Are these places that repair bags? How does it work? Any opinions?
Can you send bags there just for cleaning and conditioning as well?
lovinmybags will clean them if that's all you want. I'm about to send off a bag to them for repair. I don't know anything about Artbag as I was wanting to know if people like their repairs better. I just keep putting off mailing it because I'm so afraid the repairs will make the bag look worse.
Artbag did an amazing job on Mocean's bag... there is a thread about it somewhere. I've had them do minor repairs for me, and was happy, but I have the luxury of living in New York and personally talking to them before subjecting my babies to the knife.
Artbag could do an amazing job on Mocean's bag partly because it was Black. I sent my Calcaire (which is an ivory-ish color) to Artbag and was not as impressed with the results. Yes, it was improved, but it wasn't like the night/day difference on Mocean's bag. The handles were darkened on my Calcaire, and that was not really noticeably improved by the cleaning. I was not willing to get my bag repainted in any way, and that is why I sent it to Artbag instead of LovinMyBags.
If all you need is the darkened handles and corners to be refinished, I think that LovinMyBags is the way to go, because the only way to solve those issues is to repaint those areas (which Artbag will not do). I do not, however, advocate repainting the WHOLE bag, which LovinMyBags will also do upon request.
^ So LMB's oil extraction procedure... are they really extracting the oils that cause the darkening out, or are they just repainting the darkened handles?
Since my message above is kind of rambly, I'm going to condense my opinion:
1. If you are needing cleaning or repainting selected parts of a bag, I would recommend LovinMyBags*
2. If you are needing repairs - e.g., replacing piping, tears, etc., I would recommend Artbag
*but never get the whole bag repainted ... it will not look the same as the original color, and you risk ruining the leather texture
I have never heard of LMB's oil extraction procedure - I thought they just repainted the handles. I'm interested in hearing more about this.
very informative thread!
I have an '04 Marron First with them now, undergoing that procedure, because the handles smelled strongly of the previous owner's perfume. I should have it back in about a week, and I was planning to post the results!
Also, on the LMB website, Barbara mentions that she has located a source for the leather finish that Balenciaga uses, which will ensure that the texture of the leather on completely restored bags will not be compromised. This sounds quite promising, and can't wait to hear more.
I just wanted to add to fiat's post, that I contacted Artbags about my stinky handles (see my other post), and they said they could do very little to effect a change. So, I'm basically seconding that handles don't seem to be AB's 'bag', if you will.
Still ... I have yet to see a refinished bag that truly recaptured the original color.
Thank you BBagBubba! Please let us know how it turns out! And their new leather finisher sounds great... I wonder if that is their new shine restore product?
The leather-finish is something that is applied during the restoration process, as a final coat I believe. If you visit the LMB website, it's mentioned there. I read about the product you mention, also...I'm curious about that, as well!
Artbag does repairs for many of the famous designers in the country including, Prada, Valentino, Louis Vuitton. They are the best