Many of us own leather bags, but it is inevitable that they will age and fade over time. However there are ways you can restore your faded bag back to its original color! If the cause of fading was due a substance like water or sun damage then simply using sunscreen for up to one week should be enough before taking it in for professional re-dying services.
On the other hand if discoloration has been caused by heat from an object (like hair curlers) any shampoo solution with hydrogen peroxide mixed into it may work on lighter colored bags while bleach works best on darker ones. Even though it is a risky option be aware of using bleach as sometimes it may cause even more damage than the dyeing problem itself. Please note that bleach does not always work so you might need to try several different combinations.
Step by Step method to Restore Faded Leather Bag
1. Fill a sink with lukewarm water and mix in the solution you have chosen (shampoo, hydrogen peroxide etc.). If the dye is not coming off completely then you may need to soak it for 10-15 minutes before scrubbing gently. Make sure you wear rubber gloves while handling the mixture as it may cause irritation to the skin.
2. Let it air dry but never ever place your bag in a sunny area or near a heating source, as this will only cause fading to even occur faster! Also remember that leather bags are more likely to fade if they are exposed to sunlight for long periods of time so be sure not to leave them in direct sunlight for too long.
3. For a shinier look you can use a leather conditioner cream but do remember that this will not remove dye stains; therefore, if you have to use it then limit application only to the faded areas. Also keep in mind that a leather cream with UV protection is recommended as this will prevent further damage to the leather.
4. If you cannot find a suitable way to restore your bag then seek professional help from either a local shoe repair store, shoes mender or even your favorite designer boutique to get it dyed properly in the shade you want. Although re-dying will cost money try not to let this prevent you as it is still cheaper than buying a brand new bag or having to go without one!
5. To prevent your leather bag from fading be sure to keep it stored in a cool, dark place when not in use and never ever store it on the floor as grease and dirt may transfer onto it. If you are carrying an umbrella at all times then make sure that during a sunny day you store it inside your bag to protect its contents from sun and water damage. If you are not a fan of carrying an umbrella then do remember that even on a cloudy day the sun's rays still cause fading, so be sure to always use sunscreen if you don't want your leather bags to fade quickly.
Restoring a leather bag is not a difficult task as long as you know what methods work best for your particular bag and have the time to follow through with them. Also be sure to keep in mind that even after restoring your bag it is possible that it may fade again if kept in direct sunlight, so try to limit its exposure to harmful UV rays. If you can manage this and follow the tips mentioned above then you'll have a bag that looks like new!
Frequently Asked Questions
Does using sunscreen for up to one week remove the cause of fading?
Yes, in most cases it should fix the problem as long you don't place your bag near a heating source while waiting for it to dry afterwards. However keep in mind that if your leather bag has been exposed to sunlight for an extended period of time it may cause fading even if an umbrella was used and sunscreen lotion applied.
Does fading leather dye result in irreparable damage?
Usually it does not affect the functionality of your bag as long you manage to restore its original color. It is possible that if your bag has been dyed several times then some parts may start to peel off. This will depend on how many layers of leather dye were used, so try to avoid using a lot of dye in order to prevent this from happening.
Why fading occurs?
The leather material on your bag is typically made up of three layers: top grain, middle layer and bottom layer. During the dyeing process the top grain absorbs most of the pigment while the bottom two layers absorb a little bit. If you get dye on these lower layers then it may cause them to fade over time; however this will be repaired if you dye those areas using the same color as that of your bag.
How does fading affect my leather bag?
If you are unable to restore your faded bag's original color then it may affect the value of your bag. This will depend on how severe the damage is and if there is any peeling or flaking around the edges of your bag that can be seen from afar. Also keep in mind that a leather bag with faded color is considered to be less valuable than a similarly priced one that has retained its color so if you are not intending on purchasing another bag then it may be best to simply let go.