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Thread: Repairing an older mink coat

  1. #1
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    Repairing an older mink coat

    I have been given a beautiful dark Ranch full length mink coat with a full shawl collar. It's gorgeous but I found a small split at the top of the right sleeve, about 3-4 inches below the shoulder. I did a bit of research, went to JoAnns and bought self-adhesive felt squares. I opened up the lining of the seams, pressed the cut pieces into place to hold the fur in place. After hand-stitching the lining again, a day later I find the fur is lifting a bit from the adhesive! What now?

  2. #2
    Power Poster lynnie's Avatar
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    first off, has the coat been kept in storage. if not, your skins are dry and rotted. you should never apply heat to the fur, as it drys out the skins. to test if the skins are rotted from dry rot. lift up the lining. you didn't mention if it was male or female skins. if it's female, the lining at the bottom will not be attached, it will hang freely. if it is male, it will be sewn it. you say you can see the skins from where you ar. wet the seams by spitting on them in a small spot. strtch gently the skins, if the rip, they are dry rot, if they stretch, they are fine to repair and i'd bring it to a furrier to repai. if the skins are dry, your best bt is to use a small piece of ducttape, you DO NOT wan to apply any type of heat or adhesive to the skins, it will do more damage. the skins will keep splitting if its. dry rot, and sadly, it sounds like it might be. this is why it is necessary to clean and store your skins and coats every year. the dirt and sweat get into the kins and ruin them good luck and write me if you need anymore help with this. Good luck.
    put off till tomorrow what you can do today, and if you procrastinate long enough, you may never have to do it.

  3. #3
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    Wow! I never knew about the make/female construction for coats. Why the different construction with the lining? I don't have furs myself but this was interesting.

    I know that "we" have been beat into shame about wearing real pelts but I love to see beautiful furs. I remember back in the 1970's a very tall, elegant senior aged lady wore her new Christmas ensemble that her husband had given her. It was a full length white mink coat with a matching pill box hat. Wow! That was a gorgeous set!

    Sandy
    Sandygirl

    Janome 9900 / Janome 9700 / Janome 3160 QVC/ Janome 1100D serger, Juki 2020 Mini
    Singer Centennial model (inherited from my late, fav aunt!)

  4. #4
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    Hi Lynnie, been a long time! Thank you for all this information. Firstly, the lining is attached at the bottom, so that would be male. The skins feel very pliable, but yes, I'm sure it's and older coat and it had the smell of a cedar closet. I'm fairly certain it was not properly stored...a darn shame as its so beautiful! Since the split was on the curve of the upper arm. I carefully cut the felt with adhesive back (suggested on a fur repair site) to fit the shape of the sleeve. I continued the backing halfway down the sleeve for added strength. I am going to try the duct tape. I'll let you know how this works out. The coat was zero cost to me, so at the very least, I'll end up with mink pillows!!

  5. #5
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    One more thing, in my research, I did learn to never apply heat. By "pressing" I meant applying pressure by hand!! Sorry for any confusion I may have caused you. You'd be surprised how sparse repair kits/ideas for alternative methods to fur repair are available. I was joking about the mink pillows! If some of the skins turn out to be dry/rotted, I will use the body if the coat to fashion a vest and the length to create a stole or wrap scarf. Thank you again, Lynnie, for your wealth of information!!

  6. #6
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    Debbie you live in an area that makes having a fur a must. I was given a fur (my aunt was from NY), when she passed. I lived in AZ (are we seeing a problem?). I loved my aunt so I was not going to pass up her coat, I loved trying it on (and it gave me that loved feeling). But I was left with a coat I would not be able to enjoy as my aunt had and wanted me too. I didn't want to leave it in storage, so I made some "Ted-E Bear's". I gave one to my mom and another to my daughter gave the third one to my uncle, and I kept the fourth one. Everyone loved the bears, but most of all my uncle loved his. Because he was the one who always bought the new fur coat for my aunt, and he was the one who gave me the coat (because they had talked about it). My uncle was sick, but he always had that bear with him. So if you're unable to save your coat (to be worn as a coat), you can always make and love a "Ted-E Bear". Good luck

  7. #7
    Power Poster lynnie's Avatar
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    If the felt stuff is working, go for it. Ceader chests are as good as storage if it's been cleaned properly to gt the sweat, dust and dirt out of the skins.
    Female coats cost about 2/3 mor than a male coat. a mink coat/jacket is mae from the whole skin area of the animal. foxes for instance have a full skin area less the belly and rump. a mink, being the fur is finer the whole area is used, not countings paws and face and tail. they go into section coats, i'd love to show you, but can't here. the skin is stretched 3 times and is then split into about 1/4" sections and put back together to form one strip of the coat. when looking at a mink coat, you'll notice haw there are sections, on a male about 2 3/4" to 3" on a female about 2". males are 2 to3 times larger than a female. male coats take less skins therefor less expensive. female fur is softer than a males skin and take more to make a coat. Natural colors for a mink coat are white, black and mahogany and cerulean, the grey color. to get the grey color, they are fed fish only and their fur comes out grey. any more questions, let me know, i'll try to answer them for you. good luck with the coat. Enjoy it as a coat or pillows. I've made pillows out of all types of fur. they are fun. Female coats have on the average about 3 times more furs. the 'let out' means that the skins have been stripped and put back together in the fashion to make the strip of fur fabric. these strips are put together with strips of leather. this forms the base of the fur coat. have fun with it.
    Last edited by lynnie; 04-27-2015 at 05:57 PM.
    put off till tomorrow what you can do today, and if you procrastinate long enough, you may never have to do it.

  8. #8
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    Take it where they store, clean and repair fur coats. Macy's does a good job. It is worth the price and you will be surprised at how beautiful your coat is when done. If you just repair yourself and don't have it cleaned you are doing yourself and the fur a disservice. Cleaning puts the oils and softness back in the fur. I love the fur coat that my husband bought for me over 20 years ago it still looks like the day he bought it but you do have to have them cleaned at least every 3 years. They tell you every year and to store them in a cool place but I don't wear mine enough to spend the money to clean it every year.
    Good Luck, Mia

  9. #9
    Power Poster lynnie's Avatar
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    If you don't store it every year, the skins will rot from dry rot. cleaning DOES NOT put oils back into the skin, it pulls dirt and oils from your hands out. Try FURS< FURS< FURS on Rt112 in Medford. Macys can do it too, but they charge a lot more then the store I mentioned. and the girls at macys aren't as knowledgeable as the store I mentioned. I am not affiliated with them, just know of them. The skins stay soft because it is stored properly, and not in a humid area, which will rot your skins terribly. Dry rot is the biggest problem with furs. if it's only stored every few years, your skins will rot on you. I've seen coats that are 20 yrs old in perfectly new shape b/c they've been stored and cleaned properly. good luck.
    put off till tomorrow what you can do today, and if you procrastinate long enough, you may never have to do it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Sew Krazy Girl's Avatar
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    Very interesting and informative chat, ladies. I admire furs too but living in So Cal it would not be practical for me to own one. I'll just have to admire from afar.

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