It is certainly true what they say that beauty really does run skin deep, and your Chanel bag is no exception to the rule. The plethora of style choices is just the beginning when it comes to choosing your new CC arm candy, and a non-negotiable element is ensuring you make the right choice between the array of skins and materials available. A chameleon in colours, the same model in a different material, or leather can change the entire aesthetic of the bag itself, bestowing a different look and feel. Just like our very own varying skin regimes, these iconic beauties need their own proper handling and care to ensure they maintain their flawless magnificence.
From the classic Caviar to retired Exotic Leathers, Deerskin to Aged Calfskin, the diverse range of leathers used throughout Chanel’s range of desired handbags allows for every and any preference when choosing your next bag. Some types of leather are far too similar and are very difficult to differentiate especially for a first-time buyer. We are here to advise you on some of the best-selling skins and provide an essential guide on how to take the best care of them.
Buttery soft, supple and smooth, Chanel Lambskin is notably the most popular choice out of all the skins boasting a natural luminous sheen. A sophisticated leather, lambskin offers a much more luxurious finish adding that final finesse to the wearer’s look and outfit. If you’re colour hungry then this is the skin for you, a more porous leather, it is a master at taking on dye offering the richest brights and the darkest blacks.
How to Care for Chanel Lambskin Leather Bags?
Lambskin leather is treated as little as possible to preserve its suppleness and unique softness. Unfortunately, this delicate, untreated texture has its downsides – it can wear and tear much quicker than other materials on the market and marks can appear much easier despite being handled with care. The fact this bag can be more prone to damage than other leathers, means the storage and care for it are of utmost importance.
- It is critical to store Chanel Lambskin bags with the chains tucked inside to prevent denting the leather.
- Small scratches can be easily buffed out either with your finger (the natural oils in your skin help) or with the buffing cloth that comes with the bag.
- Deeper scratches, stains, or rubbing on the corners of the bag are less easily fixed and will need to be sent to a Chanel specialist.
Chanel Caviar Leather
A more resilient option than Lambskin, Caviar leather will stand the test of time as a daily durable go-to for many women. If you are looking for an everyday run around bag, Chanel Caviar with its scratch and water-resistant surface couldn't be more perfect. Slightly heavier than Lambskin, the grained leather with the pebbled finish is a more structured bag that performs well on the second-hand market with its popularity coming from its robustness.
How to Care for Chanel Caviar Leather Bags?
- Chanel’s iconic diamond quilt, Caviar holds its structure better than Lambskin.
- Light coloured Caviar bags can still discolour. Keep away from denim, dark colours and highly textured clothing. Often the back pocket on Chanel classic flaps is the first to fade when repeatedly coming into contact with rougher textures.
- Nourish with a quality leather conditioner once a year.
- Keep away from water - fine for a little drizzle, not so much in a torrential downpour. If it does get wet, wipe with a dry microfibre cloth and leave it to dry out on its own.
The ultimate compromise, the perfect combination of Caviar and Lambskin is the Calfskin, soft to the touch yet delightfully durable. Made from calf hide, this skin comes with a very fine grain which elevates the feel with a touch of elegance and is a popular choice for everyday wear. The most well-known style this is used for is the quilted BOY bag; Calfskin leather is one of the brand's more versatile materials and comes in different forms such as Aged Calfskin and Metallic leather.
How to care for Chanel Calfskin Leather Bags?
- Due to the softness of this skin, storage is key for longevity. Back in the box, stored in a dry cupboard or room.
- Keep the chain away from the leather when in storage as it can cause denting.
Chanel Iridescent Lambskin Leather
Unique in colour and overall look and feel, Iridescent Leather bags are not your every day, every outfit kind of bag; these stand-out pieces are made for those extra special occasions and one-off OOTD’s. The final pearl finish of this particular leather makes the vibrant colours stand out like no other leather or material making this skin a favourite choice for those bold fashionistas. The beauty of these is the surprising hint of certain colours that shine through depending on the lighting, creating what some would call the ultimate one off, bespoke bag.
How to care for Chanel Iridescent Lambskin Bags?
- Iridescent Lambskin is a lot softer than Iridescent Caviar making it significantly more fragile.
- Regular Lambskin has a reputation for being quite fragile. However, due to the sheen, Iridescent Lambskin can better hide any visible flaws over time.
What is the proper way to store your Chanel handbag?
- Never use your bag in the rain, but if it does get wet, wipe dry with a soft, dye-free cloth and allow it to dry naturally.
- Remove the contents and turn them upside down to shake free any dust or debris.
- Pad the inside of the bag with clean dry padding like white tissue paper or bubble wrap so it keeps its shape whilst being stored.
- Place as much of the chain as you can inside the bag.
- Close the flap and fasten the clasp.
- Put the bag inside its clean dust bag.
- Bags are better stored in dustbags standing up, not inside the boxes
- Store in a room temperature wardrobe which is damp-free and humidity free.
- Avoid storing your bags in extreme warm or cold conditions and nowhere either too dry or damp, for instance, avoid lofts, cellars, bathrooms, airing cupboards, or windowsills.
How to remove a dent from a Chanel Lambskin Leather Bag?
Carefully placed your new Chanel bag in the box, only to return and find the lambskin dented from where the chain touched the bag? It happens to the best of us and is every collector's nightmare. The best solution is to take the bag out of the box and the dustbag, to tuck the chain in and to leave it standing upright for a few weeks (far from direct sunlight). This should let the bag "breathe" and the leather will puff up in no time. This trick works better for new bags rather than vintage. For vintage pieces, it's all part of the charm and their history - and the thicker leather is often flatter than modern versions with less "puff" to the quilting.
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