Caring for your shoes, bags & accessories

All things we love deserve a bit of TLC (tender loving care!) including our shoes, handbags, hats and watches!

Here are some tips and tricks in how to make sure your shoes and bags love you as much as you love them.

Use a water protector

How to clean smooth leather

How to look after suede or nubuck

How to clean patent shoes or bags

How to keep leather supple

Looking after long boots

Use dustbags for bags

How to look after your bags

How to clean satin bags

How to clean PU shoes and bags

How to store shoes

What is specchio

How to look after jewellery

How to look after hats

How to travel with Helen Kaminski hats

Use a water protector

Spray new shoes and handbags with a water protector. This will protect them against dirt and moisture. We recommend Collonil's Waterstop, applied 2-3 times from a distance of about 20cm before use. Just give them a nice light spray, without wetting, and allowing it to dry in between.

As the waterproofing efficiency wears off with use, you should keep up the waterproofing on a regular basis.

Collonil's Waterstop is a great product for smooth leather, suede, nubuck, and high tech materials and textiles (such as canvas, silk and satin).

 

How to clean smooth leather

Remove dirt by cleanng with a leather cleaner made specifically for smooth leathers. We recommend Collonil's Shampoo which cleans all materials.

 

Once dry, reapply Collonil's Waterstop

Be very aware of cleaning stains as certain leathers like vachetta will absorb the goods you are using to get rid of stains and create a whole new stain.

Always test on an inconspicuous part of the goods before tackling a large stain. Only use products designed for the material of your goods.

 

How to look after suede or nubuck

Waterproof your suede or nubuck with a water protector such as Collonil's Nubuck + Velours Classic Spray, following the directions on the can.

Always test on an inconspicuous part of the goods before tackling a large stain. Only use products designed for the material of your goods.

Suede erasers or cleaning blocks can used to remove deeply embedded dirt.

After cleaning, use a suede brush. These brushes normally have two sides - one is a rubbery side and the other side has fine copper bristles, and they are designed to be used with a light touch, in order to restore the natural.

 

How to clean patent shoes and bags

Patent is a treated leather with a high gloss finish. Maintain shine and elasticity of patent leather using Collonil's Patent Lack Mousse Classic Protection. Never store patent touching patent. In shoes, ensure the shoes are either kept in their box separated from each other with packaging.

Worth trying on patent is eucalyptus oil. Always test on an inconspicuous part of the goods before tackling a large mark.

Put some eucalyptus oil on a soft lint free cloth and gently rub over the scuff until it disappears.

 

Keep leather goods supple

Leather is a natural product, and to keep it supple it is advisable to use a leather care product from time to time. Consider a product like Leather Dew for all non-suede leathers. LeatherDew is a special blend of oils and waxes to clean, soften and protect leather.

 

Use a shaper in your long boots

If you have long boots where the length of the boot flops down, consider stuffing the boots with a Booty Shaper or the like to ensure the stand upright. This will protect the leather from creasing.

 

Store bags in their dustbags

Keep your handbags in their protective dustbags when not in use. If you do not have a dustbag, ensure that patent is not sitting next to patent, as colour may rub off.

Keep your bag away from storage in direct sunlight, and do not allow it to come in contact with alcohol or solvents.

 

Look after your bag when in use

 

How to clean satin bags

Always protect your satin bags before use. We recommend Collonil's Waterstop, applied 2-3 times from a distance of about 20cm before use. Just give them a nice light spray, without wetting, and allowing it to dry in between.

Be aware of keeping the trim, or decoration of the bag free from a protector. The best way to do this is to use cling wrap or masking tape over the detailing before spraying.

Stained delicate fabrics might be best taken to a specialist drycleaner. Also consider Collonil's Shampoo which cleans all materials.

It is best on a satin/silk bag to not spot clean, but to all over clean in order to avoid water marks.

 

How to clean PU shoes and bags

Wipe the surface clean with a damp (not wet) cloth. Never use household cleaners on PU as they are often abrasive and can cause colour loss and remove the surface on PU or PVC.

For conspicuous marks always remember to patch test on a non-visible part of the bag:

spray hairspray on the mark and then wipe off with a soft cloth. Some inks can be removed using a white eraser straight away. Chux magic eraser can also work well on dark colours

lipstick: vegetable oil may work well

 

How to store shoes in shoe boxes

You should top to tail your shoes in their box, separate each from the other with the tissue paper provided by the manufacturer. Ensure the heels are facing out.

If the manufacturer provided plastic for the shoes, sheath them in these, but only if you still have the silica gel that absorbs moisture to put inside. If you do not have the silica gel, you may find that your shoes sweat in the bag and become damaged.

Material bags are best for storage in a box.

If there are still plastic sticks inside the shoes, remove these from the shoes gently and dispose of. If left in the boxes these can scratch your shoes.

Most fashion shoes these days come with extra heel tips. Ensure your shoes do not sit on these in the box as they may damage the finish.

 

What specchio is, and how to look after it

Specchio (SPECK-ee-oh) is the Italian word for mirror. In shoes this refers to a mirror like finish to leather that is both reflective and metallic. It is truly a gorgeous finish, and like all delicate materials, needs special attention.

Store your specchio finished shoes in their box, separated by the tissue paper provided by the manufacturer. Always top to tail your shoes in the box, heels facing out. If the manufacturer provided plastic for the shoes, sheath them in these, but only if you still have the silica gel that absorbs moisture to put inside.

Material bags are best for storage in a box.

 

How to look after jewellery

How to look after Hats
  • Make sure you have clean hands when you touch your hat
  • Always use two hands to pick up the hat by its brim either front and back or side and side
  • Never pick up the hat by its crown
  • Store your hat in a cool dry place, out of direct sunlight
  • Preferably put your hats in hard hat box to keep dust etc off the hat
  • Store in hat boxes with lots of acid free white tissue paper to buffer it - if the hat has a solid crown, store crown side down

How to Travel with Helen Kaminski Hats

ROLLING YOUR FUR FELT HAT

Fold the hat alolng the centre from front to back (Figure 1)
Starting at the front of the hat gently roll towards the back (Figure2)
Helen Kaminski How To Roll a Felt Hat

ROLLING YOUR RAFIA BRAID VISOR

Selected visors can be rolled for travel - recommended for short term travel and not long term storage
Place the visor with the back opening facing towards you. Untie the ribbons and position so they extend above the top of the visor. The elastic band should also be pulled up so that it is positioned above the top of the visor (Figure 1 and 1a)
Roll the visor in towards the centre, keeping the ribbon and elastic above the top of the visor (Figure 2)
Wrap the ribbons around visor (Figure 3) with elastic band over the top (Figure 3a)
Secure the visor by tying a bow or a knot (Figure 4)
Helen Kaminski How To Roll A Visor

ROLLING YOUR RAFIA CROCHET HAT

Rafia crochet hats can be rolled for easy packing and transport by using the following method:
Untie raffia string and lay hat flat with the crown tucked into itself (Figures 1 and 2)
Roll edge of hat towards the centre, starting with the right side (Figure 3)
Roll left side on top of the right creating a somewhat conical shape (Figure 4)
Wrap ends of raffia string around hat and tie to secure (Figure 5)
Helen Kaminski How To Roll Raffia Crochet Hat