At LA BAGGIO we often get asked this question- “I had bought this bag from Milan/ Paris/ London and it has got damaged due to the humid weather in India- what can I do to ensure my expensive bags don’t get damaged?”
My advice to you is that leather is a natural product and gets damaged or mouldy if left in damp and humid cupboards. So you must take out the bag at regular intervals and air it for a while. In India, the leathers are normally dried in the sun especially in the smaller tanneries. Do air your bag for a very short time in the sun – avoid putting indirect and harsh sunlight as the sun damages the colour.
Do cover the bag with a bag that allows the air to filter through – do not use plastic or other materials that prevent the leather from breathing – the leather perspires when left in plastic and will get damp and mouldy if not packed in the correct material.
Some soft nappas are completely naked leathers, they need very delicate handling. Do not use any water/ soap to clean these naked leathers. Bags that are made of finished leathers can be cleaned with light soap and water. How do you check if the bag is made of naked leather or finished leather? Its simple- rub some water in the inner pockets of the bag- if the leather absorbs the water- it is naked and very expensive- so do not use any damp cloth to clean this bag and avoid scrupulously any oils/lacquers that can damage the leather. Most brands use finished leathers to make the bags- these finished leathers can be cleaned with a mild solution of soap and water and then dried with a soft cloth.
Which prevent the growth of mould/fungus while storing the bags
Do not put in newspapers as the ink might run onto the lining inside the bag.
Avoid humidity as much as possible while storing your bags
Sometimes the brands are selling PU bags that are not leather – PU bags are extremely damaging to the environment and should be avoided. PU is also a much cheaper material than real leather. Gain knowledge of the material used in the expensive bags that you are buying. You are investing large sums while buying the bag – so be a prudent and informed buyer and ask questions.
Especially the ones made of soft expensive cow/ calf/ lamb skins with less/ no finishing/spraying tend to become SOFTER with use. Avoid buying leather bags that have a foil pasted on them as the foil is pasted with adhesive and the adhesive does not last for many years due to the damp and humid conditions in India.
To prevent the hardware from rusting. I am shocked to see my friends buy expensive bags that have hardware that gets rusted/tarnished due to our damp weather. Most manufacturers in Europe do not factor in the humidity of India while manufacturing their bags. Once the hardware gets tarnished, it is difficult to replace the hardware and you then have a very damaged bag that cannot be used. Your bag is a fashion accessory – not a load bearing sack – so do not overstuff the bag and put in very heavy loads that can damage the hardware and shoulder straps. Take care of long nails not scratching the leather while picking up your bag.
Please use carefully. Suede leathers need special suede cleaning solutions, naked leathers should not be cleaned with cleaning agents as they can get stained. Most bags can be cleaned with leather cleaning solutions available. Do read the instructions before using on your bags and buy the cleaning agents when you buy your bag- ask for cleaning instructions during purchase of the product.
Never use baby wipes, vinegar, or any home remedy for cleaning or stain removal, Many of these products have chemicals that can damage your bag.
Preferably somewhere inside the bags that are not visible outside.
It is always better to get leather cleaners from the brand while buying your bag and to ask them for details of professional cleaners who can service the bag if damaged. If you are buying the product in a foreign country with a climate very different from ours, do ask the brand for cleaning and care instructions.
When we buy luxury handbags, it often comes with an obvious expectation; that they will last us for years to come. Handbags, especially the classic ones, can transcend multiple seasons—making them the obvious choice for an investment.
The fortune you spend on a luxury bag should be justified by the longevity of the product- but this does not necessarily happen. Your luxury bag will have its share of wear and tear, especially if used frequently. Granted that the high price that you pay should guarantee a certain level of quality- however, the bag will still need to be well looked after to withstand the test of time.