This is my first attempt at a Dooney and Bourke rehab. I normally rehab Coach bags, so I thought maybe if I just give this beauty a bath the way I normally do my Coach bags, it would be just fine. Well, my first attempt did not work out so great. I dunked her and bathed her and left her to dry, only to see that on the bottom where the water had not evenly permeated the leather, along with on the zipper pull inside, and on the leather on the top of the removable interior pockets, there were now very ugly brown water marks. I am not one to give up, and I like this bag a little too much to not be successfu, so I decided to try again. Thsi time I pulled the bottom out of the bag. From the top the bottom looked like leather, but when I pulled on it, the glue had pretty much melted from the moisture, and the bottom actually consists of a layer of cardboard bolted in by the feet. On top of that layer of cardboard is another layer of cardbaord glued to the first layer, and on top of that is a layer of leather glued in rough side up to match the interior of the rest of the bag.
First attempt at dunking the bag.
The leather bottom from the inside of the bag, note that the water did not permeate it evenly. I had to soak it to get the water to finally permate it evenly so it would then dry evenly.
The bottom of the bag, half wet... every place where dry meets wet is going to dry with brown water lines, and the water is not penetrating the dry areas easily. It took a long time to soak it long enough to finally get the leather evenly saturated.
Water inside the bag, being left to really soak in.
The bottom of the bag after about half an hour of soaking, finally the water has permeated the leather, and with any luck it should now dry with no water marks.
The next morning, after about twelve hours of drying. I placed two large Yankee Candle jars inside the bag and placed the bag on a hard surface during the drying process, and when the cardboard started to get funny in between where the jars were sitting, I took one out and moved the other to the center of the bag to further flatten the cardboard during the drying process. The cardboard is completely laminated, so it did not get as wet as I thought it would during this process.
The bottom of the bag, now drying evenly after being evenly saturated. The first time I thought it was ruined because it had water marks all the way around it.
The inside of the bag reveals that the bottom of the bag is still not completely dry. It is probably going to take another few hours. And also please keep in mind that I live in Arizona, it is seriously dry here, so things dry fast, sometimes too fast. If you try this in a climate that is not as dry this process is going to take a lot longer.