General Guidelines for Fur Coat Storage and Care
Furs are naturally luxurious, beautiful garments that, with care, attention and proper storage, will last for many years and may even become heirlooms that you can hand down to the next generation.
However, as a natural material, fur garments require unique care, attention and periodic cleaning and conditioning services to maintain their beauty and durability. Here are some of our basic guides for fur coat care and storage.
Protect the coat from excess heat:
Heat can be expressly damaging to natural furs, causing the pelt to shed natural oils and moisture and the hairs themselves to become brittle and split or crack. Excess heat, especially dry heat, can cause the pelt or lining to delaminate or split, and can cause the coat to drop fur as well, a condition which is sometimes referred to as malting.
Not only should you protect your coat from extreme heat, but you should never attempt to machine dry it or even blow dry it. A coat that’s very wet needs a trip to the furrier; loose moisture can be shaken from the fur before you hang it to dry in a cool, dry, dark location with adequate ventilation.
Protect the coat from humidity and excess moisture:
Excess moisture, be it atmospheric humidity, rain, snow, sleet or hail, can all be highly damaging to fur. A little bit of moisture, such as light rain or fog, will not be disastrous to a fur coat. You can simply shake out the excess.
However, if your coat gets very wet it needs to be addressed right away, as water will cause the pelt to swell and then shrink, often inconsistently or disproportionately. This can cause the pelt to crack or deform, and can result in the shedding of fur.
Keep your coat dry, allowing it to thoroughly dry after use:
After you wear your coat, you must shake out any loose moisture and then hang it somewhere to dry in a climate controlled location. Real fur is subject to damage from a variety of different sources and water is only one of them; before you wear your coat again, be sure to hang it in a very dry location, preferably with consistent air circulation, that will gently dry the coat, pelt and lining without stressing them.
Gently remove dust, dirt, water or snow from the fur before storage:
You can probably shake most dust, dirt and moisture from your fur coat before storing it, but if you can’t dislodge them with a simple agitation, you can use a specialized fur brush to remove these contaminants from the fur. Never store your furs with moisture or dirt or dust in them.
Do not sit on your furs or subject them to pressure:
Don’t even sit on your fur coat, even for a moment. It is also a good practice to abstain from sitting on your coat while wearing it, since this can warp or stretch the coat or liner, ruining its fit and form. Likewise, never wear heavy straps over your fur coat, such as those of a handbag, as these can mat down the fur and ruin the fit as well. Remove and hang your coat before sitting.
Hang it when you store it:
One vital aspect of fur care is hanging it when you store it. Hanging a fur coat on a sturdy, full hanger that supports the shoulders, weight and overall shape of the coat will help protect and alleviate stress on the garment. It will also help prevent the furs from becoming matted or disarrayed, protecting the fit of your coat in the long term.
Store it in a cool, dark, dry place:
Light can be just as damaging to a fur coat just as much as humidity and high temperatures. Either store your fur coat in the cold storage facility of a dedicated fur coat storage provider or store it somewhere in your home that is cool, dry, dark and has good air circulation.
Interestingly, although cedar closets will absorb moisture and repel pests, you should not use a cedar closet or chest for fur coat storage. This is because cedar will absorb too much of the natural moisture of a fur coat, causing damage instead of protecting the garment.
Never transport it or store it in a plastic bag:
Covering your fur garment is an effective way to protect it against light, moisture and other variables during transportation, but you should never use a plastic bag to transport a fur coat. Instead, cover your fur garment with a breathable cloth bag prior to transporting it, since cloth is more effective at shielding against light and dust, and is still breathable, enabling it to shed excess moisture.
Address water damage right away:
Light mistings and minor issues can be addressed at home, but if your coat ever becomes thoroughly soaked, you must take it to a professional that specializes in cleaning fur right away. A fur specialist can slowly and thoroughly remove the moisture from a fur coat without incurring damage to the pelt, lining or the fur itself. Don’t attempt to store your fur wet; bring it to a professional for cleaning and conditioning right away.
Visit a professional fur cleaner for routine care at least once per year:
Even if you have reasonable experience providing fur coat care at home, at least once per year, if not more frequently, you should visit a professional furrier for fur conditioning and storage. Fur specialists use proprietary, gentle cleaners and absorbents to remove excess moisture while restoring natural oils to the fur and pelt for longevity. They will also use special tools to align the individual fur strands in order, restoring the appearance and durability of the coat.
Take advantage of professional fur coat storage services:
One more tip - if you don’t have the means to provide proper storage at home, utilize the facilities of a professional storage provider. Call us at 1-800-TLC-FURS or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about our fur storage services and about where you can find the location nearest you, regardless of where you purchased your furs.