With proper care, cleaning and storage, a fur coat can last for decades before being repurposed and upcycled. Common sense and some TLC can keep a fur in peak condition for many years. Furs don’t like heat, friction and cramped spaces. But they do thrive on the following:
- Fur Storage. Nothing shortens the lifespan of a fur like keeping it cooped up in the closet during the hot summer months. Home storage – even using air conditioning or cedar closets – will not protect your fur from drying out or from dust, dirt and insect damage. A cedar closet absorbs moisture (so moths can’t live) and thereby will dry out the leather. Professional fur vaults are specially designed environments with carefully controlled humidity and temperature. When furs are not professionally stored, though the fur may not appear to be damaged, the natural oils in the leather may have dried out prematurely aging the garment and leaving it more vulnerable to rips and tears. Be sure to store your fur at an Authorized Fur Care Specialist.
- Fur Cleaning. Furs should be cleaned annually by a fur specialist – never by a dry cleaner for clothes. While fur may not look dirty, it needs freshening to remove particles of dirt on the fur and to keep it soft. The cleaning process – putting oils back into the fur and leather – prolongs its longevity and enhances the luster of the fur. Bringing your fur to a fur specialist for annual cleaning is an ideal opportunity for your fur retailer to check for any minor rips or tears and repair them before they become more serious.
- Fur Care. Avoid shoulder bags on a consistent basis as the strap will rub the fur and create bald patches. Avoid getting perfume and hairspray on the fur. Furs don’t like to be pricked with the pinning of jewelry or accessories on your fur. Do not treat a fur with mothballs.
- When Fur Gets Wet. Most furs can handle some rain and snow. Shake it out and hang it in a well-ventilated room. Never hang the fur near direct heat. Resist the temptation to use a hair dryer on the fur and do not use a brush or comb on the fur. Should the fur have gotten thoroughly soaked, then it needs to be taken to a fur retailer for professional treatment.
- Closet Space Needed. During the winter, give your fur ample closet space with no exposure to bright light which can cause fur to oxidize and change color.
- Broad Shouldered Hanger. During the fur-wearing season, a fur needs to hang on a broad-shouldered hanger– no wires! A fur retailer can provide one.
- Fur Needs Breathing Room. Fur needs air circulation to prevent its leather side from drying out. Never cover fur with a plastic bag. If it must be covered for a short period of time, use a loosely woven cloth bag so the fur can breathe.