Suede Leather is frequently seen as one of the more difficult leather finishes to commit to, although it isn’t quite as finicky as its reputation suggests. It’s like the leather family’s dramatic house plant. They can both get melancholy at times, leading you to believe they are beyond rescue, but with some simple care, they will both come back to life.
Though there are some things you can’t undo, such as balding, serving to the mat, and long-set oil-based stains, they’re all readily avoidable. It irritates me to see perfectly fine “suede bags” languishing on shelves or even being trashed because they are merely dry and in need of a good cleaning, yet fairness prevails.
If your bag only has a few minor scratches on the hardware where there wasn’t much wear and tear, the bag is in better condition. There was no hard matting or balding, and there were no set-in stains. The corners were in good condition, the handle was sturdy, and the interior lining was stain-free and intact. To be honest, he seemed a little dry and dusty, but they are minor issues. On the right is the finished product, which was completed in one day. This essay will explain how we arrived at our destination.
Dry Cloth Wipe Down
Isn’t it simple enough? Simply brush off hairs, lint, and other debris from your bag with a soft (non-linty) rag. There’s no need to apply any pressure because you don’t want to push the grime deeper into the bag. At this point, try not to focus too much on any one region since anything that doesn’t come out now will almost certainly come out later with the brush. Simply rub the towel lightly with the grain of the leather until no residue remains. During this process, you’ll be shocked at how much dust and debris can be removed.
Wipe Down with Dry Cloth
If your bag is really dusty, I recommend wiping it down with a “wet” cloth to remove any remaining dirt before brushing it into the suede. If your bag isn’t covered with dust, brushing it may be enough to produce excellent results. Excessive dampness and wetness are bad for suede in general, so use a thicker cloth that is less absorbent and drippy. I lightly dipped the rag’s tip in the water. Wipe the bag down gently along the grain of the suede, being careful not to press too hard.
The Critical Brush Step
If you possess any suede, I strongly advise you to purchase a suede brush and keep it on hand. They’ve saved so many of my favorite things, and if I’m wearing suede, I always keep one in my purse in case of an emergency. Brushes are essential for removing dirt and grime and preventing matting and “refluffing” your suede to keep it smooth.
Remove the layer of dust from my bag with the bristle side of the brush. There was some little matting at the top flap’s edges that I needed to apply a bit extra pressure to, but it was still very minor. When attempting to de-matte, take it slowly. Take breaks now and again because you don’t want to ruin the suede by overdoing it. Taking a pause keeps you from hyper-fixating and worrying over a single location, and it reminds me that progress can be gradual! Always go with the grain of your leather, as you did in the previous steps, and don’t go too hard.
Moisturize Your Suede!
A drab tint is one of the telltale symptoms that your bag is dry, and it shows up incredibly well in suede. With Leather gel, I was able to return my bag to the rich cocoa brown of its youth.
Suede doesn’t require a lot of moisture, and since this is a heavier conditioner, use a minimal amount. Put a dime-size conditioner on a cloth and pat the cloth together to thin the conditioner. As opposed to a concentrated glob, you’ll have a thinner amount spread out across a larger region in this manner.
Spread the Conditioner
Always spot test in a hidden location to avoid ruining your bag. To be sure there was no reaction, test it in a corner under the flap. This is especially crucial when purchasing a preowned bag because you never know how the prior owner treated it. You might even find out that your bag has been re-dyed (ugh)!
Once that’s done and you’re comfortable moving on, gently massage the moisturizer into the bag, working with the grain and not too roughly. Stay cool and dab softly with a rag if you unintentionally apply it too thickly. Do not press it in or try to wipe it off. Also, some patches may appear uneven immediately after application, so don’t be alarmed! Give the bag a little time to dry, and it should dry most of the time evenly. This bag ended up requiring two applications; I doubt it had ever been conditioned before and was most likely stored in a closet without a dust bag. Most bags won’t require this much, and in between applications, give the bag time to dry.
How to Remove Odor Out of Suede
Suppose you have a pre-owned bag that doesn’t have a solid or objectionable stench but does smell like another person’s perfume. It’s not a deal-breaker for me because it’s not too strong, but it always feels strange, and frankly, I’d rather it didn’t. I merely put some coffee beans in a tiny dish and kept them in the bag for a few days because it wasn’t too strong. In the past, this has proven to be beneficial. A vinegar bath for the liner and a few hours in the freezer can be the next step if it doesn’t work.
Tips for Aftercare
Suspended fabric requires some maintenance to keep it looking its best. You may feel scared after reading this, but I assure you that you will get the hang of it with practice. It’s also simpler to tell when your luggage needs some TLC if you know how it should feel. Many individuals question when they should moisturize their bags, and the truth is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Many factors come into play, including the atmosphere, the leather type, how it was treated, how it was stored, what product you previously used, how much it was used, and so on. There is nothing as a valid answer.
It is, in my perspective, intuitive. For example, you’ll know it’s time when your bag appears dull, isn’t as soft as it used to be, or scratches more than it should. The more you know about your luggage, the better you’ll be able to predict its requirements. However, most significant suede mishaps can be prevented with a bit of forethought. Invest in a good suede brush if you don’t already have one. If you’re hesitant about using it, practice on something less valuable, such as a suede purse from the thrift store. Second, invest in a high-quality moisturizer. It will go a long way on all of your leather items and help keep your suede’s rich color.
A Special Touch
Finally, add a gold-tone flat link chain simply for fun. In my opinion, it would stand out against the dark brown and give him a little of an edge. Having the gold chain as an option is quite convenient because it allows me to remove the leather strap and use the gold chain alone if I want to be a little more formal. The spring clasps are available for purchase, and the length and type of rings used to attach them can be customized. Get some acrylic link straps as well, which are a lot of fun to switch out. They completely modify the look and feel of the bag and are an excellent way to personalize it without causing damage or lowering its resale value.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. I hope it was of use to you. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. Keep following Baggage Claim Boutique till then, and order your “branded bags” today.
Have fun restoring!