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Thread: ...rejuvenate an old TB bag purchased on eBay - help me, bag whisperers!

  1. #1
    Registered User Janine's Avatar
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    ...rejuvenate an old TB bag purchased on eBay - help me, bag whisperers!

    I purchased an old Imago on eBay. It arrived yesterday, and it has some issues. Nothing that I think is unfixable, but I sure could use some advice on how to proceed.

    First of all, here's a link to the auction so you guys can see the pictures. I haven't taken any of my own yet, but when I do, I'll post them.

    Janine's new old Imago, eBay link

    The bag is intact. No rips, tears, stains, or blemishes. The plastic hardware has a few scratches from use, but no big deal. So, I think I have a good bag to begin with.

    One of the zippers on the side that opens up the ultrasuede pockets appears to be stuck. It will move a little, but not much. I can't see or feel any obstructions in the zipper teeth, and there doesn't appear to be any fabric caught in the zipper. It seems, to my untrained eye and hand, to just need a little lubrication. Any thoughts on what to try? Maybe just a squirt of water to wash out some of the dust or dirt?

    The bag is indeed dusty. I can see dust in all the seams. I'd love to toss it in the washing machine and run it through a gentle cycle with just a touch of detergent and some towels to keep it company. Or is there a better way to get the accumulated dirt of neglect off of a Tom Bihn bag?

    And then there is the question of identification. This Imago has a different pattern to the contrast color on the flap. Does anyone know how old it might be? Or what this particular green color is called?

    Now that I've typed out my questions, I just realized that I probably could have answered them all myself by searching the forums. I kinda don't want to waste all this typing, though, ykwim? So thanks for both your comments and your indulgence. :-)
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    Nice find. That's a great price, even for an older Imago. I can't be 100% sure, but I think the bag is one of the first Imagos from about 4-5 years ago. When the Imago first came out, there were two different styles (Yin and Yang), one for ballistic nylon and one for cordura. The cordura style is the same that we have today. The original ballistic style is what your bag is. I could have this backwards, maybe Darcy or someone else from TB can verify this.

    As for the color, I think it is Hunter. Its looks a lot like my Hunter Aeronaut that I bought around the same time - almost 5 years ago. Hunter was a ballistic nylon color so it goes with the theory that your bag is an early ballistic Imago.

    Here is an old review of the first Imagos that might tell you more about your new bag. Enjoy it!
    OhGizmo! » Archive » OhGizmo Review – Tom Bihn Imago Yin
    TB in my house - Hunter Aeronaut | Indigo Brain Bag | Black/Steel/Red Ego | Steel/Wasabi ID | Steel/Crimson/Crimson Imago | Crimson/Steel/Steel Imago | Steel/Crimson Large Cafe | Olive Side Effect | Conifer Field Journal | more accessories than I like to admit

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    The Imago was introduced in two models (TOM BIHN Blog - Introducing The Imago), called Yin and Yang, in June 2006. Later, your style (I don't know its name) was dropped. Yours looks like Hunter/Steel/Steel (TOM BIHN Blog - Design Update: The Imago).

    Update: According to the review Joe linked to, this is the Yang.

    Try a vacuum cleaner on the dust before washing it.
    Last edited by gmanedit; 07-13-2011 at 09:50 AM.

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    Registered User ncb4's Avatar
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    Congratulations on your eBay find: how did I miss that auction? Don't worry, I wouldn't have bid against you; I just like to watch eBay for TB stuff. I can't add any historical info to what joe99 and gmanedit have already told you, and I'm also not sure about the best way to unstick that zipper. Maybe take a toothbrush to it: dry at first, and ten try a damp one later, and scrub the teeth of the zipper to see if you can get out any gunk. As for putting the Imago in the washer, you might want to ask Darcy or Katy about that first. I'd be afraid to do that, even in cold water and the gentle cycle. It might be safe to hand wash it though in the sink, then air dry.

  5. #5
    I work at TOM BIHN Katy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncb4 View Post
    Congratulations on your eBay find: how did I miss that auction? Don't worry, I wouldn't have bid against you; I just like to watch eBay for TB stuff. I can't add any historical info to what joe99 and gmanedit have already told you, and I'm also not sure about the best way to unstick that zipper. Maybe take a toothbrush to it: dry at first, and ten try a damp one later, and scrub the teeth of the zipper to see if you can get out any gunk. As for putting the Imago in the washer, you might want to ask Darcy or Katy about that first. I'd be afraid to do that, even in cold water and the gentle cycle. It might be safe to hand wash it though in the sink, then air dry.
    Hand wash, definitely! Mild detergents —— environmentally—friendly dish soaps work well, but as always, with any soap, test it on a small, inconspicuous area of the bag before you use it on the entire bag. (Palmolive® and Dawn® soaps may be too harsh!) Fill your sink or bath tub with warm water, add a little soap (a little goes a long way!), and let the bag soak for a half hour. If there are visible spots of dirt, gently rub the area with a wash cloth, or you can apply a little soap directly to that spot and let it soak. Rinse your bag thoroughly (this is a lot easier if you've only used a little bit of soap!) and lay your bag flat to dry on top of a bath towel.

    Edit: Having your bag dry—cleaned or putting your bag in a washing machine or dryer will void the guarantee.
    Last edited by Katy; 07-13-2011 at 11:14 AM.
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    Red face

    I realize this might be frowned upon, but I've washed my Cafe bag before. Let it air dry and it was just fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flushpuppy View Post
    I realize this might be frowned upon, but I've washed my Cafe bag before. Let it air dry and it was just fine.
    hi flushpuppy,

    i take it that by wash, you mean you put it into a washing machine? while you *can* put a bag into a washing machine, do keep in mind that the hardware may get damaged and that the fabric may fade with repeated washing. that spin cycle can be pretty rough!

    take a look at the pictures of this LGD from 1995. it came back for zipper repairs - the zippers wore out due to repeatedly running it through the washing machine over the years.

    it actually takes less time to wash a tom bihn bag in a sink or tub than it does to run it through a laundry machine.
    -m

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    Registered User Janine's Avatar
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    You guys are the best. Thanks for all the historical information! I really need to start going backwards through the blog; I suspect that there are nuggets of very interesting information in those posts. I'll definitely try a toothbrush on the zipper, try a vacuum for the dust in the corners, and NOT put the bag in my washer not matter how much I might really want to. :-)

    @Katy, what brands of detergent count as mild enough?
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    I work at TOM BIHN Katy's Avatar
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    Perhaps Seventh Generation: Dish Soap -Dish Detergent -Dishwashing Liquid -Dish Liquid -Dishwashing Soap | Seventh Generation. Be sure to test it on a small, inconspicuous portion of the bag first .
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  10. #10
    Registered User Janine's Avatar
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    Gotcha. I'll give it a try!
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    Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

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    Janine: "I really need to start going backwards through the blog"

    Try the "New Bags" pages (under "Topics" on the blog front page). You can start with the oldest pages and work your way to the present.

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    Hi Janine,

    That's Hunter/Steel/Steel (Ballistic Nylon) and I'm guessing from around early to late 2007. That color combination was introduced around January 2007 (see this forum post), and four months later they introduced the Imago in Hunter/Cork/Sage with the new design, but there were remaining bags on sale in that color combination through till about the middle of 2008. My post of May 21, 2008 speculated this was because they never put up a photo of the bag in this color combination:

    Quote Originally Posted by moriond View Post
    And I am so glad I grabbed one of the Hunter/Cork/Sage Imagos in Ballistic nylon when they were available. Any prospects for new colors in Ballistic nylon? (I'm guessing that the main reason you have Hunter/Steel/Steel Imagos still available is the lack of a picture showing this color combination on the Imago web page.)
    I noticed a few months later that all Imagos in Hunter were gone. So, best guess is the that the bag was made in the first few months of 2007, but could have been purchased up through mid-2008.

    moriond

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    Registered User Janine's Avatar
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    @gmanedit, thanks for tip about the blog topics!

    @moriond, thanks for the bag history!

    Now I kinda wish TB bags had serial numbers that people registered on the website so that I could see where all the previous owners lived. :-)

    Update: The Imago was vacuumed out and had a bath in Soak. It's drying now. The zipper issue seems to have been ultrasuede from the pocket lining being caught in the zipper.
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    Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

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    Congrats on your find! Do be aware that the "waterproofiness" of the bag is probably gone. May want to look into some Nikwax.

  15. #15
    Registered User Janine's Avatar
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    Thanks for that reminder, @Just. I will add Nikwax to my "next purchase" list. Even if this bag doesn't need it, I think I have several others that do.

    I just examined the Imago to check how it is drying (nicely!), and I would like to comment that Hunter, minus its original coating of dust, is bee-yooo-tee-ful.
    dorayme likes this.
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    Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

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