- 08 Nov 2018
How to protect your handbag in the rain...
In the UK right now, the weather has turned. Late Autumn (Fall!) is upon us, and rain is something we just have to accept. We're cosy in our warm coats and protected with umbrellas, but what about our precious, and often expensive, leather handbags?
A quality leather handbag can be a significant investment for your wardrobe. It goes with you everywhere, holds your essentials, fills you with stylish confidence and becomes part of who you are.
But alas, those high quality materials are delicate, and really don't like the rain or damp weather!
First things first. Many people assume that leather handbags come pre-treated to repel moisture. Unfortunately this is NOT TRUE! (Same with shoes, isn't that crazy?!) Unless your handbag comes with a tag or leaflet specifically saying that it has been weatherproofed, you need to assume that the leather and finish on the bag is not water protected.
Rain, hail or snow can cause water spots, can cause the leather to harden or warp out of shape, and it can also cause loose dye to run into your clothing or furniture.
Here are a few of my favourite ways to protect dearly loved handbags;
- Renapur Leather Balsam – I first discovered this brand at Badminton Horse Trials where the Renapur team blew me away with a demo on a pair of red leather boots I was wearing. The colour was revived and the finish lasted a long time, nourishing and protecting the leather from stains, grease and water. A little goes a LONG way with this, and is great for treating all kinds of smooth or grain leather handbags, as well as shoes, clothing, sofas...! I'm working on stocking this on our website too - watch this space. (Available here https://www.renapur.com/)
- Collonil Leather Gel - Recommended by handbag brand Mulberry, and now a favourite of ours too! An easy to use gentle gel that improves water resistance and repellence. Can be used on smooth and gain leather, and will nourish and activate colour with every application. (Available here https://jenniferhamley.com/products/leather-care-gel)
- ScotchGard - I remember getting my first pair of Nubuck boots when I was about 8 years old and getting a can of ScotchGard with them. I was amazed by how it made my beautiful new boots repel water, and I still remember the smell vividly! (Spray in a well ventilated area, I'm not sure I did at the time!) Great for handbags made from Nubuck, Suede or any other 'rough' finish leather. (Available here https://www.scotchgard.com)
- Vectra Spray - More for our friends over in the USA and Canada. I've not used this myself, but have heard some glowing reports for use to protect leather (including suedes and nubuck). The spray works by sinking into the fabric fibers instead of forming a skin over the top layer of the handbag material - much like Scotchgard. (Available here http://www.vectraspray.com
- The Handbag Raincoat – When I first saw these, I laughed out loud. Then I realised how useful they could be in a place that has a LOT of rain (hello UK.) What is essentially a mini plastic poncho, the handbag raincoat has been adopted by big fashion houses and appeared on catwalks for 2018. Chanel sold out almost instantly with their design, despite the price tag of £450!! Maybe I should add one to my collection after all!! (Original 'Handbag Raincoat' available in multiple sizes at https://www.handbagraincoat.com/) (Sold Out Chanel design found on eBay https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CHANEL-RUNWAY-CC-LOGO-CAMELLIA-PRINT-HANDBAG-RAINCOAT-/123364181117)
What do you think? Should I design a handbag raincoat collection for next winter? I'm pretty keen!