Antique Beaded Purse Restoration & Pricing

Information and pricing for quality services provided by Terri Lykins, recognized purse restoration expert.

Beads for repairMy rate is $45.00 per hour, which includes all materials. Because I have over twenty years of professional restoration experience, I am efficient and skilled at achieving the best repair possible. Some repairs may not produce a perfect result, depending upon the size of the hole(s), and the overall integrity of the bag. In general, small holes are pea-sized or less. A few of these on a bag would take an hour or two, in general. Several small holes on both sides might take 3-5 hours of time. Medium holes are the size of a dime to a nickel. These often have to be backed, and may be noticeable if in a solid-colored area. Several medium holes may result in many hours, and it would be best to send a photo of all the damage so that I can give you an idea of the cost. Large holes are a quarter size or larger, and can be very time-consuming, because the entire pattern will have to be rebuilt in those areas. There’s a reason why collectors don’t fight over the really torn-up beaded bags on Ebay and then have them restored. At times, the cost of the repair exceeds the value of the bag. One great thing about purses, however, is that well-restored bags do not lose their value in the process. There are very few mint condition beaded purses available on the market these days.

I have seen a few examples of purses that were so dry rotted that they would not accept repair. They break off in your hands. You can gently pick at the area to test the hole; if it breaks off in pieces, it is probably too far gone. I did have one once that was a masterpiece, but it was very brittle. Somehow, that purse survived a bath, and once the dirt that was so heavily embedded in the threads came out, the purse allowed me to restore it. The owner was delighted, and sent Harry and David fruit at Christmas for several years afterward.

Fringe repair is based on the hours needed to fill in what’s missing. Keep in mind, though, that fringe may be broken off because the thread is brittle. If so, other fringes will likely break, sometimes in transit back to you, so it may be best to replace the whole fringe. I can help you determine the condition of the existing fringe.

We can determine, based on your budget, the spacing, length, pattern, and number of color changes you desire for your purse. I like to apply authentic fringes that look like they are original to the bag. I have thousands of antique beads to choose from. I am almost never at a loss to find the right beads for a fringe. Take a look at a few of the fringes I have made and the time involved:

Queen purse fringe - 9 hours

Queen Purse

Peacock purse fringe - 9 hours

peacock fringe restore

Jeweled cottage fringe - 6 hours

jeweled cottagethumb

Piecrust fringe - 7 hours

Pie Crust

Water Scenic fringe - 7 hours

water scenicthumb

Deco swan fringe - 8 hours

Deco Swan

Frame attachment- generally takes 1-2 hours, depending upon the complexity of the attachment. I can help you find the right frame for your purse, either from my own stock, or other suppliers of frames in my network.

Lining replacement- usually one hour, and I use silk and tiny silk rosette trim, unless I happen to have an interesting antique trim that works better for your purse.

Cleaning- 30 minutes

I can also replace chains, stones in frames, and other assorted repairs- email for pricing.

steel rug fringe

Metal Beaded Purses

If you have a purse that is made of metal beads, like the photo, it requires a very time-consuming technique to re-weave split areas. Missing beads have to be added, then the horizontal threads have to be spliced to hold the purse back together. These purses were usually loomed, and the thread is silk, which deteriorates with age, dirt, and the weight of the metal beads pulling on it over all those years. Send a photo for an estimate.