Repairs – Real Life Sustainability

Buy wisely, buy once. This is a sustainability mantra and one which we wholeheartedly support. In choosing a Tusting bag, which can be repaired by the very craftspeople who created it for you, you acquire a bag that can take several decades of hard work through the combination of quality construction and the availability of our repair service.

When we say we are committed to our bags for as long as you own them, we really mean that, and we have a steady supply of old bags coming in for restoration after many years of a well-loved but hard life. Usually, a little repairing here and there is all that is required to refresh the binding, brassware or tabs and a good feed and polish will do wonders for a slightly dried-out and scratched-up bag. These old bags just need some tender loving care from Tusting and they can come back fighting.

The process usually begins with an email from a concerned customer to report that their precious companion is getting rather worse for wear and asking if we can repair it.

Almost always, the answer is a simple ‘yes’. But every case is different and we need to have a closer look before we can say absolutely that it can be repaired, and how much we may need to charge for the work. So, we’ll generally ask for a set of photographs of the worn areas as well as the whole bag and take it from there.

The typical areas of wear are the binding, handles, pocket insertions and the metal parts. On our satchel styles, the tabs sometimes get stretched when worked hard, and usually benefit from being replaced. The amazing strength of our leathers is often displayed in older bags, where the metal rings for the shoulder straps have often worn more than the (clearly much softer) leather.

We’ll always try to re-bind and do repairs with leathers that match how your bag looks now rather than how it looked when new, to achieve a good colour blend and therefore not change the character of the bag. Our aim is just to deliver back a younger, fitter version of the bag. Wouldn’t it be good if we could also offer this service to humans!!

Here’s a little photo diary of a refurbishment on a nice old Melchbourne briefcase, with each pair of shots showing the bag before and after restoration. This case, which is about ten years old, came in having given daily service – the binding was beginning to wear through on the corners and the brass loops that take the shoulder strap had worn through and been lost. The front closure tabs were also looking rather worse for wear. On top of all this, although the bag itself was perfectly sound, it looked rather dry and scratched, so generally in need of a bit of TLC.

First thing’s first. The binding and any other worn-out trimmings are removed and replaced with carefully-chosen pieces of leather to match, as closely as possible, the original bag. This alone has a remarkable effect on the bag as it removes at a stroke most of the tatty bits that make a worn bag look rather tired. The bottom corners in particular often show wear after brushing along all the floors, tables and chairs that a bag sees in its life.

Then any brassware that needs to be replaced is changed (we have special versions for retro-fitting so that the bag doesn’t need to be totally taken apart).

Finally, the reassembled bag is given a good feed and polish – not so much that all the character so long-collected is erased (though this would be barely possible anyway) but just enough to make it feel and look a little younger, ready for another ten years of service!

If you have a older Tusting bag that might benefit from some sympathetic restoration, please do not hesitate to contact our customer care team via our Contact Us form for advice and a quote.

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