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Bag It! A guide to handbag and purse care

As Seen in...InStyle Magazine

theCoutureCleanerSeen In InStyle

Suede Dye Transfer Before

theCOUTURECLEANER is pleased to be able to share this useful information with our friends and customers. Chuck Horst had the pleasure of being quoted in the March 2009 InStyle Magazine in a short article on denim. We also happened to have had the opportunity to take before and after photos of a purse we cleaned recently which had been damaged by dye transfer, the subject of the "question."

Q How do I remove blue dye stains from my shoes and bags?

A The trade-off to supersaturated indigo jeans is that the dye process for such a dark finish doesn’t always set well, according to Chuck Horst, one of the founding partners of theCOUTURECLEANER and an owner of Margaret's Cleaners in La Jolla, California. Before wearing those new jeans with light accessories, make sure they've been washed at least eight times to prevent color transference. If smudging does occur, you'll need to take the damaged item to a cleaning specialist, who will use chemicals to lift the dye without altering the original hue of your purse or pumps. Expect to pay at least $40. Both leather and suede can be saved, but it will take a fairy godmother to restore PVC-coated canvas items to stain-free status.

More about denim & dye transfer...

  • When dye transfers from one fabric or material to another, it is termed "crocking." The indigo dye used in denim is difficult and time-consuming to apply during the manufacturing process. Even when done properly, "fugitive" dye often results and subsequently causes crocking, as illustrated in the before photograph above.
  • This fugitive dye problem occurs regardless of the culprit garment's cost or brand name. Usual dye fixation remedies are not useful with indigo dye due to its non-ionic nature. The only method of rendering denim "safe" is to remove the excess dye with multiple washings. To determine if fugitive dye is still an issue in your garment, perform a crocking test by rubbing the denim with a bright white piece of fabric.
  • At theCOUTURECLEANER we have had great success removing dye transfer from leather, cloth and suede handbags. However, our success with PVC (vinyl over canvas) and patent leather has been very limited. Once dye penetrates the clear coating, it cannot be removed or repaired. So be very careful with PVC or patent accessories when you’re wearing a new blue denim garment.

Suede purse after cleaningIf you have any questions about care and cleaning of your fine handbags and garments please feel free to contact us!

Video Conference Link theCOUTURE CLEANER is also pleased to announce our complimentary webcam conference service. If you have a problem garment and a webcam we can perform a live on-line consultation. Just click the link here Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 3:30pm Pacific time.


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