How to Repair Vintage Fur – Yes, You Can DIY

Vintage fur can be fragile. Air, light, heat, insects and accidents all contribute to causing damage to your precious garment. Generally, most people will take their fur to a professional to be repaired. However, in my experience, I have not always been pleased with the “professional” results, even after paying quite a lot of money for it as well.

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  • Thula Edwards

    Dear Sharon, Thank you so much for generously sharing this information! I am just beginning to use fur and would appreciate any other information or ongoing email exchange with you. I have purchased two ebay furs that need some work and the furrier has gone out of business so I am on my own. I have many years of experience sewing…but not o fur. Can you recommend any books, pre”fur”ably with detailed pictures? Again, thank you. Thula

  • Hi Thula,

    Unfortunately, as I mentioned in my article, I never could find any books or articles on repairing fur, which is why I was nervous about trying it myself…but I just went ahead and did it. I am hoping that my experience will give you the courage to just go in there and use your ingenuity to do it yourself. If you have many years experience sewing, then you will have the instinct, I believe, to do it right. Just use the leather needle as I mentioned, test it to see if it holds in the skin…and don’t be lazy! Open linings and do it the right way…being lazy (like I was once) will only give you messy results! I know you can do it!

  • Frieda

    thank you very much. it did seem to me that I should be able to find out how to do this by myself. You’ve been the best help so far. I trust I can make the repairs that I need and will enjoy this vintage fur for a long time. Are there any products I can use to keep the pelts from becoming too dry and fragile?

  • Hi Frieda,

    I’m glad you found my article helpful. I must tell you, though, that you should not try to do anything to the fur or skin to condition them yourself. That is really something that requires special oils and some very expensive furrier’s equipment, which is best left to a professional. However, you can save money just by doing repairs yourself, but not the cleaning and conditioning.

    • balacade

      I am in the same situation in 2011 and would love to know how you made out shortening that fur coat.

  • Thank you for the information- I cannot tell you how discouraged I had become trying to find some info on the web. I am going to take a long fur coat and cut it short to a jacket. your information has given me the courage to proceed.Thanks for sharing.

    • balacade

      I guess I replied to the wrong post. I am looking for follow up on your success in shortening a fur coat as I’d like to do this now in 2011

  • nancy hawkins

    I have a fur coat and want to shorten it and take that piece and make a hood for the jacket. Can you tell me how to go about making the hood or redoing a coat and making something else out of it. I had read somewhere once that real furriers strips of fur and laid them reverse nap to each other and sewed them together matching the fur. How do they get the shape for coats,etc. I actually fixed someone elses fur by glueing it. Used bias fabric and glued each side of the fur to the bias band, one side at a time. I want to know how to create something out of different fur pieces i find.

  • Donald Weyburn

    Have a 40 year old wolf parka that is showing need of maintenance, repair as sections of the leather are tearimg amd appear unstable to the effect that replacement of those sections seems necessary.

  • kissis

    hi,I have a vintage coat that I like to repair my self,you article was very useful ,but can you tell me please what kind of glue you are referring to ,thanks.

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