Fur Tips: Cleaning

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When a fur coat needs cleaning, it is essential that you take your garment to a fur specialist, not a dry cleaner. Fur requires a very special cleaning process that most dry cleaners cannot do.

Even if there is no visible dirt or stains, fur should be cleaned at least once a year. Cleaning can remove dirt particles and chemicals, and involves a glazing procedure that improves the lustre of the fur.

This might seem like a lot of effort, particularly if the coat does not appear dirty, but keep in mind that the coat will last much longer if cared for properly.

Burberry Prorsum, Nappa leather and rabbit coat available from Net A Porter.

Fabulous Furs at Fendi

The last Fendi show was rife with carefully crafted furs. From beautiful scarves to full coats, every piece was meticulously sewn and styled. The separate pieces have a great over-all tone that ties the collection together, without becoming repetitive. It’s the perfect mix of long and short pieces, with a bit of that Fendi charm in every one.

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The colours on these furs are so vibrant and natural.


MORE FABULOUS FENDI FURS

Fur Hypocrite: Melanie Rickey

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While Melanie Rickey isn’t a household name, she is most definitely an important fashion journalist in the UK, who acts as Fashion Editor-at-large for Grazia magazine (one of the countries most popular fashion magazines.) A few months back she wrote a post (wrote is actually not the correct word here), she regurgitated a letter written to her from PETA. I find it highly distressing that a so-called respected journalist would simply re-copy a letter from a very biased organization, without actually having done any research into the facts.

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Melanie Rickey, Grazia's Fashion Editor at Large.

The letter (see the blog post here) stated the usual fur industry lies, and then some, followed by a slew of comments. As expected there were comments of support, but the worst came when she responded to the comments. Here are a few of her utterly hypocritical responses.

“I occasionally eat meat, and do wear wool and leather but that works for me and most people as we wear these animals and it is part of the natural order.”

Hilarious that you can justify wearing some types of dead animals because it “works for you” and is part of a “natural order.” Perhaps Ms Rickey would like to see how the “natural order” works in the North of Canada, where people live off the fur trade, and often eat the meat. This type of inarticulate response is the last thing we would expect from a successful journalist.

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When mentioned that the leather trade is, in many cases, worse than the fur trade, Rickey responded with:

“I don’t know enough about the leather industry to comment. I need to know more.”

I’d like to suggest that she do some research, instead of claiming ignorance. I would expect this from a blogger or someone who comments on fur posts with their anti-fur remarks, but for an established journalist to avoid dealing with a topic by simply saying she doesn’t know enough is very sad. Melanie Rickey, you are a fur hypocrite.

Read about more Fur Hypocrites:
Janice Dickinson
Alexandra Shulman and British Vogue

Images sources:
Eskimo image
Catwalk image
Melanie Rickey

Fur Tips: Buying Vintage Fur

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Vintage fur is a great alternative to new fur, as the designs can be very unique, and it is often a lot less expensive. But vintage furs need to be carefully selected, as it is easy to buy a “bad” vintage fur. I bought a beautiful vintage leather coat with chevrons of white fur (I believe it was fox) and one of the chevrons tore when I was out at a party. Within hours, the coat had torn in about eight more places. I freaked out, as the coat had cost me $100, and this was the second time I was wearing it. I took it into Pappas Furs, in hopes of getting it fixed. Unfortunately, I was told “Dry rot, throw it away.” They told me it wasn’t even worth making into a blanket. I won’t ever make that mistake again.

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Here are some tips I got from Walter, the master furrier from Pappas Furs, about what to look for when buying vintage fur.

  1. Look at the fur, if it is oxidized, you shouldn’t buy it. If the fur has a yellow tinge, then it means it is oxidized. Look for the yellow tinge on the areas that are exposed to the sun, for example the shoulders, and the sleeves.
  2. Touch the fur and its leather, if it is brittle, forget it. The fur should have a soft, supple feel. If it is brittle and crunchy, it means it has dried out, or has dry rot.
  3. vintage fur, fur coat, fur tips, buying vintage fur, fur care

  4. Another way to test for dry rot is to pull on the leather a bit (the underside of the fur.) If there is no elasticity, then the fur is nearing end of life.
  5. Another sign of dry rot is rips, If there are several rips in the coat, chances are the fur is dried out. Check areas like the arm holes, shoulders, and neckline for rips.
  6. If the fur is shedding quite a lot, it might be infested with moths. Keep in mind that some delicate furs can break (for example rabbit or chinchilla) and most furs shed a little bit but if there are a lot of hair coming off the garment, or the hairs are coming out in clumps, then do not buy the coat.

Thanks to Walter from Pappas Furs in Vancouver, who kindly supplied me with these useful vintage fur buying tips.

Read more fur tips:
Repairing Tears
Dealing with Moths
How to Store a Fur Coat

Images from here, here, and here.

Fur on the Catwalk: Burberry Prorsum Autumn Winter 2011

Christopher Bailey has put together a wonderfully classic collection for Burberry Prorsum once again. Highlights included warm brown fur coats paired with a slim trouser, and sleek, black mink accents on sleeves and shoulders. The entire collection is a sensory experience, with several textures in one garment. It’s unfortunate technology hasn’t come far enough to let us experience the feel of a garment while watching the show streaming live on our iPads.




Catwalk Images from Style.com