At this time of year, women start to bring out their fur coats, ready for winter wearing. Younger women are usually wearing popular faux-furs, yet women over 50 still have the real things and love to take them out! I have a colleague who chooses not to store hers professionally, but rather has a cedar closet and – gulp – mothballs. All very well and good – but give her a hug at a social event and she reminds you immediately of hugging your great grandmother. That waft of mothballs is offensive — but it is also “aging.” So, other than professional storage what can you suggest?
The first thing your friend needs to remember is that she should never let snow or rain water dry on her fur coat because it could create mildew. She should always dry off the coat as quickly as possible by shaking off the water and patting or brushing off excess moisture, but to never rub the fur or use an actual brush.
To expel existing odors, your friend should hang her coat in a vinyl garment coat bag and place fresh coffee grounds in the bottom of the bag. The coffee grinds will absorb the odor when the bag is tightly zipped closed. It may take a few days for the odor to be fully eliminated, but stirring the coffee grinds every so often should quicken the process.
After a couple of days, she can hang the coat outside to air out the smell of coffee before safely storing it in her closet. However, never store a fur coat in a plastic bag. When your friend needs to brush the fur, she should run her fingers through the fur instead of using a real brush.
Ideally, as you undoubtedly know, to keep a fur coat looking healthy and to prolong a youthful appearance, fur coats should be stored in a cool place; cleaning should be carried out by a professional furrier; cold storage is advised for expensive fur.
On the internet when you Google ‘how to clean a fur coat,’ you’ll find a suggestion for putting your fur coat in a tumble clothes dryer with pumice or walnut shells, but then you’ll need to use a glazing solution to restore the sheen.
Personally, I’ve never owned or worn a fur coat, but I understand their attraction.
Earlier this year Stella McCartney unveiled a collection of “fur free fur” coats during Paris fashion week. (See below photo of four “Fur Free Fur” coats.) These wonderful synthetic long-haired coats have hand-embroidered geometric patterns and stitched labels that visibly declare “Fur Free Fur.”
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