How Do I Care For My Fur Garment?
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 its 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 the fur to your homeowner's policy.
2. Give your fur a good home. Be sure you put it in a coat closet that is not exposed to light (which will fade your fur) or heat. Check for hot water or steam pipes in the walls. Then be sure it 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 its leather side from drying. 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 could snag it. Don't use your shoulder bag on a consistent basis, since it will wear the hairs off and give your coat a bald spot. Consider wearing a scarf around your neck to protect the collar, which can be quickly matted.
5. Avoid having insecticides, mothproofing and other chemicals around or on your fur, including perfume or hairspray directly on your fur. Perfume contains 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 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 its 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 well with 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.
8. Always send your coat on summer vacation. Nothing shortens the longevity 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 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, makes it look better and is good for your fur.