How to Care for Natural Fur Coats
Natural fur garments such as jackets are adorned with either animal fur or synthetic fur. If you’re not sure which fur you have on your garment, you can do a simple ‘burn’ test. First, cut off a few strands and place it on a hard surface. Set the strands alight with a match and see how it burns. If it turns to ash quickly then it’s animal fur. If it melts then it’s synthetic fur. Now that you know which type of fur you have on your garment, here are a few tips to take proper care of it.
Be careful when you apply any hairsprays or oils while you’re wearing the fur coat. If some of the cosmetic products come into contact with the fur then it could affect the hide and cause it to dry out or have the cosmetic oils turn rancid after some time. Smells are virtually impossible to remove from the fur.
Store the coat on a large and sturdy hanger. Padded hangers are preferred due to the support in keeping the coat’s natural shape. Try to prevent crushing the fur and packing the coat too tight with other clothing.
To prevent dust from building up on your coat and getting into the fur, you could use an all-cotton garment bag. It lets the fur breathe and prevents the hide from drying out. Avoid using a plastic garment bag as this will cut off all air circulation and dry out the hide.
Cleaning out rain or snow is simple as all you need to do is lightly shake off the water and hang the coat up in a dry well ventilated room. Do not apply any heating to the fur and don’t use a hairdryer, you may cause damage to the fur. Pat the fur straight and don’t use a comb. The comb may pull out some of the fibers and cause bald spots on the hide. Once the fur is dry you may shake the fur and fluff it out with your hands.
If you get caught in heavy rain and the fur is drenched then you should take your garment to a professional fur care specialist. Dry cleaning isn’t the same and does not suffice as an alternative care for the fur. Fur should be cleaned annually (once a year) to clean out any build-up of dust and oils. The hide may receive treatment to keep it from shrinking and drying out. Once a professional has cleaned the fur, it comes back fluffy with added shine to the fibers. Professional services make a big difference in caring for fur garments.
Once you’ve handed your fur over to a professional, the fur is carefully inspected and cleaned by hand. Any damage to the hide is also repaired before moving on to the next step. The fur is treated with an eco-friendly cleaning solution (make sure the service you use actually states that they use eco-friendly products).
Once the fur and hide has been cleaned and treated, it is added to a rotating drum with sawdust. The sawdust collects and soaks up any oils and remaining dirt. This is a gentle way of cleaning the fur without causing excess stress to the hide and the fur. Once the tumbling is complete, the fur is vacuumed to remove all of the sawdust. Finally after the sawdust has been removed, a last steam cleaning is done to remove any persisting residues.
To ‘comb’ the fibers, the specialist uses large electrical rollers to mimic static electricity and lift each fiber up individually and lay them all in the same direction.
GreenEarth cleaning provides excellent eco-friendly cleaning solutions for clothes and fur garments.
Storing your fur garments in the summer months is important as you don’t want the fur to ruin in the heat. The strong sunlight will bleach the fur over time and the hide may dry out and crack. You’d ideally store the fur in a dark and cold closet. Around 7 degrees Celsius is perfect for long term storage and does not support insects living in that environment. Moths may cause damage and you should check for moth activity from time to time.