How Do I Care For My Fur?
Given the right attention, your fur coat will last for decades! Unless you have a very delicate fur, like chinchilla, your fur coat is a fairly durable item and must simply be treated with common sense. Furs love cold and hate heat. They don't like friction. They don't like chemicals. They like space. They like to be cleaned often, but only by a fur professional.
1. Insure your fur on your homeowner's policy for it's replacement value, so you won't be heartbroken in case of theft. Furriers typically do not offer insurance coverage while your coat is in storage. Some may offer it for an additional fee, but it is usually much less expensive to add your fur to your homeowner's policy.
2. Give your fur a good home. Be sure you put your fur in a coat closet that is not exposed to light (which will fade your fur), or heat (which will dry out your fur). Check for hot water pipes or steam pipes in walls. Then be sure your fur has room to breathe and isn't being crushed by other garments.
3. Don't cover your fur in a garment bag.Your fur prefers air circulation to prevent it's leather side from drying out. If you absolutely must keep it in a bag for a short period of time, be sure it is in a loosely woven cloth bag--definitely NOT PLASTIC, for plastic does NOT allow the fur to breathe at all.
4. Don't pin jewelry on your fur, and avoid sharp necklaces or bracelets that might snag it. Don't use your shoulder bag on a consistent basis, since it will eventually wear the hairs off and give your coat a bald spot. Consider wearing a scarf around your neck to protect the collar, which can become quickly matted.
5. Avoid having insecticides, mothproofing, perfume, hairspray, and other chemicals around or on your fur. Perfume and hairspray contain alcohol, which can dry the pelts. Once a perfume gets into your fur (including cedar from a cedar chest) it could be there to stay. Oils in the leather of your fur can then become rancid and smell.
6. If your fur gets wet, don't panic!Most furs handle snow and light rain with ease. Shake it out and hang it to dry in a well-ventilated room, at home or office. Resist the temptation to speed the drying process by using a hair dryer or hanging it near a heat source. Fur does NOT like heat. After it dries, shake it again. Do NOT comb or brush it. If it's hairs are a little bristly, simply smooth them with your hand. If your fur has been soaked through, however, take it immediately to a fur service specialist.
7. Furs don't do like friction or crushing, both of which they experience in your car. Use common sense when sliding into the seat, so you're not too hard on your fur. To avoid a telltale flattened bottom print on your fur, don't sit on it if possible, or at least not on the same spot consistently. Shake out any spots like that on your fur when you exit your vehicle. On long drives, take off your fur and wear it over you like a blanket, if you need to keep warm, as long as doing so still allows safe operation of your vehicle.
8. Always send your coat on summer vacation. Nothing shortens the life of your fur like keeping it in your closet during a long, hot summer. Send it to your furrier for professional storage. This is important every year for a fur, a shearling, a fur-trimmed garment, and even a fur accessory such as a fur hat or scarf. Fur storage is not very expensive, and it's the SINGLE BEST THING you can do to care for your fur. It definitely IS necessary.
9. Have your fur cleaned regularly by a fur specialist. NOT a dry cleaner! Furs must be cleaned by a special process. Your fur should be cleaned EVERY YEAR, unless it has been worn hardly at all during the year. In that case, have it cleaned at least every OTHER year. Besides just cleaning, this CONDITIONS your fur, making it look better, and it's GOOD for your fur.