Fur Cleaning & Care: The Complete Guide to Ensuring Your Furs Last For Decades
Posted on October 14 2022
Fur Cleaning & Care: The Complete Guide to Ensuring Your Furs Last For Decades
For our patrons
Why You Need To Clean Your Furs
As winter arrives, your treasured fur garment will become the most useful part of your wardrobe, keeping you warm and dry throughout the season. Beyond that, it is an investment piece, and can last a lifetime if you take care of it properly.
Although most luxury fur coats are extremely durable, they still need special care to maintain a soft and luxurious look and feel. Because fur is organic, taking the time to clean and store each fur garment is very important. Both fur and shearling garments should be placed in cold storage during the offseasons in order to prolong the life and look of the fur.
Read on for some expert tips on how to properly care for your furs.
Fur Care Advice
1) What should you do if your fur gets wet?
If you get caught in light rain, shake out your coat and let it air dry. To air dry, hang your coat on a sturdy, broad, padded hanger in a well-ventilated room with ample space around it. Be sure to keep your fur away from any sources of direct heat, such as a radiator or hair dryer, because heat will damage and dry out the fur. However, if your fur coat is completely soaked through, it will need immediate professional fur care.
2) When should you clean fur coats?
Your mink should be cleaned every other year, but your fur coat should be professionally cleaned and conditioned often. It is regularly exposed to the sun, wind, rain, snow and airborne pollutants, all of which can damage and degrade the fur. If you want to protect your investment, we do not recommend a dry cleaner to care for your furs.
3) How should you clean shearling, leather and suede garments?
Cleaning shearling garments with leather and suede finishes is important because these materials can crack and peel. Suede shearlings need care after rain, sleet and snow. These are hand cleaned carefully with a suede brush and then pressed.
4) Do you have a vintage, previously-owned or inherited fur?
Cleaning can help to remove dirt, dust and odors. Avoid spraying yourself with hairspray or perfume after putting on your fur coat. Most of these products contain alcohol and can dry fur pelts and stiffen fur over time.
What is the fur cleaning process?
The cleaning process usually depends on the type of fur or garment, but should always be done professionally. Here are some key points to know about the fur cleaning process so you can be aware of what your garment needs.
- Experts steam each garment to make the hairs plush and glossy, as well as spot clean garments and linings.
- Mongolian lamb and long hair goat garments require a special combing process.
- Cleaning and refreshing feather garments, which also need the attention of a master craftsman.
- The cleaning process of fur accessories includes special attention to removing oils and make up from hats, scarves and neck warmers.
- Many luxury furriers also have the facilities to clean all types of fur blankets, throws, pillows and rugs.
What to look for before working with a Furrier
After months of winter wear, garments can benefit from a professional cleaning to restore the natural luster and shine of the furs. It is important to consult a reputable furrier to have your fur coat professionally cleaned. When working with a furrier or new fur atelier, make sure they are following the steps below, which we use at Pologeorgis Furs, in order to provide your fur the best quality of care. We never recommend entrusting your garments to a traditional dry cleaner.
- Inspect your fur coat and lining for any wear, stains, tears or rips.
- Hand clean your coat’s lining and give special attention to any stains found during the initial inspection.
- Fur (mink, fox, rabbit, beaver and shearling) will then be cleaned in a specially designed drum filled with sawdust using an environmentally friendly fur cleaning solution. This process draws oil, dirt, dust, odors and pollutants from your fur coat while protecting the fur from damage.
- Once the tumbling process is complete, the fur is either hand steamed or vacuumed using specialized machinery to remove any residue from the cleaning process.
- Finally, one of our master furriers will perform a process of fur glazing. This finishing process causes the fur in your coat to fluff up and lie in one direction, leaving your fur looking lustrous and vibrant.
Cold Fur Storage: Why is it necessary to properly store your furs?
Let’s discuss why exactly it is necessary to properly store your fur coats in the offseason. If you did not already know that, then this article will be very informative for you. If you do know, then pass it on to someone who can use the advice.
1) Slows Down Biodegradation
As fur is a biological material and made up of molecules that can degenerate, storing fur coats in a cold temperature slows down this process. The temperature and humidity controlled storage vaults help prolong the life of your furs and keep them in good condition until you are ready to wear them again next winter. However, don’t get carried away and freeze the coat altogether, as it shrinks the fur and loses its integrity.
2) Prevents Evaporation of Oils
Ever wonder why fur feels so soft to touch? It is because of all the natural oils in it. Improper storage conditions cause those oils to evaporate and, as a result, the fur starts to degenerate. When this happens, the fur loses its shine and luster. Cold storage decreases the risk and process of evaporation of these natural oils. This keeps the fur soft and pliable for many years after you bought it.
3) Maintains Aesthetic Appeal
If not stored properly, the fur coat could lose its aesthetic appeal and charm. Nothing makes fur lose its integrity like hot, damp spaces with no air to breathe. The cold storages provide your fur coat an environment to thrive in, which keeps it safe from the damp and hot weather. This maintains it's natural appeal and allows you to enjoy it for a very long time.
How to Store a Fur Coat
Now that you know why you should store your fur garments, here are some tips on how to do so. However, we recommend storing your fur at a professional fur atelier for the best care.
- Use cold storage with the temperature maintained in the range of 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit or 10 to 15-degree Centigrade with 45% to 55% humidity.
- It is not advisable to store your furs in plastic garment bags or crowded storage closets. Instead, wrap them in a cotton cloth and leave plenty of room between each garment. Plastic bags will prevent air circulation and storing your coat in plastic will cause the pelts to eventually dry out or crack.
- Be sure to hang each of your fur coats on a broad-shoulder, sturdy hanger.
- Do not store your fur in a cedar wood closet. Cedar wood absorbs moisture, which can dry out your fur, and does not protect your garment from dust.
- Do not store your fur with moth balls. Moth balls react with moisture in the air to produce a gas which acts as fumigant. This chemical reaction causes irreparable damage to your fur (not to mention a lingering odor).
Tips for Fur Repair
With the correct maintenance and professional repairs, your fur will last for generations. Even a small rip or missing button on a fur or shearling coat can make you feel self-conscious wearing it. Be sure to fix minor issues before they become major problems. The sooner you get it fixed, the sooner you can enjoy wearing it again!
Master craftsmen can help remedy the following issues.
- Sew loose linings
- Fix minor rips and tears in furs
- Reinforce seams
- Replace and sew buttons
- Fix Zippers and snap closures
- Sew or add fur hooks and rings
- Fix pocket edges and pocket bags
- Fix front edge of fur
- Replace or fix belt loops
- Replace collar stays
- Minor alterations – shorten sleeves, shorten length
- Reline your fur coat or fur jacket. We stock an array of plain silk, satin or patterned linings
- Personalize your coat with our monogramming service
Professional Fur Care, Storage and Repair Services
Pologeorgis has the largest cold storage vault in New York City, offering excellent cold storage of fur, shearling and leather garments to clients for more than 60 years. For repairs, we can work with any of your existing garments. They do not have to have been purchased at Pologeorgis.
Want to learn more about fur care and repairs? Check out this Forbes article of fur care tips from Nick Pologeorgis, owner of Pologeorgis Furs.
Now that you know how to properly care for your fur garments, and where to get professional fur care services, your furs will be sure to look and feel luxurious for a lifetime.