When you are in the unfortunate situation where the strap from your purse or bag is damaged, making it impossible to use your cherished bag, it’s easy to panic (or in some cases, sob uncontrollably). But do not worry! Most broken straps can either be repaired or replaced.
Below are common challenges that face handbag owners and possible solutions. If you have questions or need assistance with your strap repair or replacement, feel free to contact us with your situation.
All photos below were provided by Mautto customers, requesting help. We have repaired or replaced straps from numerous bag makers, including some of the most prestigious brands like Balenciaga, Chanel, Christian Dior, Coach, Fendi, Givenchy, Gucci, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors, Miu Miu, Mulberry, Prada, Saint Laurent, Tom Ford, Versace and more.
Types of Damaged or Broken Straps
There are many ways that a strap can be damaged or break. Typical scenarios include:
- Dog ate or chewed a strap (or other parts of the purse/bag).
- The strap's material deteriorated to a point where it is no longer usable.
- A clip/clasp broke, resulting in the strap detaching from the bag.
- The stitching has begun to fray or come undone.
- The strap edge-coating is peeling off.
- The strap has been lost, stolen or cut.
If your bag has experienced any of these scenarios, then consider some of these possible repairs, to get your bag back on your shoulder.
Dog ate or chewed a strap (or other parts of the purse/bag)
This is one of the most common occurrences that we hear about. We wish our beloved pets knew better, but... they’re animals, and the smell of leather and other materials used with bags, can attract the sniffer!
When this happens, you’ll need to assess the damage. If it’s just the strap, consider the following:
- Is the strap removable? If so, great! A replacement strap can likely be made by the bag manufacturer or by us.
- If the strap is not removable, how does it attach to the bag? If it’s permanently attached, a reputable cobbler may need to be hired to re-attach a new strap. If your bag has hardware, connecting the strap to the bag (such as a metal ring), a new strap with clips can sometimes be connected directly to this hardware (after the damaged strap is removed).
- Is the bag damaged as well? If so, it may be repairable. There are handbag restoration services out there, but you’ll need to do your homework and research, to make sure they are reputable (always ask for photos of similar work and references).
The strap's material deteriorated to a point where it is no longer usable
If the strap is damaged to a point where it’s not safe to use, then it’s unlikely repairable. We’ve seen some hideous repair jobs from “leather tailors” so be very careful when it comes to repair work. It’s such a tricky job, that we don’t even do it! And for good reason. Repairing a heavily damaged strap to its original shape or condition is next to impossible.
Typically, there are two ways to deal with this challenge:
- If the strap has clips and can be removed/attached from your bag, then you can replace it with something similar.
- If the strap is permanently attached to the bag (meaning, it cannot be removed), then custom work may be required, including the use of a reputable cobbler or mailing your bag to us. We can provide finished and stitched leather for you to use with your project. Contact us with your situation.
A clip/clasp broke, resulting in the strap detaching from the bag
This can result from heavy use over the years, carrying too much weight in your bag, the bag snagging on something, or a number of other situations. Luckily, you have options!
- The clip/clasp could be replaced. Depending on how the strap is constructed, it’s possible that the clip/clasp could be replaced with something similar. In this situation, sometimes it’s best to replace both sides with the same style, to provide a balanced look.
- The entire strap could be replaced. Depending on how the strap is constructed, it may not be possible to replace the clip/clasp. If that’s the case, a replacement strap should be considered.
The stitching has begun to fray or come undone
Over time, the stitching can come undone or fray. Usually, this isn’t an issue. A single stitch, if come undone, can usually be clipped off and not impact the integrity of the strap. However, if it begins to unravel, resulting in long lengths of stitching coming undone, then this can quickly become a serious problem.
If the stitching of your strap has started to fray or come undone, here’s what you can do:
- Clip off the excess and apply a very small amount of clear glue to this spot. The glue, when solidified, will help keep the stitching from continuing to unravel or come undone.
- If there is a serious amount of stitching that’s come apart, you may be able to have it re-stitched. If it can’t be re-stitched, then consider a new strap.
The strap edge-coating is peeling off
Some straps contain a rubber or wax edge-coating, running along the edges, up and down the entire length. Certain strap manufacturing processes require this, as layers or leather (or other materials like vinyl) are glued together, revealing the inside of the strap, when viewing the strap from the side. So, the sides are sealed with this rubber or wax coating. It can look nice when newly applied, but over time, can crack, peal or complete come undone.
If this happens to your strap, you can try a reputable cobbler or the bag manufacturer. We don’t apply edge-coating to our straps, because our design does not require it! No raw leather shows along the length of our straps. We have found that the edge-coating is generally one of the first components of a strap that fails, which is why we designed our straps to not require edge coating.
The strap has been lost, stolen or cut
This is always an unfortunate situation! We hear this happen all-too-often, sadly. Here’s what you’ll need to consider, for replacing a strap that’s no longer with your bag:
- If the strap has clips allowing it to be removed/attached, then you can replace it with something similar.
- If the strap is permanently attached to the bag (it cannot be removed), then custom work may be required, including the use of a reputable cobbler or mailing your bag to us. We can provide finished and stitched leather for you to use with your project. Contact us with your situation.
Also to consider when replacing your strap
In any of these situations, it’s usually best to start with the bag manufacturer, to see if they offer exact replacements. If you’d prefer to elevate your bag to the next level of fashion or comfort, then consider the following. A new strap can provide additional benefits that the original did not, such as:
- An adjustable length range, to allow for shoulder to across the body positions.
- A longer (or shorter) length to fit your exact needs, or, to provide additional ways to carry your bag.
- A wider material to provide more comfort.
- A different color, perhaps accenting with the bag, to provide a more vibrant or custom look.
We understand that dealing with any of these situations is tough. And that’s why we’re here because we too, have dealt with most of this. The good news is, most issues with broken or damaged straps have solutions that can lead to some exciting new times with your cherished bags. Especially if a new strap offers a level of new functionality or new fashion!
As always, if you have questions or need assistance, please get in touch.