Vintage fur coats should always be cleaned by a professional. Yours will very likely be put in a container that is filled with a liquid cleaner and, surprisingly, either sawdust, walnut shells, or pumice. The container will then be tumbled repeatedly to remove any odors, oil smudges, or dirt. Next, a glaze will be applied that will help restore a soft texture and sheen. In some instances, a professional will need to perform other steps in order to restore color.
There are times, however, where you can’t always get to an expert, and your coat may get wet due to precipitation. If this happens, simply shake out the moisture and then hang the item in a place that is dry and cool. Don’t let any water sit because that could cause the item to smell like mildew.
Speaking of smells, one way to get rid of unpleasant odors is by putting the item in a garment bag. Next, get a container with some coffee grounds and put it in the bag as well. When you close the bag, the coat will absorb the aroma of the grounds. Stir the container daily to see if the odor has gone away. If you still smell the coffee after taking the item out of the bag, let it hang outside until the smell is gone. You can then put it in your closet as you would normally.
- When vintage fur coats get wet, you should never try to rub water away or dab at moisture: the material could become matted, which could ruin its appearance.
- Make sure you store your item in a large closet that offers good ventilation – don’t use a plastic bag unless you’re trying to get rid of an odor as mentioned earlier. You may want to consider having it stored by a professional, because the ideal conditions are 40 degrees and 55 percent humidity. An expert will also make sure the item is not damaged by moths or other insects.
- Don’t try to dry the item using heat, and if you need to brush the material, simply run your fingers through it, as certain brushes can pull out strands of fur.