Fur Storage: Do's and Don'ts
There are numerous misconceptions when it comes to how furs should be stored – the “correct” way people thought to do this has changed over the years and a number of myths about fur storage have circulated due to this, more to come on that later. But, we’re here to set the record straight – the most important step to keeping a fur in great condition: Cold Storage. Once the season is over and its time to put your fur away, be sure to safely store it in a cold storage facility (like the one we have on site). This will elongate the life span of your fur and ensure it is properly taken care of.
A cold storage facility should encompass all of these characteristics, as specified by the Fur Information Council of America:
- Between 34-45° should be the optimal temperature, but should not go above 55°
- Control the humidity between 45 – 55%
- Should be insect and vermin proof
- Protect against theft
- Minimal UV light exposure
- Each garment should have enough space
- Be easily accessible (for the random cold front or event)
At LaBelle Since 1919, we ensure all of the previously mentioned criteria for our cold storage vault to ensure we provide the utmost optimal climate for your furs.
So, what’re the myths mentioned before?
Great question! Everyone has a different way they’ve heard to keep their fur – many will say “well I have a cedar closet” or “moth balls should keep the pests away” or “it should be fine hanging in my closet in a garment bag”. While we appreciate the efforts that people are taking to preserve the fur – all of these are incorrect and can lead to destroying the fur all together. So, we’re here to explain why these are wrong and ways in which you can make smarter choices to protect your items.
The biggest myth that we hear the most often is when people mention storing their piece in a cedar closet. They think this is the safest and best place for them due to the moisture absorption quality of cedar. While cedar does absorb moisture, what they don’t think about is the fact that while it is absorbing the moisture out of the air, it is also absorbing the natural moisture from the fur or leather piece that is hanging in the closet. This can lead to depleting the fur or leather from the necessary moisture it needs to keep it looking and feeling its best. Once these natural oils are gone, the deterioration process speeds up and will leave your garment completely dried out, tearing as though it is made of tissue paper, and ultimately unwearable forever.
Although its been said that moth balls will keep pests away and absorb moisture for the items they’re kept with, do not store your furs with them. They are made from a dangerous chemical called Naphthalene which is derived from coal tar. Needless to say, this is not good for your health nor the health of your piece. Similar to the cedar closet, moth balls will absorb moisture but when they do, it releases a gas which fumigates the fur. This fumigation process can be detrimental to a fur and cause damage which is unable to ever be repaired. On top of that, moth balls can also be fatal in ingested by pets or children – overall, just keep moth balls out of the house and away from your fur altogether
For travel or short periods of time, garment bags are perfectly fine to use to protect your furs. The issue comes when they’re kept in a garment bag for an extended period of time. Bags made from plastic are the worst due to their restriction of airflow to your piece, which overtime will cause the drying out process to speed up and have you end up with irreparable damage to your fur. Fabric bags are slightly better since they can be more breathable. Although, if kept in there for a long period of time the bag can cause hair breakage where its resting on the fur and make the fur appear worn in those spots.
Benefits of Cold Storage
The perks of cold storage can be supported by science and how the cold effects molecules. As we learned as kids, the colder something is the slower the molecules move. This is the biggest reason why cold storage is the best place for a fur to be kept. Why, you might ask? Because the slower moving molecules means less molecular activity which ultimately means a slower deterioration process – the molecules aren’t able to move as fast as they usually would be in a room temperature environment.
This begs the question, why not just freeze it when it isn’t being worn? Why have it just cold? This goes back to another principle that we all learned as kids – when something is frozen, it expands. Thus, if we were to freeze a fur the molecules of natural oils would expand, then when it’s thawed that would contract. This process of repeated expanding and contracting over and over again throughout many seasons can cause the molecules to stretch and tear which means a faster deterioration process, rather than an assumed slower one. The cold however slows down the evaporation process of the natural oils keeping your fur soft and pristine year after year.
Were you a believer of some of these myths? Do you now see the benefits of having furs in cold storage? Do you have additional questions or concerns that we may be able to clear up for you? Are you ready to have us take your fur and put into our on-site vault for safe keeping? If you answered yes, then be sure to visit our website https://labellesince1919.com/pages/fur-storage or give us a call (407-422-3565) so we can discuss the cold storage process that we have and can assist you with being a part of it.