We specialize in the technical repair and restoration of high-quality leather goods, including vintage and designer items. Authentic leather goods of any variety are always welcome to visit us at The Grey Spa.
Listed below are the services we offer for handbags and small leather goods along with starting prices. Please contact us via the 'quote request' page with details about your item to receive an estimate and further information about booking into The Spa. If you require a service we have not listed, please reach out to inquire; we're always adding to our repertoire. We look forward to restoring and reviving your loved and preloved pieces.
Vintage + Antique
Any Authentic Item
E X T E R I O R
Also known as edge glaze or ink, this flexible synthetic coating is used in handbag construction to provide a beautiful finish and durability to raw leather edges. It is very common for this to crack or peel over time. We have perfected this multi-step application over years and utilize professional-grade products to provide a beautiful new edge.
Straps + Handles
Straps and handles take the most stress and deterioration with use. We have the ability to repair or recreate straps and handles to match, with a range of leather types, custom colour matching and impeccable hardware sourcing. This includes chaps and tabs where the straps are attached to the body of the bag. We can also shorten or lengthen straps/handles to tailor your bag to your body-type and preferred style, including crossbody conversion.
Leather is one of the most hardwearing materials available, but it can also be delicate. It is prone to scratches, wear, dryness, cracks and even mould with too much humidity. Proper conditioning provides the correct moisture level and improves the look, feel and durability of an item. We have a variety of products suitable for different finishes and leather types, including most exotics. We can also treat items for water resistance and colour transfer going forward if requested.
Piping is the narrow, round edged trim common to bag bottoms and corners. Usually made from leather with a plastic or fibre core, piping can wear through and expose the internal core. We have methods of filling and blending small tears, or replacing the piping completely if necessary.
Deep Clean + Staining
Colour transfer from dark denim, spills, ink and watermarks can all be improved through our various cleaning and conditioning methods. If a stain cannot be removed through cleaning, it can be recoloured and sealed to give a fresh appearance.
We use a carefully researched combination of professional-grade products to refresh faded colour, hide stubborn stains and correct scuffing. We can also completely change the colour of an item if desired. We have the ability to colour match any item, including neons. Our approach to colouration involves a 'less is more' philosophy to retain the original 'temper' and handfeel of the leather; taking special care around stitching and hardware.
Corner wear and scuffing are the most common issues we see with handbags. Even the most well-cared for bags will eventually see small marks on the corners. We can carefully smooth, fill and recolour corners to make your bag look brand new and completely refreshed. We use fine art brushes to provide light, even coverage and avoid colouring any exposed stitching.
Stitching is truly the heart of leather craft and a crucial aspect of handbag construction. We've perfected the art of saddle stitching; the traditional two-needle sewing method created for equestrian tack and elevated by Hermès. We also have three specialty industrial sewing machines to match any type of machine-stitching. We source thread from a variety of quality purveyors to create an invisible repair.
We are obsessed with details and hardware is no exception. We have authentic replacement hardware and excellent quality unbranded pieces to match any item. We source only high-quality parts and zippers with beautiful thick plating (nickel, gold tone + gold) or solid brass. We use zippers from the same manufacturers as the major design houses. We source period correct parts for vintage pieces to retain an authentic look.
I N T E R I O R
Leaky water bottles, food spills, makeup, ink, melted candy, perfume, cigarette smoke - we've seen it all. We have a range of comprehensive cleaning products and techniques so that your item will be hygienic and fresh. Please note that we cannot guarantee all stains can be removed completely but we will provide you with further details in your quote and assessment.
Rips + Tears
Pocket wear and tear, broken zippers, missing pull tabs and damaged interior lining can all make your item less functional. We can mend these small flaws to make your bag work for you. We can also create custom inserts for your item from high-quality felt or leather which helps keep you organized and your bag interior looking fab.
Sometimes linings are worn beyond repair and they should be replaced altogether. We can replace the lining to be as close to the original as possible or guide you through custom colours, pocket configurations and the best materials to use for form and function.
L O U I S V U I T T O N
Vachetta is the fine-grained, veg tan leather that is used for trim and accents on almost all monogram items. Prone to water spots, staining, cracking and uneven patina, it's a point of contention for dealers and collectors alike. We can rebuild and recreate vachetta pieces to restore bags that aren't accepted by the official channels.
Creating invisible restoration is always our goal, and thread sourcing is an important aspect of that. We've spent many hours and many spools making sure that the signature LV yellow is spot on. This colour has changed shades and weights throughout the years, so we have an era-specific thread to perfectly match your vintage or modern item.
Coated canvas is the material that made Louis Vuitton what is it today. The material is very durable until it does inevitably crack. Small hairline cracks can be glued and filled. Larger cracks or missing canvas can be filled and pattern matched. Beyond that, custom solutions can be created for vintage or damaged items which need further reinforcement.
We have a back stock of salvaged, branded LV hardware; rivets, zipper pulls, d-rings, buckles and feet. We also have period-correct unbranded options; in either solid brass, nickel and gold-tone to match. When working on restorations, we strive to reuse the hardware original to your item. We also source period correct zippers, in either solid brass or plated metal.
We are able to mend and restore small cracks in the coated canvas that LV is famous for. However, we also offer custom solutions for bags that could not otherwise be worked on. We understand the importance of sentimental pieces and love the challenge of giving new life to vintage items.
Alcantara is a synthetic ultrasuede fabric used in luxury automobiles + yachts. This lining fabric is used in many LV pieces, so we've acquired specialty cleaning and care products. If the material is ripped or stained beyond restoration, we are also able to rebuild interiors in authentic, official Alcantara. If you'd prefer a custom colour, we can also offer protected suede, such as the rose-pink replacement pictured above.
C H A N E L
We've perfected the 'simple stitch' that's prone to popping on flap bags. Compared to the official after-care services, we offer a quick turnaround as opposed to months spent without your favourite item. This service is non-invasive and does not 'alter' your item or affect your ability to receive future 'official' spa services.
Caviar is a textured leather that is made from grained calfskin. If you are looking for more of an every day bag, caviar offers a lot more wear resistance than lambskin. However, it's still susceptible to corner wear and scratches. Some of the best discontinued Chanel bags come in caviar, such as the GST. Preserving and restoring these wonderful pieces is our pleasure.
We love the iconic details of Chanel and nothing says 'classic' like the beautifully woven leather and chain strap. If the strap has only light wear, we can restore the existing leather with recolouration and conditioning. If it is worn beyond restoration, we can replace this leather with the same type, width, fold and colour to retain an authentic look to your item.
As with any leather, careless recolouring will ruin the hand feel of the piece and tiny stitches can fill up with pigment. Chanel bags have very tight stitching and are usually made from soft leathers that can be ruined by incorrect products very easily. We dye and recolour carefully, and build up colour slowly to retain proper temper, even on very vintage pieces.
In the world of delicate luxury handbags, Chanel lambskin is notorious. It has varied in durability over the years but is very soft and supple, prone to scratches, wear and colour loss. The fine grain of the leather means that over conditioning will ruin it, but dryness can be equally destructive. We have the specialty products necessary to retain the fine beauty of these precious pieces.
We can source perfectly matched hardware, such as the stud backs on the Boy strap pictured above. The pink strap is original, and the black strap features the replacement backs we sourced to match rhodium hardware. We were able to offer these for less than half the price quoted by Chanel, and these will not alter the bag permanently. We also have chain shorteners, custom chain lengths, and custom grommets.
S P E C I A L T Y
Are you looking to totally revamp your item or design a fully custom accessory? We've been designing, patterning and sewing for over a decade. We have access to both authentic and complimentary materials: coated canvas, vachetta, saffiano, caviar, epi, etc as well as a range of hardware. This could mean new straps, making your bag convertible or something completely new. Tell us what you have in mind and let's work together to bring your ideas to life.
We are passionate about contributing to a circular economy and always aiming for zero waste solutions. If your bag is beyond repair, we can design upcycled solutions for your item to keep it in use. This could mean coin pouches, pochettes, portable mirrors, bag charms or keychains made from leather or coated canvas.
We create custom monograms, stripes or colour schemes for your items. We also work with previously customized bags (those with monograms or hot stamps) to make them yours, either through removal or cover ups. Let's work together to bring your vision to reality through hand-painted details.