In the late 19th and early 20th century, the increase in rail and sea travel caused an explosion in the popularity of fashionable luggage such as suitcases, dressing cases, and hat and shoe boxes – out of which the modern leather handbag developed.
Vintage leather handbags come in many different types of leather that are not so commonly found nowadays. As well as the unusual animal leathers, motifs on leather can be embossed. A motif is a repetitive design applied to the leather. Leather can also be painted, perforated, embroidered or decorated.
Here are some photos of vintage leather handbags from various animal species. Believe it or not they were highly fashionable at some point!
Although leather handbags are expensive items, cleaning, restoring and maintaining these leather bags is extremely affordable and easy with the use of the Colourlock range of leather care and repair products.
For regular cleaning and maintenance we have a choice of 3 kits:
For gloss finish we recommend Handbag Clean & Care Kit which contains a mild leather cleaner and leather restorer
For matt finish we recommend Colourlock Clean & Care Kit also with a mild leather cleaner and a leather protector
To protect from dye transfers on matt finish leathers we recommend the Leather Shield Kit which includes a mild leather cleaner and leather shield
Common Damages & Stains
Majority of the enquiries we receive from our customers are for water stains. It is easy to leave a bottle of water or any other drink inside the bag with the cap loose enough to leak. If the bag is aniline leather, suede or nubuck, it will leave a mark straight away when in contact with the leather. For these sensitive types of leathers we always recommend treatment with the Colourlock Leather Fixative. In the case of some pigmented leather, if the liquid is in contact with the bag for a prolong period, recolouring with Colourlock Leather Fresh will be required as the liquid would have had enough time to sink in and cause a permanent stain.
Another common issue is ink and biro marks caused by a ball point pen. These are not easy to clean and it will depend on the type of leather and how long ago the mark was caused. If the ink mark is fresh enough for removal, the Colourlock Dye and Ink Remover Pen is easy to apply. We will talk about this topic in more detail soon.
Colour damage caused by friction (denim is the usual culprit!), UV damage over time and regular wear can be refreshed and brought back to life with our leather colour restorer Colourlock Leather Fresh – a special leather dye we can mix to exactly match the colour of your bag!
To repair rips, tears and minor damages – email us photos so we can advise what products you should use and provide full instructions with videos. We can put together a leather repair kit for you to apply at home, but if you do not want the hassle of doing it yourself or want it done professionally, please contact us. We offer a full leather cleaning and leather restoration service. Prices start from £35 plus VAT.
In order to ensure you use the correct product, run a small test on your handbag. Rub a drop of water into a hidden area of the leather bag. If the water penetrates the surface it could be aniline, suede or nubuck leather. These type of leathers need special care and attention. Please contact us on 0203 793 9125 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org so we can assist you further.