Archive for the ‘fur care’ Category

Fur Redesign – Does it seem like you’ve had your fur coat fur-ever?

July 23, 2012

Do you have a fur coat in your closet that you never wear anymore? Well, you are not alone. According to National Fur Federation, 1 out 5 of women in North America has a fur coat in their possession. With little over 300 million people living in the US and Canada, that makes a lot of fur coats!

From changes in fashions, to tensions from animal activists, many women stop wearing their fur coats. But what is surprising is that most women would rather leave their fur coat in the closet than exchange or sell their coat. There are several reasons for this behavior:

  • They invested a lot of money in purchasing a fur coat and do not want to lose their investment.
  • The coat has a sentimental attachment. Many people inherited their fur coats from the mother or even their grandmothers and want to keep it for sentimental reasons.
  • The coat does not fit anymore. Like most people in today’s society, our body changes with time. Because fur coats are usually tailored fit, it may change how you feel about it when wearing it.
  • The style of the coat is no longer trendy. Your fur coat might have been the latest style when you bought it several years ago, but now it looks outdated with all of the sizzle gone.
  • Too hot, too heavy and not convenient. In most cases, fur coats made 30 years ago were very heavy. Of course they were also extremely hot, bulky and a pain to get in and out of the car.

No one can argue that fur is durable and long lasting, as long as it is properly cleaned and stored by a professional furrier. It is these same characteristics that sometimes make it possible to keep them hanging around for long durations. In proper conditions, a fur coat can last 30 to 40 years. No other garment can last this long, nor would you want to have a piece of clothing last so long. Could you imagine wearing pants that was in style 40 years ago?

Thankfully there are a few things you can do to fish out that coat from your closet. Furriers have come up with many innovative tailoring techniques that can make your fur coat looking new, much more comfortable and in style. Fur redesign is an art in fur making. We can now take your old existing fur coat and redesign it into something modern.

Fur redesign is a feasible way to extend the life of your coat, it is also environmentally responsible. Think of it as recycling or re-using a piece of garment. Stop by and see our samples or talk to us about our other ideas and share ideas of your own.

Fur Fashion 2011/2012

May 11, 2011

I just returned from the International Fur Fair in Montreal.
The runway shows gave an overview of the Fur Fashion trends for Fall/Winter 2011/2012,. I would say there were 6 major trends from the international runways. These trends are as follows:
Color – vivid brights and saturated jewel tones.
Vintage – highlighting the 20’s and 30’s, and also the 60’s and 70’s.
Key Furs – crazy textures and full furs (like Mongolian Lamb).
Collaged Furs – combining different types of furs together within one garment.
Contrast Sleeves – using different fur types for the body and sleeves.
Fox Trims – full fox collars and borders.
But let’s be honest, what models wear on the runway doesn’t exactly translate well to what we wear every day.
My next blog will be about what I purchased for our store and what the manufacturers were truly selling.

Fur Appraisals – What type do I need?

December 31, 2010

I was procrastinating once again about what to put into my blog and an email gave me the inspiration I needed. Our correspondence went like this:

Dear Furrier:

I found you on the web and was wondering if you could appraise my fur?

Thank you Lala

Lala We need to see a fur to appraise it. If you let me know the big towns you are near I can research furriers in your area who could possibly do this for you.

Susie
Hinsdale Furriers

Hi Susie,

I live in Frederick, Maryland. The closest large cities would be Baltimore, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. I am planning to make an appointment with Hanna/Demetrios Furriers but would like to get more than one appraisal. Thanks you for any help you can provide. Lala
Hi Lala
There are 2 different types of appraisals so be sure you are very clear what you ask for Insurance appraisal What would the garment cost if I had to replace it with a new one?
Estate appraisal If I were to sell this garment what would I expect you to pay for it? Estate appraisal are also used for charitable contributions and estate taxes.

In Baltimore: Fisher Furs 410-828-4141
Seleh’s Furs 410-547-6733
Tarliow Furs 410-539-1931

In DC

Andriana Furs 202-381-2500

Nieman Marcus also has a fur Department

I spoke to Fisher Furs to be sure at least 1 of the people I am giving you are still in business- I pulled them out of 2007 fur trade directory.

Susie Duboe Bryant
Hinsdale Furriers

Thanks for all the information. The coat is mine free and clear so am only looking for an appraisal with the possibility of selling it. I can’t imagine ever wearing it as it would make me nervous the entire evening wondering whether someone was going to throw paint on it or steal it. It is such a lovely coat but I was wrong when I said it was full length. Only 3/4’s length. Again, thank you, Lala Lala- You shouldn’t worry about wearing a beautiful fur coat. People do not have the right to damage your property and I truthfully have not heard of that happening in many years and then only near the television cameras. Coats do get stolen, that is the reason they should be listed on your homeowners policy.

If you decide you are definitely going to sell your coat. Consider putting it on consignment. We begin taking furs on consignment in September and stop at the end of December. We pay the consignor 50% of the selling price when the garment sells. The selling price is determined before the garment is accepted for consignment. All of our gently used furs are shown on our website. It is updated real time- if it is sold it disappears from the web site. You may look at the web site to find a similar coat to get ideas of our pricing. We have been taking consignment for about 9 years. I am happy to say we have a great success and both the customers and consignors seem delighted. Our business is by the most part referral friends telling friends.
Lala – if you have any further questions , do not hesitate to call or email

Have a wonderful New Year

Susie

A conversation on the web……it just amazes me! To all who read this blog. I am sending my best wishes for a wonderful 2011!

Susie

Fur Care Tip #4 Worn Linings

November 8, 2010

If your fur coat is very long and you find yourself wearing out the bottom of the lining this tip is for you. Rather than having the entire lining replaced at the cost of $350 to $500 just have your furrier run a piece of matching grosgrain ribbon along the bottom of the lining (cost of about $150) this should give your lining many more years of wear. The grosgrain ribbon actually wears better than the lining.

Sample of grosgrain repair

Fur Tip #3 Armhole Rips

October 8, 2010

One of the most common repairs I see in fur coats are rips under the arms. These rips can easily be avoided if you lift the garment before sitting. Do not smooth it under you!

DO NOT SMOOTH YOUR FUR UNDERNEATH YOU AS YOU SIT!

To test this theory put on your coat, have someone pull it down as if you are sitting on it. Now lift your arms. Okay you know how that feels, this is the same as if you smooth the coat underneath you as you sit. Now slightly bunch the coat up on your back and sit.

BUNCH UP YOUR FUR BEFORE YOU SIT!

Can you feel the difference? Viola no more rips in the armhole.
If you do get a rip in the armhole (or anywhere else) take your fur to a fur care professional for repair. Do not wait it will only get larger and become a costly repair.

Fur Care Tip 1

September 26, 2010

As the weather gets cooler, we get many more questions about fur care. I thought I would try to blog more often by sharing the questions and answers with all of the my web friends. If you regularly read my blog you realize I am not the best at being consistent and regular-my fear is as we get busier I won’t take the time if I don’t make a plan now.
So, if you have any questions please email them to me at furs4u2@aol.com .

My first tip for the season: If carrying your fur…carry it fur out not lining out. We can get almost anything out of the fur the lining easily stains and is hard to clean.

Time is Flying By

August 22, 2010

Consignment Mink from the 70's

This week, we began taking furs on consignment for the season. I was telling a newer employee all the things I think about when pricing the coats  brought in for consignment. Price if  new, style, condition, quality and age being the major points. I showed her how to check for worn areas and explained the most common worn areas are the edges: cuffs, fronts, bottom and pockets then elbows and seat area.
I explained you can usually guess age from the condition of the pelt and the style but confirm this with the customer. I suggested to ask if it was purchased for a special occasion and learn the age from that. Some times timing is everything!!!! Just as I was explaining my reason for this I had a customer bring her mink coat to sell and the style told me 1990’s. I asked how old and she said under 10 years. I then asked if it was a gift for a special occasion and she said yes when my son was born. I asked what grade he was in. We all laughed when she said he was just heading back to college. I had to explain to the customer that  time flying by is a very common problem and I had just finished explaining that to my co-worker.
I do it also, just ask and I will tell you I am 35! LOL

Furs Like Bananas Do Not Belong in Your Refrigerator

June 11, 2010

From my childhood my favorite commercial was for Chiquita Bananas. The banana would sing a little song that went…….
” I’m Chiquita banana and I’ve come to say
Bananas have to ripen in a certain way
When they are fleck’d with brown and have a golden hue Bananas taste the best and are best for you
You can put them in a salad
You can put them in a pie-aye
Any way you want to eat them
It’s impossible to beat them
But, bananas like the climate of the very, very tropical equator
So you should never put bananas in the refrigerator.”

I felt like singing this song today after a customer called to ask why she couldn’t just put her coat in the refrigerator for summer storage.

The storage vaults are kept at about 45 degrees and have very low humidity- refrigerators have much higher humidity.

The coats are hung with air circulating in the storage vault- I don’t know how this could be the case in a refrigerator.

I can give a 100% guarentee that watermelon juice (which actually happened to a customer’s coat when she tried to store it in her refrigerator) will not be spilled on your coat in a proper fur storage vault.

Oprah Please Add Additional No Phone Zones

April 30, 2010

Oprah is pushing her No Phone Zone and I strongly agree dialing or texting while driving is a big no no. I would like to suggest (due to personal experience) one other no phone zone. I pride myself on great customer service – today I had a customer come in while chatting on her phone. I quietly took her coats, hung them up, checked the pockets and patiently waited for her to end the call so I could get the information to enter her fur storage information. After about 5 minutes another customer came into the store with their arms full of furs. I hung up the coats, checked the pockets and began to get the new customers information. As soon as I asked customer #2’s name, customer #1 loudly said “Hold on” and turned to me saying “I was here 1st”. I bit my tongue until I could taste the blood and then I politely asked customer #2 if she would mind waiting for me to finish up with #1. Please customers if you would like assistance end your phone calls before you get in line! Thank you

Check Your Pockets Before Storing Your Fur

April 16, 2010

In my life, Spring means fur storage time and the beginning of my favorite game. Some people think Spring is Baseball season in my life the best game of Spring is What is the most interesting thing we will find in a pocket today? We take in about 50 coats a day for storage and cleaning and the 1st thing we do is hang them up and check the pockets.

There are 3 categories of things we find in pockets. The usual , the unusual and the embarrassing.

The usual consists of dirty Kleenex, small amounts of money, candy, empty plastic bags and rosary beads.

The unusual diamond earings, $700 dollars, a very old apple, a pacifier.

Then there is the embarrassing this year so far I have reached my hand in to find a plastic bag that was full of what the customer cleaned up after her dog, the little blue pill that is guaranteed to improve your sex life and the funniest was when a new husband brought in his brides coat and I reached in the pocket not knowing what I was pulling out. I just pulled out very skimpy red panties and handed them to him. I think his face was redder than the panties!

I write this suggesting you check your pockets carefully before taking your furs in for storage and cleaning.