My dry-cleaning dilemma

It’s no secret that I’m handbag obsessed. Big bags, small bags, bags that you can barely fit a credit card and a prayer in; the sky is truly the limit.

With use, comes wear and I am finding it ever more frustrating that, while the rest of the world has moved out of the dark ages with regards to the care and maintenance of bags and other luxury goods, we in Malta have not yet seen fit to provide any form of service for the lovers of all things well made. In fact, we’ve actually managed to regress.

This particular tale of trepidation started with the unfortunate case of one of my nylon-weave bags almost meeting an untimely demise. It somehow managed to tumble into a pile of wet dust, rock and filth so typical of our streets and as you can imagine, this left quite a few stains.

Much to my horror, they seeped into the fabric weave and there was nothing I could do to get out the stains. A few years back, I had taken a bag to the dry cleaners and, although they had accepted it with an air of unease, they had done a stellar job in cleaning it. This time round, I was a lot less fortunate.

I would have received a far better response had I told these companies that I was sending my dog for dry cleaning

You see, despite the fact that the Maltese have jumped on the luxury goods train with unprecedented fervour, I have done a grand tour of Malta’s leading dry cleaners and no one will take the bag. One company told me that they have never had the facility to dry clean bags (a downright lie because they were the people I had taken the last handbag to); another couldn’t quite understand why I wanted to dry clean a bag; yet another still helpfully told me that I shouldn’t buy bags which aren’t made of leather if I don’t want them to get damaged and when I raised my eyebrows to the heavens, the woman at the counter decided that it was good idea to tell me that there was no point in buying expensive bags in Malta anyway because no one had the facilities to keep them in ship shape condition.

It wasn’t even about the risk factor, because I told each company that I would be happy to take the risk as long as they took the ruddy thing off my hands and at least tried to work their magic.

I don’t get this. Am I really the only person in Malta that has thought of drying cleaning some of her bags? Am I the only one who has a problem with fraying leather straps? Is it only me that gets colour transfer on my stuff that could benefit from a professional touch? Is everyone making enough money from cleaning school uniform blazers and wedding dresses (which I would have thought was much harder to do) that they don’t feel the need to offer other immensely profitable services?

As I told one of the marginally nicer ladies I encountered, I would have received a far better response had I told these companies that I was sending my dog for dry cleaning. If anyone of you readers knows of anyone apparently brave enough to rub cleaning solution into a nylon bag let me know; till then, I’m going to have to pay $50 in shipping charges to some person in America who won’t scoff at my simple request.

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