How To Care For Natural Fur
Whether you’ve picked up a vintage fur coat or you’ve just invested in a brand new one, it’s important to spend some time learning how to care for and store it so that you can enjoy wearing it for years to come.
More difficult to maintain than faux fur, natural fur needs professional cleaning, regular maintenance and specific temperature levels when stored to keep it in top condition.
For all of our top tips on the best ways to care for your fur coat, read on to find out more!
Table of contents:
How to clean a real fur coat
Washing a real fur coat can subject it to irreparable damage.
Unlike faux fur, when you invest in a real fur coat, it’s important to get it cleaned by a professional furrier or a dry cleaner at least once a year.
Animal fur gathers odours, dust, and oils, so it’s still important to get your fur coat cleaned even if you don’t wear it often. Animal hides can dry out if not cleaned and conditioned properly, causing them to crack and split.
Professionally cleaning real fur helps to add shine and radiance, prevents it from shedding, and keeps it looking at its best.
What happens during the professional cleaning process of natural fur?
When you take your coat to a fur specialist for cleaning, it goes through a lengthy process to restore it back to its best.
- Before any cleaning happens, your fur coat is checked for stains, rips and tears. This highlights areas that may need deep cleaning and helps prevent further damage.
- The lining is hand cleaned with special attention given to any staining, spots or odours.
- The fur is placed into a large drum filled with sawdust and a special, environmentally safe cleaning solution. The coat is tumbled in the drum, which helps to draw dirt and oils from the fur.
- After the tumbling process, the coat is then vacuumed, and hand steamed to remove any leftover sawdust and residue.
- The next step involves electrifying the coat, where large rollers with an electric charge lift and separate each hair. Making them stand upright separately helps the hairs lie in the same direction again for a newly restored, beautiful look.
How to care for a fur coat
Between each professional clean, it’s important to care for your fur coat to prevent it from matting, tearing or balding.
Here are some failsafe tips to keep your fur coat looking amazing!
Always use the correct hanger
To keep the shoulders of your coat from losing their shape, always hang your fur coat on a sturdy, broad-shouldered hanger. The neck of the hanger should be long enough to keep the collar of the coat away from the hanging rod.
Protect your coat from dust with a garment bag
If you aren’t planning on wearing your coat every day, invest in a 100% cotton garment bag to prevent dust from settling on the fur.
Whatever bag you choose to cover your coat with, choose a breathable material as real fur needs air circulation to keep it from drying out or cracking.
For best results, avoid covering fur garments with plastic covers.
Remove jewellery to prevent matting
If you like to have a brooch or jewellery pinned to the lapels of your coat, always make sure to remove these before storing your coat away.
Real fur can easily mat or wear around the jewellery, leading to irreversible damage and potential balding. Similarly, if you wear a shoulder bag, don’t use it consistently on the same shoulder, as the wearing could cause your coat to shed or develop bald patches.
Avoid unnecessary staining
If you’re a perfume lover, always apply yours before wearing your coat.
The alcohol in perfumes and hairspray can cause the hides to dry and crack, whereas oil-based products can penetrate through the fur, leaving unpleasant odours that can be difficult to remove.
Always apply products before wearing your coat and wrap a scarf around your neck to prevent body oil and make-up from transferring onto its collar.
What to do if staining occurs:
- Difficult stains should be removed by a professional.
- Smaller, fresh stains can be treated at home with a clean, dry cloth, then blotted with a slightly damp, clean cloth. Your coat should then be left to air dry for best results.
- Never use detergent or stain remover on a real fur coat.
Avoid crushing your fur
When sitting down, always remove your real fur coat where possible to avoid crushing the fur.
For best results, drape your coat over a chair, your lap, or your shoulders to prevent damage. If you can’t remove your coat, change sitting positions frequently to minimise potential damage.
Don’t get caught in the rain
If your real fur coat gets soaked in the rain, you may want to book it in for a professional clean immediately, so the hides of your coat can be treated to prevent them from shrinking.
If you’ve just been hit by light rain, start by shaking out your fur coat to remove as much water as possible. Air dry on a hanger in a well-ventilated room, then once it’s dry, shake it to fluff the fur, brushing it down with your fingers to smooth it out.
Never use a blowdryer, brush or comb on a wet fur coat, as this can split and damage the fur.
How to store a fur coat
If you want your fur coat to last a lifetime, it’s important to store it away in optimum conditions to guarantee longevity.
Properly stored fur is built to last; this is why there are so many vintage furs still in existence. Here’s how to safeguard yours in the warmer season to keep it in peak condition for the coldest months.
How to store your fur coat in summer
Real fur hates the heat, so to keep it at its best, you’ll need to keep yours away from it as it can cause the fur hides to dry and crack.
For best results, hang your fur on a broad coat hanger, covered with a cotton suit bag at a temperature of around 10-15•C and with 50% humidity. Avoid direct sunlight, as this can cause your fur to discolour.
With real fur, it’s always important to check it throughout the winter for any signs of insect activity damaging your coat. Avoid using mothballs in storage, too, as they absorb the humidity from the oils your fur coat needs to stay looking fresh and healthy, and they have an odour that is sometimes impossible to remove.
5 tips to help you to care for your coat
So, now you know how to keep your coat looking at its best for the seasons to come; here are a few final tips to make sure it lasts for a lifetime of wear.
- Don’t leave your fur to discolour in direct sunlight.
- Don’t iron your fur; the heat can burn it, making it irreparable.
- Invest in a specially designed fur brush so you can safely brush out clumps without damaging fibres.
- Shake your coat outdoors to freshen it up and remove any dust or debris.
- If the lining of your fur becomes damaged, take it to a sewist that specialises in fur to get a new lining and breathe life back into your coat.
Shop for stunning real fur coats and jackets at Jayley
Now you know how to best look after your fur coat, browse our real fur coats and jackets and invest in your forever fur. From full-length fur coats to jackets finished with real fur trim, it’s never been easier to find a style suited to your wardrobe.