Manolo Magic

This pair of Manolo’s came to us in post-party state with a little bit of mud staining on the toe tips and the side. We attempted to clean them in order to keep the original colour, but the trouble with silk satin is that the more we clean, the more of a risk there is that the texture is affected as the fibres will begin to fray. 

Before Dyeing Manolo Blahnik
Before restoration
Before Dyeing Manolo Blahnik
Post special clean

The clean was quite successful but for best results, we recommended dying the shoes a darker colour to conceal the remainder of the stains. The shoes were thoroughly cleaned in preparation for recolouring. This is needed because when they are finished in the factory, they come with a protective layer that stops any immediate wear and tear. The finisher must be stripped before we can proceed with the work to ensure the dye penetrates evenly across the shoes, the fibres are relaxed and prepped appropriately.

This shoe is made up of 3 different materials: silk satin that covers the exterior of the shoe, leather for the inner and a suede elastic at the side that all needed to be dyed. Our dyeing expert prepared three different dyes specific to each material so they could then create samples to ensure all the colours match in the various materials.

This is always an exciting, if challenging, project for the atelier team. As the product we use to dye is a transparent liquid, we have to consider that the base colour of the shoes will affect the outcome of the final colour. In this case with a yellow base, a blue dye would make the shoe green for example.

Manolo Blahnik colour options
Colour swatches: burgundy vs scarlet and orange

To create some colour samples beforehand, the team uses a piece of white satin to then mix the yellow base in order to see how the sample colours will react to get the intended colour.

Dyeing Manolo Blahnik
Testing the scarlet dye which created a vibrant orange
Dyeing Manolo Blahnik
Stain still showing through

We wanted to test to see what colour would feasibly conceal the stains before going too dark, so we first used a beautiful scarlet dye which, mixed with the yellow base created a beautiful bright orange colour. Unfortunately, this colour still allowed the stains on the tip of the toe to show through. So instead we went for a darker colour which gave us a gorgeous deep, earthy burgundy. Our artisan applied two layers of the new dye formation to make sure it is even. The same is done with the leather and suede elastic. Each layer needs enough time to dry properly so the absorption rate is the same all over. The satin is then steamed to revive the shine of the shoes.

The insole of the shoe was leather, so in order to match the satin upper, we carried out a colour restoration as standard practise in our atelier. The leather was prepped and stripped appropriately so the paint can adhere to it. The colour to match the upper was hand mixed by our artisan ensuring the perfect colour match.

After Dyeing Manolo Blahnik
Restored and revived
After Dyeing Manolo Blahnik
Burgundy conceals the stain

For the finishing touches, the gems stones are cleaned and polished before the shoes are left to cure. Don’t hesitate to get in touch for any of your dyeing needs as this is the perfect way to fall back in love with your favourites again. We advise that we can dye items any colour darker than the original but do be wary that the base colour will affect the outcome of the final colour. Our team will always prepare colour samples before we go ahead with any dyeing. 

Amelia Liana

You can watch an #UnboxingTheRestory clip on YouTube when they were returned to their lovely owner, Amelia Liana. If you want to see another Manolo Blahnik transformation look at this Case Study.