Leather is hard-wearing as well as luxurious, and a leather purse that's well taken care of can last a lifetime. However, leather purses are subject to wear and tear, and they often develop creases and wrinkles that can ruin their appearance. If you don't attempt to get out wrinkles and refresh the leather with an appropriate conditioner, they will get worse over time and can even turn into cracks that can't be fixed. While you might be tempted to use water or steam to get wrinkles out of leather as you would for other types of fabric, do not try this with leather. Instead, try gentler methods to fix a wrinkled leather purse.
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Remove Wrinkles Using Gravity
A gentle and risk-free method for fixing a wrinkled leather purse is to naturally stretch the leather back into shape using gravity. This approach is a good choice when fixing a leather purse that has become wrinkled while sitting on a shelf or in storage. Prepare by stuffing the purse with crumpled newspaper, bubble wrap or other soft stuffing to mold it back to its original shape.
Hang the purse from a clothes hanger, either by its handles or using a clip-style hanger clipped to the upper part of the purse. Protect the leather from the clips by placing pieces of fabric or several layers of tissue paper between the clips and leather. Also be sure to hang it in a place without direct sunlight. Let the purse hang so that its weight gets redistributed, letting gravity naturally pull out the wrinkles. This might take several days to a week or more.
Apply Heat With a Hair Dryer
Just as a hot iron removes wrinkles from clothes, heat can help get wrinkles out of a leather purse. With this approach, start with the relatively low, indirect heat of a hair dryer and alternate heating the wrinkled part of the leather and smoothing it out with your hands.
Hold the hair dryer approximately 10 inches from the purse and start with a low heat setting. Apply heat for approximately 30 seconds at a time, smoothing with your hands between heating sessions. Switch to hotter settings only if necessary.
Apply Heat With a Dry Iron
If gravity and the heat of a hair dryer are insufficient to get the wrinkles out of a leather purse, you can very carefully use an iron. Make sure you have the steam setting turned off and that the iron is empty of any water, which could permanently damage the leather. Use the iron only on the coolest possible setting and always place a protective layer of cotton fabric between the iron and the leather. A pillowcase, dish towel or T-shirt would be appropriate.
Arrange the wrinkled part of the purse on an ironing board so that the leather is as flat as possible, place the protective layer over the wrinkles and gently press it with the iron while keeping the iron moving. It might help to iron the inside of the wrinkled part of the purse too if it's possible to do so. Lift the fabric layer to inspect the leather frequently and stop ironing as soon as the wrinkles have lifted.
Restore the Leather
After using any heat treatment on leather, whether a hair dryer or an iron, it's important to apply a leather conditioner to the purse. This will rehydrate the leather, keep it looking its best and help it remain in good condition for the future. Many brands and types of leather conditioners are available, including solid, cream and liquid formulas. Follow the manufacturer's instructions, which will generally instruct you to buff the product into the leather with a soft cloth.