One of the best things about fur is how long it lasts. Fur coats are no exception. They can last for decades if properly handled and cared for.
That means, however, that these vintage gems often get handed down from generation to generation. You might have inherited a fur coat yourself or received one as a gift.
But what do you do with that coat? Is it real? How do you take care of it?
We’re going to lay out precisely what steps you need to take with your newly inherited luxurious coat.
How to determine if the fur is real or fake.
After you receive possession of what appears to be an elegant and beautiful fur jacket, you’re probably wondering whether it’s real or fake fur.
Fake fur, after all, won’t be nearly as valuable or as comfortable as the real deal. So determining whether you have an authentic garment on your hands is one of the first things you should do.
If you’re familiar with fur coats and accessories, then you might be able to identify faux fur just by looking and feeling it. Keep in mind that faux fur has become increasingly sophisticated over the years, and an untrained eye might not be able to determine faux from real.
You can do a few things to determine whether or not you have an authentic fur or a knock-off.
- Look test. Animal fur is complex and is designed for warmth. That’s why there are multiple layers to it. Look closely at the hair as you lightly blow on it. You’ll want to see to the base of the fur. With real fur, you’ll see shorter curly hairs with longer hairs protruding out. However, fake fur will be uniform, with all hairs generally the same size and color.
- Burn test. Don’t be scared; it’s just a tiny piece and won’t harm the jacket. Take a small clipping of fur and hold them over a flame. Fake fur will have a plastic scent and will harden into a ball. Real fur will smell like burnt hair; we all know that smell.
- Take it to a pro. A professional furrier deals with furs every day. They can spot a faux fur the second it walks into their shop. If you want an expert opinion, take your newly acquired jacket to a reputable furrier and get their take. They won’t steer your wrong.
Have the fur inspected and repaired.
At this point, you’ve determined that you have an authentic fur coat. If you took it to a furrier to decide whether or not the fur is real, then they might’ve given you a bit more information, such as who made the coat and where and when a furrier made it. These indicators will provide you with some insight into the jacket’s value.
Now it’s time to have the coat thoroughly inspected and repaired. Over the years, the coat could have some wear and tear, and you’ll want to get it back to pristine condition. So take the coat to a furrier specializing in inspections and repairs to have them check it out thoroughly inside and out.
The first thing they’ll inspect is the overall general condition of the coat. They’re going to look closely at the fur and liner to assess whether or not they can repair the coat.
Next, they’ll identify any rips and tears in the jacket and repair them. With their experience and expertise, they’re usually able to fix minor tears without damage to the fur and will be unnoticeable when they’re done.
Lastly, they’re going to re-attach any buttons and fix any zippers that may have fallen off or were damaged over the years. Their goal is to make the jacket look new and functional like new as well.
Once the furrier completes the repairs, you’re going to want the jacket to look and smell fresh.
A jacket that has been tossed in a closet or basement for a few decades might not smell very fresh. It may also be covered in dirt and grime, which will detract from its luster.
You’ll want to have the coat professionally cleaned by a furrier or a service that specializes in furs. Often that same furrier that told you the fur was real conducted the inspection and made the repairs can also clean the fur.
Beware; however, you may read online that there are ways for you to clean the fur yourself. You may be tempted, but keep in mind that your inherited fur coat might be a valuable vintage piece and should be professionally cared for. That’s why we recommend taking it to a professional cleaner as they’ll be sure to handle the jacket with care.
Store it to preserve the elegance.
At this point, the inherited fur coat is repaired and cleaned. You now have a vintage coat that looks as new as when you inherited it.
But how do you keep it that way?
The best way to maintain your fur coat is by having it stored by a professional.
Fur is organic material that will break down just like any other material if given the opportunity. However, to do so, it needs particular atmospheric conditions. However, fur storage companies maintain a humidity level and temperature that reduces the chances of your material breaking down.
You might want to wear the jacket more frequently during the colder months. That is perfectly fine. Take the jacket out of storage and store it in your closet between uses. Nevertheless, when you’re done wearing your coat for the season as it is getting too warm out, take it to a furrier for storage. They’ll ensure that it is secured and enclosed in an environment perfect for the fur.
Congratulations, you have a beautiful fur coat.
Now that you know what to do with your inherited fur coat, it’s essential to take the necessary steps to preserve its elegance and value. Have the jacket inspected and repaired by a professional furrier, then have it professionally cleaned before storing it away for the warmer months.
By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to enjoy your vintage fur coat for years to come.