Archive for the ‘fur repair’ 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 Your fur coat might have been the latest style when you bought it several years ago, but now it looks outdated with all of the sizzle gone.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.

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It’s “bashart”

May 27, 2011

The word Bashart is the only way I can describe reading today’s Fur Insider Blog. Bashart is a Yiddish word meaning destined. I must give a little background information to this story. In our house, my husband takes our Bichon’s Charlie and Scally for their last walk before bed. However, if they need a midnight potty break it is mommy to the rescue. Last night, after their final walk, my husband says to me “I am leaving a 2×4 near the door in case you take the dogs out in the night.” I looked at him as if he was from outer space (he’s from England, but the Brits aren’t quite that crazy). He noticed my expression and explained there was a coyote in our yard when he took the dogs out. The coyote didn’t run; they actually had a stare down. I am happy to say both dogs slept through the night. Then this morning I noticed an entry on the Fur Insider Blog called “The-Coyote Question : “Now it’s no surprise that you’ll hear the usual commentary from the anti-fur folks when the issue of trapping coyote comes up. But, have you ever encountered a coyote? This is another case where the species has proliferated and now colonizes major cities across the US, preying on pets and livestock and even hurting small children in their search for food. Just last week a friend of mine in Encino, CA was heading out to meet a friend for dinner and when she opened her back door to let her dog in she found her dog being mauled by a coyote.”

On behalf of Charlie, Scally and myself we hope you will read the rest of the article.

Charlie and Scally taking a rest

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.

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

New Beginnings

April 6, 2010

Spring is in the air and it is time for new beginnings! My garden is starting to bud and the daffodils are blooming. I haven’t had much time to write lately because of another new beginning….my husband and I decided to get a new puppy. She is a cute Bichon Frise – 11 weeks old – we named her Scallywag but we are calling her Scally. Our 10-year-old Bichon, Charley, is happy to have her after a little adjustment time. Spring is a good time to think about a new beginning for you furs. It is time to clean and store the coats and get any repairs done so they are ready for next fall. If you are tired of the current style it is the time to give your fur a new beginning. Turn your coat in to a nifty bomber jacket or your older jacket in to a stylish vest. There we have it- a quick bit on new beginnings so I could post a picture of Scally for all to see.

How your fur is cleaned

March 5, 2010

It was about 3 week ago when I first began corresponding with a gentleman named Tom via email.  He had purchased a jacket on Ebay and it needed some minor repairs and cleaning. Tom was in San Francisco and couldn’t find anyone to do the work in that area. I referred him to some furriers not too far away. However he decided to send the jacket to us.  He sent it in a post office priority box- I have no idea how it fit in that box. When I opened the box his jacket jumped out like the snakes in one of those trick cans. I sent an email letting him know his jacket had arrived safely and that I would be sending it back in a much larger box.

I sent the jacket back to him this week and here is what I found in my email today!

Hi Susie, BEAUTIFUL!!!! Just Beautiful……..:) It looks and smells so good. And so soft!!!! WOW! what a difference. Now I understand why it is so important to have them cleaned a looked after. What ever you used to get out that dirty wet dog smell…. worked…. Now its to pretty to wear! LOL Thanks again I see the charge went thru. Very good and Thanks for that great big box. I gonna store my Toyota in it……. Bye for now Tom LOL>>>>>

Here are some photos of our cleaning process:

First we check over the coat for areas that need special attention.

Next we spot clean the lining.

Then we put the coat into the cleaning machine with the cleaning compound.

After the tumbling process, the coat gets checked again for repairs and minor repairs are performed.

Finally the coat gets brushed out and the lining is steamed before it goes into the vaults for storage.


I am always preaching the importance of cleaning your fur.  In his note you can hear it from a customer. It makes a difference. The end of winter is around the corner- It will once again be time to store and clean your furs. Your fur will look better and last longer with proper care. Remember our vaults are temperature and humidity controlled. So make sure where ever you decide to send your furs for summer camp they are comfortable and well taken care of.

Fur Coat Care Tip for Sloppy Weather

January 15, 2010

The snow and ice are beginning to melt in the Chicago area leaving puddles and slush on the sidewalks and roadways.  If your fur drags through this mess, which seems impossible to avoid especially for those of us that take the train (the steps are like a swamp), be sure to blot off the fur removing as much of the moisture as possible.  Do NOT put your fur near heat– let it dry naturally.  If the back side (leather) is wet take it to your furrier before it dries. This is very important so that the leather doesn’t shrink.

If you notice any salt on the coat, brush it off.  Salt can damage the coat- it burns the leather side. To keep your fur in the best condition, it is extremely important to have your furs cleaned after a true Chicago winter.

So you got a new fur coat for Christmas

December 29, 2009

The word “new” in the title is meant to mean “new to you” – with today’s economy many Santas picked a beautiful gently used fur coat for their loved ones.  The important thing when you get a fur (or any clothing) as a gift is to be sure it is well suited for you. Santa wants you to enjoy your gift and may not know exactly what style or size is best for you.

Before deciding whether or not you are going to keep the fur Santa brought down the chimney, you should ask yourself a few questions:

1) Do I want to wear this garment all the time or is it strictly dressy or casual? (A full length coat is great for dressy occasions, but not practical for running around and getting in and out of your car.)

2) Are the sleeves long enough?  (The sleeve should come down to the knuckle of your thumb when your arm is straight down.  The bottom of the sleeve should cover your wrist when you bend your arm.)

3) Is the fur the right color for me? I suggest you read my previous blog-Your Fur Coat Must Compliment Your Hair, Not Match It, So You Look Great!

Most important thing to remember is Santa wants you to wear and enjoy your gift.  He doesn’t want it sitting in the closet! If you decide to keep the coat, take it to your local furrier to make sure the closures are in the correct place and to have it monogrammed.

Cold Weather- Fur Care Hint

December 10, 2009

The cold weather arrived in the Chicago area with vengeance and the customers have been running in with emergency repairs on their furs. The most common repair being a rip in the armhole of the coat.

My tip for avoiding this repair:   when you get in the car lift the coat before sitting down on it…DO NOT smooth it under you.
If this tip came too late take your fur to your furrier and have it repaired properly. Following this tip you should be able to avoid those pesky armhole rips in the future!