So, you bought the Birkin, now what? Whether it’s rendered in shiny Niloticus Crocodile or in Chevre de Coromandel leather, it still needs to be treated with care to preserve its luster for years to come. Protecting it from the elements and properly storing it when it’s not in use can help keep it looking its best. These tips will help you get the most out of all your handbags for years to come. 

Prep your bag for storage. There is a reason why hardware is always wrapped up or tucked into the bag before it is sold. It prevents the hardware from getting scratched and prevents the hardware from scratching the bag. Tuck any chains or loose hardware inside the bag to prevent it from scratching the leather. Wrap embellished bags in tissue paper to protect the embellishments from snagging on the dust bag. Stuff your handbag with paper tissue or even a soft pillow to help your bag maintain its form and prevent the leather from creasing when the bag is not in use.

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Don’t throw away your box. The boxes are made for storage and your bag should fit properly inside without scrunching the handles. Place the handbag in the dust bag and store it in its box. If you bought the handbag pre-owned and the bag does not have its own storage box, store your bag in its dust bag so that the handles are not compromised and so that it’s not touching anything else. A patent leather bag can transfer onto other surfaces and it can’t be repaired once the patent transfers. Also, always store your handbags in a cool, dry place and away from direct sunlight.

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Keep your bag clean and dry. If your exotic leather bag gets wet for any reason, pat the bag gently with a soft cotton cloth and then allow it to air-dry naturally. Do not use soap and water. Do not rub it. You will spread the wet spot or stain if you do. Always pat with the grain of the skin – never against it. Also, do not try to dry the bag with heat. You will damage the leather if you try to speed up the drying process.

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Remember, leather is a skin and just like your skin it is affected by the weather. Your handbag can get dry and start to age if you don’t take proper care of it. Take it to a leather spa to have your bag properly cleaned and conditioned once a year to keep it looking like new. Minor creasing may still occur with use. Python scales may lift over time. This is the skin’s natural reaction to the elements. These are not defects of the leather or quality of the bag. However, leather that has cracked due to dryness or scales that have flipped up cannot be repaired.