Restoring A Vintage Chanel

Charlie Fenwick June 24, 2021

At Handbag Clinic our Artisans go through several years of in-depth training to develop the skills required to achieve the best possible finish on all the repair services we offer. Post training, many of our Artisans then go on to specialise in certain brands and leather fields such as exotics. All of the products used to achieve the amazing results are carefully developed in house. This means we are unique in knowing exactly what we are using throughout the repairs and can guarantee they are the best for the job in hand. 

As pioneers in the field, we are always working on the best possible solutions for any problem a handbag could have! 

A Chanel handbag is often seen as a staple item in the wardrobe of the fashion forward, however when worn daily the condition can diminish from its former glory. This gorgeous Chanel Classic Flap is ten years old and was in serious need of a refresh! The bag was booked in to the Clinic for a Full Restoration service to combat the general worn appearance, colour loss and worn corners.


Step 1

The first step in the process is to remove the leather in the chain from the bag. This area of the bag sees the highest signs of use, therefore sees a great deal of colour loss and wear. 

Step 2

The exterior of the bag is then deep cleaned to remove any ingrained dirt and prepared with our specialist solution to prepare the leather for repair. The interior of the bag is also thoroughly cleaned. The cleaning process is done by hand to ensure that the leather is cared for, and the process is repeated three times until no further improvement.

Step 3

We will then carefully mask all the metal work to ensure that this is protected during the colour work process. We understand that metal detailing on a bag is often very iconic and features the most branding, for example the logo or engraving; meaning it is imperative that they are well protected. 

Step 4

Our talented Artisans are highly skilled in colour matching and through a detailed process, are able to reach the perfect colour by eye. However if we do have a particularly difficult colour we have a photo spectrometer which is able to photograph any leather and analyse the colours required to achieve that exact shade. The colour match is taken from the underside of the flap, we always colour match to an area that is hidden from outside factors such as sunlight to ensure we are restoring back to the most original colour. 

Step 5

The next step is to make sure that all areas of damage, are sealed using our specialist filler. This fills in the small recesses in the bag’s surfaces cause by wear and tear, and therefore restores the texture of the bag, therefore allowing for colour to be applied. 

Step 6

The areas featuring the most damage, which is most often the corners of the bag and the chain, are addressed using fine brush work to be sure that the colour is applied carefully while covering effectively. Using a fine detail brush the colour is added around the Chanel C’s. 

Step 7

To restore the whole bag to the original colour, the airbrushed pigment is misted in fine layers. This delicate method helps to preserve the texture of the leather.

Step 8

The leather is then fed back through the chain and sewn back together, making sure the exact same holes from the original thread are followed.

Step 9

The final step is to use our protection treatment on the bag. This treatment conditions the bag to prevent it drying or cracking, as well as adding a protective barrier to repel oil and water based staining. Our protection treatment also has added UV inhibitors which helps prevent the fading of the leather when in direct contact with the sun. 

To see more our our amazing results, check out our full before and after gallery HERE

To book receive a quote for your handbag to be cleaned, repaired or restored please fill in an Online Quote form or alternatively visit your nearest Handbag Clinic store. 

You can see this full process come to life in our full video below. 


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Hermès Birkin’s continue to retain their title as the hardest bag to secure but you’re in luck, as we’ve dropped two Birkin 35’s on our website and they will be in our Chelsea store this week 👜