Color Transfer onto Clothes from Designer Handbags

Even if you've never actually heard the term color transfer before, chances are, if you're a handbag fan you've probably experienced it at one time or another. Color transfer is that heart-breaking circumstance where a bit of the dye from a handbag you've been carrying rubs off on your clothing or skin. It can be awkward, unsightly, and catch you out in the middle of your busy day, just when you can least afford to do something about it.

But can color transfer ever really be avoided? The short answer is yes, but as with so many other things in life, you have to do your due diligence. Here are a few quick tips to help you prevent it.

Try Before You Buy

Granted, while you won't be able to carry a handbag around with you for the time it would take before you notice color transfer until you've bought it, there are a few things you can do before you get the bag home. Many bags actually have a tag on them in the store that warns customers about the potential for color transfer. If you see any such tag, the manufacturer has not used a colour-fast dyeing process, and color transfer is not only likely, it's probable.

If there's no such tag on the bag but still wish to know if your potential bag is color-fast, take a solid white handkerchief with you to the shop. Rub the handkerchief vigorously against the side of the bag (this can be done both wet and dry, although you'll likely be hard-pressed to find a sales associate willing to let you do it wet). If the bag has color transfer issues, you'll likely know instantly.

Buy High End or Get it Treated

A good-quality leather bag that you have purchased from a designer shop should never, ever transfer color to you or your clothing. If you experience this, contact the company immediately. If your bag in question is from a lesser manufacturer or of dubious provenance, there are several different leather-protectant products on the market, but always check with the manufacturer of your bag (if possible) before using any of these products on a bag — you don't want to make it worse!