Although keeping your real fur coats at home will suffice during the winter, it's best that they are stored professionally throughout the summer months. Professional fur storage will help to maintain the beauty, value, and life of any item containing real fur. The key to proper storage is fairly simple: cold temperatures with proper humidity levels. This protects the material from summer’s excessive heat and humidity which can dry out those natural oils which make fur so illustrious. Also, be sure to have your real fur coats professionally cleaned before long term storage. During the winter months dust particles and pollutants get caught in the fur hairs. These substances act like a sponge drawing the natural oils out of the fur material causing it to dry out. Professional cleaning will prevent this, thereby stopping the fur pelts from drying and cracking over time. Once the oils dry out there is no way to replenish them and your fur garment is essentially ruined.
When storing your real fur coats it is important to use a reputable business that specializes in fur storage. Check with your local furrier for referrals. A good furrier will have a storage facility that is kept between 34 and 40 degrees at 50% humidity. This is the ideal condition in which to preserve fur, and is one of the best steps you can take to increase its longevity and preserve the value.
Choosing the right business to trust with properly storing your real fur coats can be tricky. Of course the best choice will always be an actual Furrier. Also, many local businesses, especially dry cleaners, present themselves as specialists in fur storage. While some may be reputable, others may not. Here are some tips to keep in mind when searching for the right place:
- Always ask to see the storage area. If you are refused, then that is not the place for you.
- Garments should have plenty of room and not be crushed together.
- Check that temperature and humidity controls are in place and are monitored regularly.
- Look for a vault kept at a temperature of approximately below 40 degrees, but not below the freezing point.
- Observe how secure the facility appears to be. Note locks, door and wall thickness, alarm systems, etc.
- The storage area should be sealed against rodents and pest infestations.
- Real furs should be stored uncovered, exposed to the air.
- Check the terms of the company’s insurance coverage. Furriers usually offer nominal insurance coverage while the coat is in storage, and sometimes make further coverage available for a small fee. Also, make sure to insure your garment on your homeowner’s policy for the full replacement value.
When keeping your real fur coats at home during the winter season, there are some important steps to take and tips to remember:
- Use wide hangers in a closet large enough to avoid crushing garment together. This allows for each garment to have sufficient space.
- Never keep your furs in any kind of bag as they require proper air circulation. Anything that may rest on the shoulders or collar of your real fur coats will eventually cause wear (breakage of the fur hairs).
- Avoid hanging the coats where sunlight could oxidize any exposed sleeves or even an entire side.
- Do not store your real fur coats near any heat source. This will dry the oils out of your fur coat.
- Keep insects and rodents away from your fur. If there is any suspicion of moths, it may be a good idea to have an exterminator come in for a consultation.
- Avoid storing in a basement, where it can be quite moist. Too much humidity can result in a moldy lining or rotted fur material.
It's no secret that real fur coats can be quite expensive and are luxury items. Proper storage will significantly help extend the life of these garments and therefore increase their relative value. Be sure to follow these tips and steps when storing at home or professionally in order to keep your coats safe, pristine, and valuable.