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Tips for Summer Storage: Denver Fur & Leather Coats

June 22, 2016

Real fur is luxurious, expensive, and surprisingly delicate. A well preserved fur coat can actually appreciate in value--what other piece of clothing can claim that? When the heat of summer descends and it’s time to put up the winter furs, you’ll want to preserve their quality and extend the life and usefulness of the garments. Custom leather experts offer the following tips for storing those warm and lovely furs.

Control the climate. Summer heat and humidity dry out the natural oils in a fur coat, leading to brittle hairs and cracking hide that cannot be fully restored. Livestrong recommends that fur vaults be regulated at 40 degrees Fahrenheit (never below freezing) and set to a 50 percent humidity level.

A fur coat that is more than 20 years old may not retain sufficient value to merit the expense of professional storage, unless it’s already very well preserved. If you decide to go the DIY route of fur storage, especially for that ancient mink coat inherited from Aunt Agnes who acquired it in the 1950s, then you’ll need to take special precautions.
  • Do not store the fur in plastic. Plastic does not allow for air circulation and contact with the garment bag may cause the hairs to break.
  • Store the fur in a cool, dry, dark area. If the closet has a heat vent, close it so that direct heat does not dry out the fur and damage it. Do not allow your fur to freeze, either. The freeze-thaw cycle degrades furs and causes significant damage. Sunlight fades and dries out fur.
  • Leave room around the fur for air circulation. In other words, don’t wedge your fur into an already tightly packed closet. Proper air circulation allows moisture from your body to dissipate before mold can grow.
  • Keep the fur dry. If it becomes damp, shake it out and hang it to dry. If it gets soaked, then take it to a Denver leather and fur repair store for restoration.
  • Cover the fur with a protective cotton cover. The cotton yields more readily to the press of the fur and allows air to circulate, while shielding the garment from dust.
  • Keep insects and other vermin from your fur. Insects and rodents will eat the hide and may nest in the fur, creating a nasty mess and forever ruining the garment. Cedar chips, mothballs, and certain other herbs packaged in a sachet (mint, rosemary, ginger, cloves, lavender, sweet woodruff, tansy, lemon rind) will repel insects.
It is recommended you clean your furs once a year to ensure the leather remains supple and the fur silky and shiny. Proper cleaning and conditioning prior to storage will extend the life of your fur hats and coats. Fur coats in Denver deserve the same care as fur coats in New York, Chicago, and Minneapolis--places that understand winter just as much as Colorado residents do.

Jonval Leather & Fur understands how quickly and severely Colorado’s hot, dry summer weather can damage delicate furs. A stiff, brittle, dried-out pelt oftentimes cannot be restored, so careful preservation is the best way to care for fur garments. Jonval’s fur vault is temperature and humidity controlled for proper fur storage. Call (720) 377-1555 to inquire about cleaning, conditioning, and storing your valuable leathers and furs over the hot summer months.