Vintage Chanel - how do you tell if the leather has been retouched / redyed?

pinkrose398

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Hi! I'm thinking of getting a vintage Chanel bag, and I was wondering if anyone knows if there's a way to tell if the leather has been retouched or redyed. I understand that companies like Leather Surgeons will refuse to service a leather bag if it has been redyed, since they won't know how the redyed leather will hold up to a service. I asked the reseller if it has been retouched / redyed and they said they are not aware of it, but since it is vintage (from the early 90s), anything could have happened. The reseller is very reputable so I'm not concerned about them being dishonest.

The bag I'm thinking of getting is beige, and it has minimal wrinkling in the leather (it's all very smooth looking).

If anyone has any tips, it would be very helpful! Thank you in advance :smile:
 

LuxNewbie

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My bag feels kinda dry. It's better now after a few conditionings but it turn slightly matte from the original sheen.

Not sure if this is close enough for you to see what i mean. 1st pic is after recolouring and the 2nd is before.

IMG_20200531_213701.jpg

IMG_20200227_150609.jpg
 
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ChanelCanuck

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I've found that redyed bags are a bit more matte than an untouched bag which will be a bit glossier. The texture of it will feel a bit rougher, it won't feel "shiny smooth" but will have a slightly grainier texture (think of dried paint when it hasn't had the top coat put on). With enough conditioner, you can get a bit more moisture in there but I've yet to have any of my bags go back to the suppleness they had pre-dying.

Re: the stitching, because the dye is painted across the entire bag, the threads are painted over top of, too. This isn't the best way to tell though, because a good "surgeon" will have removed the paint from the threads to let the quilting pop more, so you may not see any residual paint on the stitches. (A more expert eye than mine can probably still identify it though!)
 

pinkrose398

MaddyLoves.com
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Feb 7, 2009
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Vancouver, BC
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My bag feels kinda dry. It's better now after a few conditionings but it turn slightly matte from the original sheen.

Not sure if this is close enough for you to see what i mean. 1st pic is after recolouring and the 2nd is before.
Thank you! This was useful. I think the main difference is the gloss / sheen of the bag is significantly different now. What leather conditioner did you use? I bought this bag on ebay and it's on its way to me now: https://www.ebay.ca/itm/CHANEL-Dian...ag-2346243-Beige-Leather-AK41934/333610867617

It's looks pretty matte so there's a good chance it was redyed.

I've found that redyed bags are a bit more matte than an untouched bag which will be a bit glossier. The texture of it will feel a bit rougher, it won't feel "shiny smooth" but will have a slightly grainier texture (think of dried paint when it hasn't had the top coat put on). With enough conditioner, you can get a bit more moisture in there but I've yet to have any of my bags go back to the suppleness they had pre-dying.

Re: the stitching, because the dye is painted across the entire bag, the threads are painted over top of, too. This isn't the best way to tell though, because a good "surgeon" will have removed the paint from the threads to let the quilting pop more, so you may not see any residual paint on the stitches. (A more expert eye than mine can probably still identify it though!)
Thank you! That makes sense. I was reading that redyed bags have a lot more wrinkling, and it's likely because it's drier than the non-redyed bags. Do you have a recommendation for a good leather conditioner?
 

ChanelCanuck

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Thank you! This was useful. I think the main difference is the gloss / sheen of the bag is significantly different now. What leather conditioner did you use? I bought this bag on ebay and it's on its way to me now: https://www.ebay.ca/itm/CHANEL-Dian...ag-2346243-Beige-Leather-AK41934/333610867617

It's looks pretty matte so there's a good chance it was redyed.



Thank you! That makes sense. I was reading that redyed bags have a lot more wrinkling, and it's likely because it's drier than the non-redyed bags. Do you have a recommendation for a good leather conditioner?
That's a gorgeous Diana! Good price too. I just got a Diana-esque (same era, slightly different design) yesterday in beige. I spent last night conditioning it with one layer of Cadillac, and one layer of Meltonian cream. I see you're in Vancouver too! This is what I ordered:


And it looks like Meltonian has been discontinued (I had to buy this on eBay a couple of years ago) -



FYI, Cadillac also has a premium line - I didn't know this because Amazon.ca doesn't show it, but some people on TPF use this instead:

https://www.amazon.com/Cadillac-Leather-Conditioner-Handbags-Furniture/dp/B012O1XJNC (it doesn't deliver to Canada :sad:)
 

pinkrose398

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That's a gorgeous Diana! Good price too. I just got a Diana-esque (same era, slightly different design) yesterday in beige. I spent last night conditioning it with one layer of Cadillac, and one layer of Meltonian cream. I see you're in Vancouver too! This is what I ordered:


And it looks like Meltonian has been discontinued (I had to buy this on eBay a couple of years ago) -



FYI, Cadillac also has a premium line - I didn't know this because Amazon.ca doesn't show it, but some people on TPF use this instead:

https://www.amazon.com/Cadillac-Leather-Conditioner-Handbags-Furniture/dp/B012O1XJNC (it doesn't deliver to Canada :sad:)
Thank you so much! I am in Vancouver, thank you for the links. I'd love to see a picture of your bag. I will try the products you recommended.
 
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LuxNewbie

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I used cadillac leather lotion. In fact, I remember ChanelCanuck was the one who advised me to keep conditioning it :smile:

It worked wonders. At least it no longer looks cheap haha

It wrinkles easier now, especially the pressure point at where the flap bends back when the bag is open.

My selling it failed so I might just start using it again. Problem is how many times can it be coloured. Hahaha
 

ChanelCanuck

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Thank you so much! I am in Vancouver, thank you for the links. I'd love to see a picture of your bag. I will try the products you recommended.
I'm gonna take some pics of the bag I had re-dyed at Leather Surgeons last year, it's also a vintage beige so might be more helpful for you! And I'll post pic of the bag I just got! (Doesn't look or feel re-dyed, I think the lack of shine is just from its age.)

I used cadillac leather lotion. In fact, I remember ChanelCanuck was the one who advised me to keep conditioning it :smile:

It worked wonders. At least it no longer looks cheap haha

It wrinkles easier now, especially the pressure point at where the flap bends back when the bag is open.

My selling it failed so I might just start using it again. Problem is how many times can it be coloured. Hahaha
LOL atta girl! And then it was you who told me you did multiple coats in one day, which is why I did Cadillac + Meltonian both last night! Gonna do another coat of each tonight! :biggrin: It's all about applying enough coats that the leather absorbs it without drying out, so keep doing those layers!
 

pinkrose398

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I'm gonna take some pics of the bag I had re-dyed at Leather Surgeons last year, it's also a vintage beige so might be more helpful for you! And I'll post pic of the bag I just got! (Doesn't look or feel re-dyed, I think the lack of shine is just from its age.)



LOL atta girl! And then it was you who told me you did multiple coats in one day, which is why I did Cadillac + Meltonian both last night! Gonna do another coat of each tonight! :biggrin: It's all about applying enough coats that the leather absorbs it without drying out, so keep doing those layers!
What colour Meltonian do you use? It looks like it comes in a lot of colours. Or is there a clear one?
 

ChanelCanuck

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FYI looking closer at the eBay pics, I'm pretty sure yours is re-dyed. Do you see how there's a very slight inconsistency in the perforation size of each stitch "hole"? Some are tighter, some are wider? That's often a sign of a re-dyed bag. Don't be too bummed about it though; I know the resale value isn't as high, but I'd rather have a bag that's redyed than a bag that has color transfer on it! :smile:

 

pinkrose398

MaddyLoves.com
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Feb 7, 2009
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FYI looking closer at the eBay pics, I'm pretty sure yours is re-dyed. Do you see how there's a very slight inconsistency in the perforation size of each stitch "hole"? Some are tighter, some are wider? That's often a sign of a re-dyed bag. Don't be too bummed about it though; I know the resale value isn't as high, but I'd rather have a bag that's redyed than a bag that has color transfer on it! :smile:

Thank you! I was a bit worried about it being redyed because that means that in the future, a company like leather surgeons wouldn't work on it. A beige Chanel is a forever bag though so I'm not too worried about resale value. I just have to be careful with how I wear it in the future. Thanks!
 
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ChanelCanuck

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Thank you! I was a bit worried about it being redyed because that means that in the future, a company like leather surgeons wouldn't work on it. A beige Chanel is a forever bag though so I'm not too worried about resale value. I just have to be careful with how I wear it in the future. Thanks!
hmm. Unless they've told you otherwise, I think Leather Surgeons would still work on your bag even if it's been repainted before. There's probably some stripping process anyway so I don't think they'd be too concerned about it unless it was a particularly fragile piece?

Here is a vintage beige double flap I had them work on 2 years ago. I wanted them to even out the color (get rid of the slight color transfer on the back), restructure the front so the flap is even.

Before:
IMG_2874.jpg

After (right when I got it back): IMG_2749.jpg

Before:
IMG_0088.jpg

After:
IMG_4161.jpg

Before: IMG_7347.jpg

After:

IMG_4756.jpg

Today (a few coats of Cadillac later - the last time I moisturized it was about a month ago, I should be more diligent about conditioning it but I think you can already see some of the gloss has come back, even though the wrinkling is also slightly more pronounced):

IMG_7024.JPG