Tips on restoring a vintage doctor bag?

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  1. Hi yall! My mother was about to give this purse to Goodwill when I saved it! She bought it and used it in the 80s, and it's in fairly good shape. However, it does have some yellowing on the canvas, and the navy is rubbing off on the handles. Do you all have any tips on what the best way to restore this bag to its prior glory is? Thanks ladies :smile:

  2. OK I'm going to say something horrific. Vintage bags look wonderful with a bit of wear unless its a hard framed formal bag, but that's just IMHO. Once you do the following your bag will look like a beautiful senior Gucci 'lady' that is happy to show her age but will look well loved.

    For yellowing -depending on whether it's from metal + moisture staining (rust) or oxidization (air) you will need a special cleaner. Look out for these at your dept store. I would dilute all doses with water and try gently on a already damp cloth. Better to stroke it on 100 X rather than scrub and ruin the bag. Dry with a soft clean cloth.

    Leather handles: Clean with a (very slightly) damp cloth (so the particles of dirt don't scratch/rub in when you feed and polish). Feed with no colour leather cream or matched navy. Polish polish polish but gently. You will not get the high shine back on a scuff or cracked area but they will look better.
  3. Lovely bag! I would try a magic eraser if the canvas is coated. First try in an area that is not very noticeable, like the bottom (small area). Now don't go crazy with it as they work very well and could potentially take the coating right off if rubbed too much. For the leather, if you can find a shoe wax stain, it will work wonders! "Lincoln" makes a wonderful one and you may be able to get it in navy blue on line. Although, most likely in an amount that is much much more than you will need. You could also just bring to a shoe repair and they will have the right stuff for that. It will restore lost color and polish to a nice shine. It's very inexpensive. I would go to somebody you trust or is recommended to you, as some are not as good as others. Good luck and show us a pic of the completed project!
  4. Oh yeah, I would agree with the other person who posted that looking vintage is not necessarily a bad thing!