Storage Guide: Fur Storage

Furs and leathers are often stored in cold storage during the summer months and this is considered to be a good way to increase the life of fur and leather made garments. Good storage also helps maintain the value and beauty of your garments. Cold storage is used to protect the furs and leather from the environment: summer's excessive heat and humidity which can lead to drying out of the oils in the leather and furs.

This can lead to molting in the case of furs. Vaults are generally large dark rooms and this lack of light protects the furs and leathers from any bright light or direct sunlight which can cause color fading and discoloration. The vault temperature and humidity levels are monitored and controlled constantly. This cold environment helps prevent infestation of insects and rodents as does the pest control programs that are considered accepted practices in fur storage businesses.

If you are planning on storing your fur it is important to use a reputable business that specializes in fur storage. Check with your local furrier for referrals or if the furrier is not local check on the internet and in the local phone book. Many business especially dry cleaners have set themselves up as specialists in fur storage and although some may be most are not. Here are some useful tips when questioning a business on how effective they are in storing fur.

  • Ask to see the storage unit

  • Check out how the items are stored. Fur garments should never be hung too closely to each other in order to prevent crushing and each garment should have plenty of room and be hung correctly by the shoulders from the hanger

  • Check whether temperature and humidity controls are in place and how these are monitored.

  • Ask to see their pest control log books which show how regularly the vault is sprayed and if there have been any infestation issues in the past.

If your dry cleaner takes your coat from you for storing or cleaning and puts in a plastic bag, promptly remove the garment and leave. This is an absolute sign that these people have not been trained in handling fur garments. Fur coats must never be crushed.

If you are deciding also to get your coat cleaned you should also use a cleaner that specializes in furs. Fur coats are far too expensive for a dry cleaner to make a mistake on. If your local dry cleaners have set themselves up as fur cleaners ask them what their treatment entails. It s also important to note at this point that many dry cleaners also set themselves up as being in the business of fur repairs however in this case any repairs should be completed by a furrier.

Caring for your Fur

  • Never store in a plastic bag - remember, this may cause crushing and this can destroy the fur pile and the look of the garment

  • Never leave a fur in bright light or in direct sunlight as this may cause the color to fade

  • All repairs should be conducted by a furrier

  • When you need to get your coat cleaned bring it to a specialized fur cleaner

  • Store your fur in a temperature controlled and relative humidity controlled environment during the warm summer months

  • Never brush a fur coat as this will cause molting

  • Hang your coat by the shoulders and be sure it is hung correctly and that it has enough room in the closet so that it is not leaning in other garments. This will help prevent any crushing

  • Avoid placing your fur garment near nay heat source as this will cause the oils to bleed out of the fur and cause the leather to dry out and molting to occur.

  • For any additional information on the caring of your fur please contact your local furrier or contact the Fur Information Council of America.

Always think of the future and remember that the better you keep your fur the easier it will be to restyle when fashions change and the better condition it will be in if you plan on passing it on to the next generation in your will which is more common than one would think.

What to look when purchasing a new fur

You may be looking to purchase a new fur for work or for evening wear or even for casual wear. Fur has many uses and is very versatile and is being used by all the top fashion houses as can be seen on all the latest season's runways. There are some important things to consider when you are looking at purchasing fur.
  • Do the pelts match in color and texture?

  • Are the pelts lustrous and shiny?

  • Is the under fur dense and soft? The under fur on male pelts is generally coarser than female pelts.

  • Most importantly, is the garment comfortable to wear and is the weight comfortable for you?

  • The same should be sewn tightly

  • Fur garments should fall comfortably and evenly from your shoulders

Although fur had received bad reviews over the past few years especially from such groups as PETA, only animals that are not on the endangered species list are used. In many countries many of the animals used in making fur garments are in such high numbers that they are considered to be pests. More often than not the animals are humanely gassed.