Shoe Repair London, Handbag Repairs London - The Restory, London

How to Know When It's Time to Say Goodbye to Your Fashion Accessories

vanessa jacobs

It’s almost the end of detox season. 

You’ve cleaned your system with a Plenish Cleanse Level 1 Pack, kicked up your exercise routine with a six-month unlimited pass at Core Collective and vowed to reclaim your personal space with Tim Ferris’ 4-hour work week

Now onto all the “stuff’ in your life. You’ve donated the clothes that are no longer working to Smart Works, the slightly less smart stuff to Oxfam and you’ve booked in with the VIP team at Vestiaire Collective to help monetise the valuables. 

But there’s an odd little in-between pile of shoes and bags left.

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You loved them once but they’ve seen better days. You think you could love them again, but aren't sure how. Do you reinvest or let them go?  

Let’s start by saying that at The Restory, we don’t believe you ever NEED to let go; A new bag strap, a leather flower brocade, some fringe where the dog chewed. Refashioning is only limited by your imagination.  

But if a reimagine isn’t in the cards, there are some situations that are…not impossible…but maybe more trouble than their worth.

 

Cracked Or Very Stained Patent

Patent is a blessing and a curse.

A blessing because it wipes down easily but a curse because it’s nearly impossible to fully restore.

Patent is made by applying a clear layer of petroleum or vinyl to a tanned and coloured skin and it takes some precise machinery to ensure its super smooth with no bumps, creases or debris.

While we can strip back a top layer of coating to get out some superficial stains and scrapes, we can only go so far before we risk not being able to reapply a layer of coating that is as even and smooth as the original.  If your patent cracks, especially on a part of the shoe or bag that is subject to repeat bending, it’s also very difficult to get that area back to a near new finish. 

 

Sharpie / Marker Stains

Pen can be stripped back and coloured over in many cases but markers are a whole different thing. Especially on soft or “open” leathers, they penetrate the layers of the skin so deeply that when it reaches the middle layer, it starts to spread sideways.

Often the only solution is to cut away the affected area like a tumour. But if you go that far, you’re back in refashioning land, which for the purposes of this post, we said we wouldn’t talk about.

It is worth checking with us as first but a rule of thumb is, if it's small there is generally something we can do but if it's large, you sort of have to be willing to put your creativity hat on and collaborate with us. 

 

Severely Stained Veg Tanned Leathers

Veg tanned leathers are tanned and coloured using natural tannins. These elements create beautiful patinas but unlike leathers that are dyed using other methods, they fail to seal, or create any sort of barrier, between the stain instigator (probably your jeans) and the leather. When stains get in there they often penetrate very deeply which makes them hard to extract.

Further because veg tanned leathers are the result of a natural process it’s very hard to mix dyes to match and cover any sizable stain in a way that doesn’t compromise the integrity piece.

 

Of course, check with us first but if you are seeing any of these scenarios in your “maybe” pile, it’s worth considering just how much you are willing to reinvest. If the answer isn’t that much, then it might be time to look back nostalgically at the good times but otherwise look forward to new friends in your future.