Tintoria (Dye House) Wagner - Restoring is cool




Tintoria Wagner is a staple in the Italian fashion panorama. They are a historical tintoria (dyehouse) in the center of Milan, specialized in the treatment and restoring of luxury and high-quality bags and other leather goods.


Ever since the ‘70s, luxury fashion houses have put their trust in them to restore and bring back to life leather pieces.


Their main service is the repairing and restoring of bags and leather goods, but they also offer services such as cleaning and ironing of clothing with traditional methods.


Even though their headquarters are in Milan, they’re well known all over the world for their services and abilities. We had the pleasure to have a chat with them and ask them some questions to learn more about their history and processes.


Q: When did you start your business? Can you tell us the story of your historical Tintoria?

A: We are the third generations of dyers. My grandparents started out the business in the ‘70s in Corso Garibaldi, Milan, and from 1998 onward my father continued their business in Piazza Wagner. Ever since the beginning, Tintoria Wagner has specialised in the treatment of luxury and unique pieces. A sector of particular specialization is leather: we take care of all the processing stages, from cleaning to complete restoration.


Q: Could you tell us approximately the number of leather bags dyed until now? What brands do you most frequently treat?

A: In the last two years alone, we treated more than 1,000 leather bags, taking care of the most disparate manufactures. The bags we treat the most are Chanel, MiuMiu, Balenciaga, Prada, LV, Gucci and Hermés.


Q: Why should people choose to restore? 

A: In a society increasingly aware of environmental issues, restauration is not only an advantageous choice, but a wise too from the environmental impact point of view. Restoring a bag allows you to restore its value, thus allowing it to last for years.


Q: Can you give us some advice to better preserve leather bags and other leather goods?

A: Being a natural material and subject to natural deterioration, leather needs simple but important care: it should never be stored in plastic, and it should not be exposed to sources of light nor heat. It is a good idea to clean it gently with a soft cloth after each use and place it in a fabric bag to keep it from getting dusty. In order to keep its characteristics intact over time, it needs regular nourishment.


Q: Can you explain to us the process of restoring a leather bag? 

A: First, you start with removing all the hardware from the bag, that way you will avoid the metal pieces to get ruined and get in the way. Then it’s time to create the perfect colour to match the leather bag. The colour used is an acrylic based leather dye, and it is important to find the exact shade of colour to make sure that the reparation will look seamless. After finding and mixing the colour, we need to prepare the bag with a special leather cleaner, before applying the dye. We then spray paint the bag three times, with an hour interval in-between each coat. The bag then needs 24 hours to completely dry. Finally, we put the hardware back in, and now the bag it’s restored and ready to use!

Thanks to Tintoria Wagner, thousands of leather bags all over the world have regained their beauty and continue to be worn and admired. Restoring bags is a real craftmanship, a delicate process that allows precious and valuable pieces to last for years, preserving their value and their beauty.