Note: The contents of this page can also be found on Furcare.org, an affiliate website owned and operated by the American Fur Council.
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.
Keep Away from Sprays
Avoid spraying perfumes, hairsprays and insecticides on your fur. These sprays (including alcohol, solvent, and silicone based substances) will dry the leather and stiffen the guard hairs. Of course we know that makeup will rub off and into the collar area and perfume may settle on the fur – in this case take it to an authorized furrier for professional cleaning.
Fur and Water
Normally it is OK to wear your fur in snow or light rain. The guard-hairs and natural oils in fur should cause water to run off and not penetrate the leather under the fur. But, should water soak through to the leather it is important to seal your fur in a plastic bag to prevent it from drying and take it to a qualified furrier as soon as possible. A furrier will know what procedure to perform to prevent your investment from misshaping from either shrinkage and stretching.
Be certain that you have adequate insurance with up-to-date appraisals on each fur garment that you own. Keep in mind that most homeowner’s policies will not adequately cover your garments unless there is a specific rider adding them to the basic policy. Also be sure to get information on applicable deductibles and depreciation that would apply in the event of a loss. Almost all Authorized Furcare Specialists℠ can appraise your furs, and usually much more accurately than a standard insurance company. Some Authorized Furriers even offer insurance or replacement programs that are much more complete and specialized to your fur needs at a competitive cost.
LEGAL INFORMATION. The information contained on this page is intended only as a Guideline. The recommendations on this website are generally accepted good practice options for care of fur garments. Please see a professional, Authorized Furcare Specialist℠ for a physical inspection of your fur garments to determine condition and advise on proper care treatments and courses of action. Although the individual businesses listed as “Authorized Furcare Specialist℠” have been reasonably verified to specialize in fur products, AFC and its operators do not endorse, nor imply endorsement, of said business entities. It is the consumers responsibility to verify that their chosen furriers facilities and services are suitable for their garments specific needs. Furcare.org assumes no liability and is not responsible for recomendations and services provided by “Authorized Furcare Specialist℠” listed herein. AFC and its operators do not settle disputes between consumers and businesses, nor does it retain any obligation to act as a third party arbitrator. Due to the biological nature, variation of products, unknown origin, material sources and manufacturing processes of individual fur products discussed on this website furcare.org and its operators are not responsible for the effects of the care recommendations listed on this website on any such products that you may own.