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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Tan Leather Sport Coat Redyed White

Customers often ask us if we can change the color of their leather jackets. The answer is most of the time we can with out any problem. Sometimes the original leather is treated with a coating that makes redyeing difficult. But in this case we had no problem. 
This leather sport coat was tan and our customer wanted it changed to white.

                                 Front of jacket before-                                               

                                   Back of jacket before-

Most redyeing requires that the original finish be removed first. We do this in the cleaning process. After that is done, it is pressed back into shape. Now it is ready for the new dye to be applied. 

                                         Front of jacket after redyeing-                                                                

                                         Back of jacket after redyeing-

Close up of front collar and lapel area after redyeing-

                                    Closeup of back collar and shoulder area after redyeing-
 We are often asked will the dye last? The answer is it will wear like the original dye. If you rub your elbows or any area a lot. The dye will come off. But this is the same thing that happens to the original dye. We can always touch up the wear areas as they happen.
This is the great thing with leather, if you take care of it and have it regularly cleaned and dyed, it will have that new look for a long time.



Friday, June 10, 2011

Patagonia Shoes Redyed

These Patagonia shoes were brown with cream colored trim on the side. The customer wanted me to change the color to solid black. I noticed that the leather had a finish that is very receptive to dyeing and I felt that I could deliver a good result to the customer.

Below are the results after cleaning and redyeing. I have to say, they turned out very well.  If you didn't know it, you would think the customer had bought a new pair of shoes.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Gucci Purse Redyed

This all leather white Gucci purse was brought to us recently to have cleaned. The customer used the purse a lot and it was very dirty. After discussing our restoration process with her, she realized that we not only could clean the purse, but we could change the color as well. She decided to have the purse dyed black so the dirt would not show as easily. 

The straps were the dirtiest part. Because the leather was made soft and 
flexible it required a lot of detail work to get into all the creases. 

Here's a picture of the top inside before cleaning.

Below is a closeup shot of the bottom before cleaning. 

The redying went well. In fact it was so black that it's hard to see the detail in this picture.

This is a better closeup of the straps.

Below is the top inside after dying.

This is a good picture of the detail of the leather and how well the dyeing process looked. You would never know that this purse used to be white. The customer was very pleased.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Antique Briefcase Restored

This briefcase was mailed to me. I didn't know the age but I would suspect it was at least 50 years old. The challenge was to clean and recondition the leather without damaging it. The edges were frayed and very dry. 

Here's a picture of the back, which was in better shape than the front.

As you can see when lifting the flap, the under part was protected from most of the damage.

Below is the restored briefcase. 
This process took many hours. I cleaned it with a mild detergent, then treated it with leather conditioners. 

Matching the color was very tricky. I blended the colors to best match the original.

After refinishing, I treated with a sealant, which will protect the briefcase from further stains. 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Antique Purse Restored

This antique purse was mailed to me with the challenge of renewing the fabric back to the original white color. It has a very unique weave and the top looked like it was made out of ivory. 

There were some oxidized oil stains on the front and back. These kind of stains can be very tricky to remove.

As shown in the pictures below, I was successful in removing the stains and restoring the color. 

This kind of restoration usually takes about 2 weeks to complete depending on 
how difficult the stains are to remove.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Coach purse cleaned and redyed

This purse was bought to us heavily soiled and had ink marks on it.

As you can see the corners were worned and very dirty.

After cleaning and redying the purse was back to like new condition. And all the ink marks are gone.

You can see the corners are clean and redyed.

The top buckles are polished and the leather strap is re-oiled.


This customer has had several purses restored by us. We have won her confidence. Now instead of getting rid of her purses when they get too dirty to use she sends them to us to retore them.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Designer Purse Restored

The story behind this purse is a little different from what I usually hear. The customer told me that this purse had been stolen and later found by the police. When it was recovered, it was muddy and in very poor condition . Since it was one of her favorite purses and was valued around $500.00, she wanted it restored. She brought it to the right place.

I thought I would start by showing you the purse after I restored it. To see the pictures before cleaning, scroll down to the bottom of the page. It turned out great and the customer was well pleased.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Restoring Red Suede Sweater Jacket

 Here is another example of a suede jacket that had been cleaning improperly by another cleaner and was brought to me to restore. Again notice the faded out color and if you could feel it, it is stiff and hard to the touch. 

Never accept this kind of work. If this is the best they can do, they are not a leather and suede specialist. Leather and suede have to be cleaned in solutions that remove the soil but replace the natural oils and finish. If the color is lightened after cleaning, then redyeing is done to restore the color.

Below is the same suede jacket fully restored.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Wilson Leather Jacket

This Wilson suede jacket was brought to me after it was cleaned by another dry cleaners. The customer was very upset because after it was cleaned the color and finish was faded out. The customer heard of my expertise in leather care, so they came by and asked if I could redye it the way it was. I looked it over and said no problem.

It was obvious to me that the previous cleaner had no experience in cleaning leather properly. This is a common mistake by dry cleaners who think that leather can be treated the same as fabric. Leather can be dry cleaned so long as the proper additives and treatments are used. But that is only half the job. The other half is where the leather oils and dyes are reapplied so that the finish is a "like new" look.
As you can see here in this closeup of the collar, the color is faded out and if you could feel the suede, it was dried out and hard to the touch.

This is a result of the oils being removed in the cleaning process by the previous cleaner. If properly treated after cleaning, the leather would have been redyed and the oils put back. Water repellent can also be applied to the suede to protect it from future liquid stains or rain damage.

 Below are pictures after I redyed and properly finished the jacket.

These closeups show how much better the dyes look and if you could feel the jacket you would notice the softness is back.

The lesson is -
Never take your suede and leather to someone who is not a leather and suede specialist.