Chanel Color Transfer: What You Need To Know About The Lambskin Leather bags!

chanel classic flap handbag green colour color transfer results gold hardware

Chanel Color Transfer: What You Need To Know!!!

Hello friends, first of all, I LOVE my Chanel bags, I always dreamed of owning one and somehow I ended up with a small collection. I use them and love them, but I try to take care of them. I’m not the kinda Chanel shopper who buys them and keeps them pristine like a toy collector, I buy them, love them, use them and try my darnest to keep them nice, without babying them. Obviously if you want to take your Chanel bags to clubs, you go girl! On the flip side, if you want to keep them in a vault and look at them once a year with white gloves on, that’s totally up to you! It’s your luxury purchase and you have the right to enjoy them however you want to! I’m just telling you how I use them, so that you know how I care for them when you see the images in this post. Does that make sense?! So, today I’m chatting about Chanel Color / Colour transfer, showing you my bag and hopefully giving you a little guidance when it comes to buying your bold coloured statement Chanel handbag! Let’s go!

chanel classic flap handbag green colour color transfer results gold hardware

chanel classic flap handbag green colour color transfer results gold hardware

Lambskin Leather Is Delicate!

So here’s the thing. Lambskin leather is delicate. It’s soft to the touch and beautiful to look at, but it’s delicate AF. You can catch your nail on it and scratch it, if you have make up on your hands (hello red lipstick!) it could transfer and stain. It’s beautiful and luxe and soft and perfect, but it’s DELICATE! The caviar leather has been heavily treats, which is why is has a shiner finish and feels more rigid and generally feels a bit more robust, which is amazing, but let’s be honest, it’s not quite as soft and lush looking. My friends, we all make our own decisions in life and mine includes a green lambskin leather Chanel handbag!!

Just a recap: lambskin leather is the soft, smooth leather you see in the photos, it’s been through minimal treatment and refining, so it’s very soft, but also very delicate and colour will transfer onto it fairly easily. The caviar leather is the slightly shiny, grainy leather, it’s been treated more and much less delicate and much less prone to staining, colour transfer and scratches. The patent leather is also much more refined, again, it’s not invincible, it can still stain, but colour transfer shouldn’t be too much of an issue. The major thing to look out for with patent leather bags is over time the bag will crease (as will all leathers on impact areas like where you open the flap) however, the creasing often looks much more on the patent leather and ages the bag more than it might on the lambskin or caviar leather. Phew! Sorry so much info there!

chanel classic flap handbag green colour color transfer results gold hardware

chanel classic flap handbag green colour color transfer results back view bad quality

How To Prevent Color Transfer

OK! So how to prevent colour transfer… well first of all. You could only wear your bag with white clothing. However, let’s be honest that’s not really practical… especially in England! So what else can you do? Well, avoid wearing your bag next to denim, especially dark denim. If you do wear it with denim, try to make sure it’s slightly older denim which has been well washed so the excess dye should have come out already. Others suggest soaking your jeans in vinegar laced water to set the dye, but personally, I’m not sure how I feel about this. I feel like we should all have better things to do with our lives… am I right?! Aside from that, you can polish your bag with leather polish before you use it, a little terrifying, but it will help to protect your bag. Again, it won’t make it invincible and it does take a certain amount of balls to use leather cream on a brand new handbag, but it should help!

chanel classic flap handbag green colour color transfer results gold hardware

Front V Back

So here’s the thing, I don’t want to put you off ever buying a Chanel handbag, because quite frankly, I LOVE my green classic flap Chanel. And even though the back of it is pretty grubby, the front still looks heavenly and that’s really important to remember. From the front it’s stunning from the back, it’s a little grubby, but that’s not the worst thing in the world is it?! All I’m saying, is yes, the back is a little stained (for now!) but the front is still beautiful and that’s something you need to remember. Also, colour transfer can be cleaned…. let’s discuss!

chanel classic flap handbag green colour color transfer results gold hardware

How To Clean Your Chanel Handbag

There’s a few ways to clean colour transfer and staining off Chanel handbags, but quite frankly, it takes balls. I’m SO nervous of doing it myself, which is why I haven’t on this bag, but I have on others. So firstly, you can use a little warm soapy water and a soft sponge. I did this on an old Bally handbag, the leather was a super soft lambskin and it was really grubby. I was shocked at how easily it came clean and how fast and effortless it was. I filled a bowl with warm soapy water (I used Fairy Liquid!) and I delicately rubbed the soft sponge and suds over my bag and it came up really well. Alternatively, there’s creams you can use, like this Delicate Cream, which can be used as both a leather polish and to help remove stains. You can buy it here from Amazon, it’s really cheap. I’ve used this a lot for shoes and handbags, but never on a Chanel bag, again, I’m too afraid! But it does really work! Finally, you can get your bag spa’d! Take away all responsibility and let the professionals work their magic! If you are going to try and clean your bag yourself, I wold like to advise a few things, firstly, if you have a similar (but less expensive) lambskin leather bag which is a little grubby looking, then maybe give that a clean first, just to be sure you are happy with it, just because rubbing your bag with suds and a sponge is terrifying. If you are happy to do this, then test on a small un-obvious part of your bag first. Same goes for the cream method. As for taking your bag to get spa’d, do you research, read reviews, do some googling and don’t be tempted to take your bag to a cheaper bag spa just to save a few pennies, you get what you pay for!

chanel classic flap handbag green colour color transfer results gold hardware

chanel classic flap handbag green colour color transfer results back view

Caviar, Patent Or Fabric Options

We touched on this earlier, so I will try not to repeat myself too much, but Lambskin leather is soft and luxe, but it’s also really delicate. Not only can you get colour transfer, but it’s easier to get surface scratches and damage to the corners with the lambskin. The caviar leather is much more hardwearing, it’s more robust at the corners, it’s also a heavier treated leather, so it’s much less likely to be scratched or get colour transfer. Although it’s not bombproof, you still need to look after it. Patent leather can also stain, it’s harder, but it happens, I have a Westwood bag which annoying dark marks on it which have soaked into the leather and it’s really annoying, I personally think patent leather wears fairly badly with the creasing too. Fabric bags are also an option and Chanel make plenty. Personally, I am a big fan of the Deauville Tote which is a canvas bag with leather trim, it’s great! It’s also really forgiving with stains and marks. The velvet bags are beautiful, but they are more delicate and the jersey and cloth bags can also be good in terms of colour transfer, but again, still not invincible…

chanel classic flap handbag green colour color transfer results gold hardware

chanel classic flap handbag green colour color transfer results back view bad quality

How I Feel About The Color Transfer On My Chanel Bag

I feel like this post might sound like a really negative one, but honestly, I truly LOVE this bag. Sure, it’s a little grubby on the back, but I’ve worn it and loved it and these things happen. It can’t stay shop-perfect for ever, nothing can!!! I will get it spa’d at some point, I’m not brave enough to clean it myself, I clean other bags, but not my Chanel’s. But honestly, I’m happy wearing it how it is for now. It’s still a beautiful bag, I still adore It and from the front it’s still perfect. I will probably stick to Caviar Chanel bags in the future as they are much more hardwearing and I am very clumsy, but this bag didn’t come in caviar leather and I’d rather have this bag in this colour than have played it safe. That being said, I had NO idea this would happen and it would happen so quickly, which is why I wanted to share it with you all as it might impact your shopping decisions in the future. No handbag is bulletproof, and whilst this bag is delicate, if a child with a Sharpie writes their name on this bag, it would be just as damaged as if they wrote it on a canvas Deauville or a beige caviar GST. Life happens, handbags see wear and tear and faces get wrinkled We can’t obsess over it and I’d rather use my bag and love it, rather than keeping it pristine in a box never to see the light of day. My point is, shop with your heart, be aware of the drawbacks and love and enjoy what you do buy! I hope that helps and let me know if you have any questions!

chanel classic flap handbag green colour color transfer results

Further Reading…

If you liked this post, you should try… Which Chanel bag should you buy first, A little look at my Chanel Brooch collection, Five things I want to tell you about the Chanel Wallet On Chain Handbag and Why the Chanel canvas tote bag should be your next Chanel purchase…. And please do let me know if you have any questions!

Go Shopping!


  1. May 31, 2019 / 10:52 am

    This is such a helpful post, Kirsty. I have a black Chanel – so I don’t have this problem. But, my brown Mulberry bag has suffered from colour transfer. I might try your tips to stop it from getting worse! x

    • fashionforlunch
      May 31, 2019 / 9:46 pm

      Thanks Natasha I’m so sorry to hear this has been a problem for you with your mulberry. They do polish up well, or you could get it spa’ed?

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