How to Take Care of Your Fur Coat During Summer
Summer and fur coats. They may seem like complete opposites at first, but anyone who owns a fur coat or jacket is in on a little secret.
The summertime is the best time to take care of your fur coat.
Think of summer as prime vacation time for your fur garments. While your favorite fur coat protects you from the cold, ice, and wind during winter, it needs a little tender loving care during the warmer months to keep it looking like new.
“I don’t have time to take care of my fur coat!” We hear this often from new clients, but in reality, taking care of your fur is easy.
With only a few simple steps, your fur coat will be winter ready.
Why Repair is Important
You see your fur coat hanging your closet and notice a small rip on your coat. You don’t think too much of it, but seeing any damage to your coat should prompt you to visit your local furrier.
Minor damage, even small rips or tears, can grow into more substantial problems. The more extensive the damage, the more repair will cost to mend.
Damage to your fur coat can come from either normal wear and tear or an unfortunate accident. For example, sitting down in your fur coat too much can cause it to stretch and become weak at the seams. Another less way fur can become damaged is wearing a shoulder bag too often. This can rub against your fur and leave bald spots.
Expert tip: Always remove your coat before sitting for an extended period time and go with a small handbag when you’re out.
Minor damage from these situations are usually an easy fix. However, you should know there are other scenarios that could cause serious damage. If your coat is not stored correctly during the summer, the pelts can dry out and become brittle. Home storage during the summer months can also expose your coat to pest like moths or spiders.
These conditions result in significant injury to your coat. This is why prevention should always be the first step in repair. It is much easier to preserve your coat than call a furrier for extensive repair.
Only Take Your Fur to a Professional Furrier
When you take your fur coat in for repair, always visit an experienced furrier. Never take your fur to a regular tailor or seamstress. Fur is a luxury material, and behaves differently compared to other clothing materials.
To repair fur correctly, work must be completed from the inside underneath the lining. This ensures the repair stay in place. However, this type of work require special types of needles, thread, and other equipment. A licensed furrier will have these resources on hand so your fur is not damaged further by using the wrong type of equipment.
An expert furrier will also have the right training and experience to repair fur. Becoming a professional furrier can take years and is not a title easily attained. This is why you want to entrust your investment to the hands of a specialist.
The Fur Repair Process
After taking your fur to a professional furrier, they will ask you questions about the item’s history and use. Then the staff will begin a thorough inspection of your coat before beginning any work.
Repair time can vary based on the type of damage and your furrier’s availability. This is why having your fur coat repaired during the summer is the way to go. You will avoid the fall and winter rush of other clients.
Expert tip: You should also check your fur coat or jacket for any sign of damage periodically. This will help you notice small issues before they grow.
If you’re taking in your fur coat for repair, you should also consider having it restyled too. What is fur restyle? A fur restyle uses your old fur coat as the foundation for a complete redesign.
The Versatility of Fur
Fur is a unique fabric not only because of its luxury, but its utility. An expert furrier can remodel your old fur into updated styles and shapes to better match your tastes.
Fur restyle is an especially attractive option for those who inherited a fur coat or purchased one several years ago. Vintage fur coat styles include oversized shoulders, bulky design, and puffy cuffs. Modern fur is completely different.
Speaking of fur coats, the realm of fur has expanded into vests, slippers, handbags, furniture, and even phone cases. And while many people reserve their fur for special occasions like the opera or a black-tie gala, but there are many ways you can wear fur during your everyday life.
You can add a fur vest to a causal jeans and button up shirt for an effortless day look. You can also layer a fur vest over your favorite little black dress to add an extra touch of elegance to your night out.
With of all these options, there is no shortage of ideas to restyle your fur. You can talk with your furrier about possible restyle ideas as well. If you fur coat just needs a little work done, your furrier can tailor your coat to better fit your size and frame as well.
Many people do not get to wear their fur as often as they would like due to their climate. If it is a balmy 60 degrees during the winter, you’re probably not going to want to break out a full-length fur coat. But a fur vest or accessory is a perfect way to get your fur fix without wearing an entire coat.
What to Expert During Your Restyle
When you take your fur in for restyle, expect an initial consultation to discuss your personal tastes and ideas. Your furrier will take down your measurements and ask how envision wearing your fur.
Depending on the scope of work, your fur restyle can take a few days or a few weeks. Restyling your fur during the summer makes for a less stressful experience. You don’t have to focus on having it ready when cooler air comes into town, and the furrier can focus on creating you a one-of-a-kind restyle.
Expert tip: Your old fur can also be used to line the inside of a leather jacket for extra warmth without extra bulk.
Why Your Fur Needs to be Cleaned
Did you know your fur coat needs to be cleaned at least once a year? While your fur coat may not look dirty, it still requires professional cleaning to remove abrasive dirt particles.
A healthy fur coat should feel soft and lush. The lush feeling comes from the fur’s natural oils. These natural oils surround each hair on your fur coat and give its shine.
Without these natural oils, your fur looks dry and is prone to premature damage. Dirt, dust, and other particles drain your coat of natural oils and steal your coat’s luster. The main goal for cleaning is to remove these particles from your coat, leaving the natural oils refreshed.
Where to go for Cleaning
The same as other fur services, always take your fur coat to a professional furrier you trust. Some fur salons ship your fur coat to a different location which increases the risk for damage.
Never take your fur coat to a regular dry cleaner. Fur cleaning is a delicate process and requires industry standard materials. The wrong type of equipment can severely stain or damage your fur. The rough washers and dryers can also rip and tear the pelts.
This also goes for your washer and dryer at home. Never try to launder your fur coat or accessories at home.
An expert furrier will have to right experience, tools, and facility to gently clean your fur. The fur cleaning process does not just consist of removing dirt but also includes conditioning and glazing. Conditioning fur helps enrich the natural oils, and glazing to give its vibrant shine.
How Often Should You Schedule Cleaning
The average fur coat only needs cleaning once a year. The best time to have your coat cleaned is before it goes into storage during the summer. This will ensure your coat will be winter ready when it is time to take it out of the fur vault.
If your coat is exposed to perfume or smoke on a regular basis, you may need to take it in for cleaning twice a year. Also if you spill anything on your coat besides water, take it to a furrier immediately so the spill does not leave a stain.
Expert tip: Your fur coat is designed to take a good soak or winter snowfall, but if it ever becomes completely drenched in water you should take action. Go to your furrier right away.
Keep Your Fur Protected
One of the most important steps to taking care of your fur is also one of the easiest. When temperatures increase, it is time to take your fur in for professional storage. According to the Fur Information Council of America, you should always put your fur into cold storage when the season is done. This protects your fur by preventing exposure to these elements:
Heat – The summer heat is your fur’s greatest enemy. Rising temperatures dry out the natural oils in your fur and leave it looking tired.
Humidity – Depending on where you live, humidity levels in your home can rise and drop dramatically. This upsets the natural balance of moisture and can make your coat brittle.
Pests – No one likes to think about it pest in their homes. They are always an inconvenience in general, but present a unique threat to your fur coat. This picture shows what can happen when insects get to your fur.
Direct Sunlight – Summertime means longer days, which is great for us, but disastrous for your furs. Direct sun can cause your fur to oxidize and change colors.
Lack of Space – Fur needs ample space to “breathe” in an area with proper ventilation.
According to Furcare.org, the longer your fur stays in cold storage, the longer it will last. This means a well maintained coat will give you years of enjoyment.
Professional Fur Storage
For proper fur storage to protect your fur, make sure you take your fur a cold storage vault. Cold storage helps to slow down the evaporation of natural oils. Your fur storage facility should maintain a constant 50°F and 50% humidity. If you walk into the storage facility and it is normal room temperature, then leave right away.
Your fur storage facility should also have 24/7 security with limited access and monitoring. With some fur coats worth over $50,000, only authorized staff should have access to the fur storage vault.
A reputable furrier should also inspect your fur before accepting into the vault. This helps both furrier and client aware of damage before the fur goes into storage to avoid possible future miscommunication. When cooler weather hits, you should be able to pick up your fur with a day in advance phone call.
While these are the most important steps to taking care of your fur during the summer, don’t forget these other tips as well:
- Always use a broad-shoulder hanger to hang your fur. Never use a regular wire hanger. Feel free to ask your furrier for suggestions on where to purchase your hanger.
- Fur needs air to breathe. During the colder months at home, don’t use a plastic bag for your fur. If you need to travel with your fur, use a bag designed to store fur.
- Avoid using sharp jewelry like pins or brooches on your fur.
- Don’t use moth balls anywhere near your fur. Moth balls absorb moisture which is critical for your fur coat’s health.
If you have any other questions about how to take care of your fur during the summer, contact Gartenhaus Furs today.