"In art, the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can imagine." — Ralph Waldo Emerson
This was the case with a very expensive semi-aniline handbag presented to me for cleaning recently. The leather was heavily soiled by natural body oils from regular handling, and it also had a number of watermarks. Some of the stains were permanent, i.e. unable to be removed by cleaning.
The bag not only represented a significant investment but was also very much loved by its owner, who wanted to know if I could not only remove the stains but also add a protective finish. I explained that this was possible but that the protective finish might not have quite the same soft feel, or hand.
The photos below show the results from recolouring and applying a protective finish to the bag, but best of all—and to my client's great delight—the leather felt as soft and as luxurious as before!