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Rhinestone Purses - Facts and Tips

Rhinestone purses are among the more exciting evening bags to acquire and have been sought after since the early 1900's.  The Art Deco era brought forth some beauties, some with elaborate Deco clasps.  The 1930's would not be without rhinestone evening bags and the 1940's and 50's produced some of the most stunning examples.  The Oroton bags from Germany and  those from Austria and France are extremely well made, with prong set or bezel set clear rhinestones and others had iridescent jewel tones as well.  The mesh type background fabrics were attached to both silver and gold metal frames, some of which had stunning rhinestone embellishments.

*Never* get your rhinestone purse wet.  Check prongs for stability after each use. When a prong lifts, lightly press it back down with your fingernail. If needed, gently polish the frame with the finest grade steel wool, blowing away particles as you work, wipe with a damp cloth.

Clean rhinestones mostly with plain water, glass cleaner or mild soapy water at your discretion, but never spray directly on your purse. Dab water or spray a little cleaner onto a soft clean cloth, just damp. Gently rub the stones, try not to snag the prongs and keep the cloth under the purse, allowing gravity to pull moisture away from the stones, in other words, keep the purse above the cloth. For hard to get to places, use a damp Q-tip, squeeze excess wetness.

You can use a soft tooth brush with barely soapy water to keep your purse lining fresh but keep shaking off excess water from the tooth brush, then blow dry the lining with cool to warm air, then open air dry for a few hours before storing.

Wrap your purse in white tissue paper and store in an "open" zip lock bag if desired, allowing your purse to breathe as it is a


vintage textile, needing exposure to air. Keep it in a dry, cooler area especially if you live in a high humidity climate, out of direct sunlight and away from heating units is best.

Don't be afraid to use your vintage rhinestone purse, they are so fun to carry.  Occasionally you might drop a stone if you don't check your prongs after using, so when you are out and about, shop for an old cheap piece of jewelry and buy something just for the stones, you'll have replacements when needed.  Gently lift the prongs with your finger nail, pop in a new stone that matches fairly well, press the prongs back down and you'll never notice that the stone was replaced.

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Related Article: Rhinestones are a Girl's Best Friend - The fashionable and historical fascination with the rhinestone purse.


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