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Why Your Heirloom and Vintage Furs should be in Climate-Controlled Storage

  • Posted on
  • By Rob Cahill
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Why Your Heirloom and Vintage Furs should be in Climate-Controlled Storage

With the hundreds of coats that people have brought into us over the past couple of years to discuss repurposing projects, one thing is very clear: some have been stored well, which allows us to work with them, and others have not.  How can that be and what does it mean?


Most people will look at the sheen on a fur coat and think it looks “almost like new”, but the real story is in the leather pelt under the fur.  If coats are kept in humid conditions in the summertime, the leather actually absorbs the humidity in the air and holds onto it, until the colder winter season when that moisture dries.  Over the course of several years of absorbing and drying humidity, the leather loses its elasticity, dries out, and it completely breaks down so that the leather rips like tissue paper.


I can’t tell you how many people have come in with fur coats they love, often with stories of their Mom or Grandmother, only to find out that by keeping them in a basement, attic box, or closet for years, they have slowly decayed beyond use, or are covered in mold.  


This is why the people who originally owned them, regularly kept them in climate-controlled storage in the summertime, usually at their local furriers.  Climate-controlled storage keeps the garments in a cold and dry, winter-like environment, with humidity around 50% (confirm this).  If you have any interest in keeping your vintage and heirloom furs in condition to maybe have them upcycled in the future into new styles or home accessories, then get them into a climate-controlled storage vault right away.  Most places offer minimum prices for long-term storage or at values that reduce the cost of storing, but keeps them from decaying any further.


If you do have a furrier that offers climate-controlled storage, it also gives you a chance to have the furs evaluated, and cleaned or repaired as necessary to keep them in a condition to be used in the future. 


At Cahill’s, we offer free pick up and delivery of fur coats in the spring and fall on select dates for customers in our storage area, from Kingston to the Lindsay region. Contact us for details.




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