Double the Chanel love

Before restoration
Worn corners exposed
Before restoration
Discolouration & denim stains on the reverse

Both these twin Chanel bags came into our atelier looking quite loved, but on the whole in very good condition for such staple pieces. The duo showed signs of natural wear, to be expected, with scuffing, exposed reinforcement at the corners, faded colour, dirty chain, and some colour transfer on the back pocket of the bags. Overall, the leather was quite dry and starting to crack in some areas so it was in desperate need of a nourishing condition.

Prepping the bags for restoration

The first thing we do for all items that come into our atelier is clean them. A special leather cleaner is used to remove any superficial dirt and if possible, colour transfer. This all makes the restoration process a little bit easier as the items are properly prepped.

Once the bags reached the restoration stage, the top coat of paint and the finishing that protects the paint is stripped. This is to ensure the artisan works on a stable base so the paint penetrates deep enough and it adheres to the leather. To restore the scuffed edges and rough, dry texture of the bag, our artisans use a special leather

Colours ready to be mixed

For the scuffed edges and rough texture of the bag we use a unique technique to fill and smooth the corners. The colour of this solution is hand mixed to match the colour of the bag and for areas particularly damaged, up to 3 layers are applied.

When sufficient layers have been applied, our artisan then uses a special technique to recreate the original texture of the bag so the grain matches the rest of the bag. Here at The Restory, we pride ourselves in always trying to match the original characteristics of the bag staying true to its original design and honouring the original craftsmanship.

The restoration process
The restoration process

One of the last things to do is mix the zingy red and deep navy colours. To achieve, a selection of colours are hand mixed that give all the right shades and warmth of the original colour. We always aim for nothing less than a perfect match which is particularly important in our ‘touch up’ approach. This is when our artisans just work on specific areas of the item, not the whole thing; even a navy has to be the right tone, ensuring it’s not too deep or too light. 

Re-threading the restored chain

The bag is then painted in light layers, using a less is more approach, and the our artisan also did a touch up of the chain. The chain usually gets quite discoloured and worn quickly due to the nature of handling it most frequently. To do this, the leather needs be unthread, restored then rethread back through the chain. For the finishing touches, a finisher that matches the original bag is applied to the whole bag including the strap, to seals the layers of paint and the bags are ready to go back home and be loved for longer.

Repaired, restored, revived.