to first try it, and four of my vintage bags have all gone through the "soaking". You were entirely right, bunny, and I'm glad you gve me the nerve. :flowers:

    These four were all "soaked" before the rounds of conditioning, and the leather is truly, *truly* to die for now ...
    deco4.jpg Coach_black_station.jpg Coach_LegSmallFlap_navy.jpg BlueSpecCourt.jpg
  11. ^those bags look great

    OP just try it you have nothing to loose and a great bag to gain :smile: Cant wait to see her all beautified again
  12. Ok I took it to a plunge at this moment is soaking in the water! And I put the tag also to cleanse but that one will be coming out shortly. Oh boy I will look for the conditioner for the leather do you gals have any other recommendations besides apple's?
  13. ^For the older leather sometimes I'll prefer Lexol over Apple. YOu can get it in a few different "flavors" (version for light leather, version for dark leather) at local leather or shoe stores in your area.

    I soak in lukewarm/warm water with some sort of soap (woolite or dawn or ivory, etc) for 45 min, take out, rinse throughly with cold water or warm to get all the suds out, then back into a newly drawn sink full of warm water again for 15 min, then take out, squeeze a bit, hang, stuff with towels (that you don't mind getting dyed a color) or paper towels and then check in 24 hrs. Stuff pockets and flaps with paper towels, as the inner corners tend to be dampest after the first 24 hr period. Don't put under a fan/vent/drafty area or it will abnormally dry it faster than it should go.

    SOme find it dried in 48 hrs, some sooner, some longer. Depends on the humidity in your area. After 3 days though it should be dry, and as soon as it's thoroughly dry it MUST be conditioned right away. I've delayed this too many times by accident and it makes the leather too crisp where it's missed the best ample time to absorb the conditioner the best.
    RosesandLilacs likes this.
  14. Nodding. I don't want to speak out of turn but like bunny, I believe authenticator hyacinth also likes Lexol.
  15. And truly, listen to bunny. She's one of the early rehabbers around here. She was at it way back when I joined already. She's also very cautious in thinking things through if the bag has unique complications. I know that just from watching for so long.