A fur coat – and accessories, for that matter – is an affirmed piece of luxury that deserves loads of care in order to preserve it for future use or resale. Natural fur deserves its vaunted position in the world of fashion and style, given the expense at which it is generally procured.
There are several proactive things you can do to preserve your furs; but one thing that requires the sure hands of a professional is fur renewal. William H. Harris Fur Restyle takes delicate care in renewing the aging furs of a just-purchased second-hand coat that is still valuable, but has perhaps lost a bit of its luster.
Getting Your Fur Cleaned Professionally
One of the most attractive aspects of a professional look-over is just how thorough it will be. An inspector will look for and find all tears, minor cuts, and rips – even stains that escaped your own careful eye. The best professional services always include fixing tears in the package, so you can use the offer or lack thereof to gauge the level of service.
The initial cleaning will be performed painstakingly by hand, and then the entire fur coat will be immersed in a vat containing a safe, specialized cleaning solution and some sawdust, which helps remove oils and deeply-embedded dirt. A vacuum and subsequent steaming process later, and the second separate phase of cleaning begins.
The same thing that makes the coat so effective is what makes it difficult to clean thoroughly by an amateur. The many hollow hairs may stick together after use, and these must be separated to ensure a spotless job.
The Second Phase of Fur Cleaning
This is the primary reason why you need a professional service to clean your fur coat: it involves an electrification process. By applying an instrument, each individual guard hair and underfur is raised to make them all point in the same direction. The separation that occurs further helps remove dirt and encourages drying, which is helpful even for hydrophobic furs.
Storing Your Fur Coat in the Offseason
Proper storage is just as important as cleaning and restyling if you want to maintain a fur coat in tip-top shape. First of all, avoid hot places, as the non-fur parts – usually leather, for a high-quality coat – can crack due to excessive drying. You want to keep the coat in a place where the temperature doesn’t rise much above 45 degrees F, and in a dark place so the color doesn’t fade.
Furs that are stored appropriately can easily last more than half-a-century – particularly given that the moths which would attack the fabric in a closet can’t survive at the optimal storage temperature.
Remember how, during the professional cleaning process, oils were extracted from the coat? This is one reason why you shouldn’t store your fur coat in any place that is constructed of cedar. This bark has natural oils that can seep into the coat and damage the guard hairs and underfur of the coat, so that they can’t employ the thermoregulation that makes them such wonderfully warm winter coats.