Caring For Fur

As expensive as fur is, it’s definitely not an impulse purchase. Likewise, the fur isn’t exactly a quick and easy wash-and-wear item. Put the same time and attention into cleaning and caring for you fur as you did selecting it. Most of the fur’s upkeep rests on your shoulders. To actually clean the fur, call on a professional for best results. (For additional information on furs, look up a company such as Jacques Ferber Furs)

Cleaning Your Fur

To clean your fur properly visit a furrier. A furrier makes, repairs, and cleans fur and has the knowledge to clean the fur properly. While a very old article in the New York Times suggests sprinkling cornmeal or sawdust over the fur then shaking it out to remove dirt and oils, a professional can get it much cleaner. Also, avoid dry cleaners unless they have years of experience dealing with furs.

The basic fur-cleaning process isn’t complicated. First, the fur is inspected to ensure it can be safely cleaned. Rips and tears are automatically made (major repairs may require the owner’s permission).

The furrier next placed in a drum full of sawdust, ground up corn cob, or even pumice or ground walnut shells if more abrasiveness is necessary. Dry cleaning chemicals are added to dissolve oils. The drum is then turned on and, with a tumbling motion, the material “scrubs” the fur clean.

Next, the fur is tumbled again in an open wire drum to remove the sawdust or other material. Then the fur is blasted with compressed air to finish the process.

Only after the cleaning is complete is the fur treated in a machine that irons the fur with rollers. These rollers lift and separate the fur fibers before smoothing them again. Wax, oils or other products are sometimes used to bring shine back to the material.

Plan to clean your fur once a year for best results.

 When Your Fur Gets Wet

A little moisture won’t ruin a fur. Follow these tips when your fur gets wet:

  • If slightly wet, simply shake out the fur and hang it to dry in a room with plenty of air movement.
  • Do not use a source of heat, such as a clothes or hair dryer, to dry the fur.
  • Fluff the fur by shaking it. Avoid combing or brushing the fur.

Storing a Fur

The most important part of fur care is what you do at home. Improper care and storage can damage the fur. The following tips will guide you:

  • Hang fur coats on broad-shouldered clothes hangers to prevent stretching the fur out of shape. Avoid metal coat hangers. Do not squeeze or fold as such creases can become permanent.
  • Place in a cloth bag — never plastic or rubber, both of which dry the fur out — for storage if desired.
  • Avoid storing fur around sunlight or even bright daylight, which can fade and deteriorate the fur.
  • Watch for moths and other insects which destroy the fur. Professional storage is often recommended during summer for this reason.
  • Do not store furs in a cedar chest or closet. The oils contained in the wood can ruin the fur.
  • Keep the storage area as cool and dark as possible for best results.Not only is heat bad for fur, but insects avoid cold temperatures.