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Friday, July 25, 2014

How To Restore An Hermes Bag Using Some Leather Dyes And Polish

On my self-appointed sabbatical from bow ties and silks I have been tinkering with so much leather and dyes that I thought I might try my hand at something which might please my woman. 

Browsing Ebay last week I came across a dilapidated Hermes bag residing in South Australia where the woman would take $100.00 plus $16.00 in freight if anyone wanted it. Until now I have concentrated solely on shoes and patina but I asked my lady what she wanted of it if I purchased it and she said "just make sure it's black".

Well, I undertook this without the faintest idea of what I'd make of it and with no experience with Hermes leather. 

Here is what happened.

Step 1:

The bag arrived and I assessed the damage. I then began by nourishing the leather for 24 hours with a mink and lanolin oil from Saphir known as Renovateur. I purchased this from Double Monk in Melbourne.

Step 2:

After letting the oils soak I then scrubbed the bag with a brush. Then I stripped the leather using leather strippers. Then I commenced the dyeing process using black dye only on the bag's exterior. I applied this with various forms of cotton, cotton buds and brushes.

Step 3: 

Unfortunately I stripped off the Hermes logo which is probably the only part most women would want to save but in my eyes the part worth saving was the leather which was so supple and just needed a nourishing overnight with Renovateur. Step 3 was to dye the internals of the bag. Again I used cotton and brushes. The cotton buds are excellent for crevices. 

Step 4:

After burnishing Saphir creme in black colour into the bag on the outside and neutral on the inside using a bit of shirting cloth we arrived at the finished bag below which is being held by my man servant / assistant Louis Rochechouart. (Unfortunately there is no Australian Government grant available for statue assistants in fashion and textiles R & D so Louis is unpaid labour or perhaps I should call him my 'intern' .)

Now if I was a woman I would not sell my old Hermes bag on Ebay because with a bit of a nudge and an apron you or your husband could salvage the bag for another few years. I am not saying this is perfect but I am an amateur in this leather dyeing business and I would happily wear this bag on me if I were a lady. 

Louis is happy and so am I. 

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