The York Furrier Design Team restyled an older ranch mink coat into a shaped walking coat.

Essential Care for Furs & Fine Outerwear at York Furrier

Once spring arrives, fur garments need TLC for longeitvey’s sake. York Furrier, in Elmhurst, provides storage, cleaning, repairs, alterations and restyling.

The York Furrier Design Team restyled an older ranch mink coat into a shaped walking coat.

After months of bundling up in winter gear, it’s time to peel off the layers and arrange some TLC for your fur and outerwear garments – that’s storage, cleaning, repairs, and alterations or restyling for older garments. By protecting fur and outerwear now, you’ll ensure wearing enjoyment for years (even decades) ahead.

Storage Time

Once the outside temperature is consistently above 60 degrees, garments made of fur, precious fiber (cashmere, wool, alpaca, etc.), and outerwear (shearling, leather, suede, etc.) need attention. Storing these garments in a climate-controlled vault prevents pelts from drying and protects them against heat and moth damage.

According to the Fur Information Council of America (FICA), a national association, furs should be stored in a vault with temperature set between 40-50 degrees and humidity controlled at 45-50 percent.

Keith Kaplan, FICA’s communications director, explains, “When fur isn’t properly stored during warm weather, the fur’s hair may appear fine, however, the leather will begin to dry. Once a pelt loses its supple texture, it will no longer be able to be repaired, altered or restyled, and it may even begin to disintegrate.”

Home storage and air conditioning won’t protect furs from drying and they won’t prevent oxidation, which changes a fur’s color and texture. In fact, home closets are typically 10 degrees warmer than the adjoining room; so, even with air conditioning, the temperature isn’t optimum for fur care. Don’t place fur and outerwear garments in a cedar closet. Not only will it deplete the moisture from a fur’s pelt, but the cedar odor permeates fur and is extremely difficult to remove.

York Furrier operates on-site, secure, climate-controlled storage vaults in its Elmhurst City Centre location. No appointment is necessary to drop off garments. All store labels are accepted for service.

Keep it Clean

Just as your vehicle requires a thorough detailing to look its best, so does a beautiful fur or stylish shearling. Using environmentally friendly methods and state-of-the-art equipment, the York Furrier staff can restore fur’s sheen and luster, clean silk linings, and preserve natural oils in the fur pelt, keeping it soft and supple. A thorough but gentle cleaning by furrier method (not dry cleaning, which utilizes harsh chemicals) removes dust, dirt and harmful salt used to de-ice sidewalks. In addition to cleaning leathers, suedes and shearlings, York Furrier offers weather and stain protection treatments – perfect for those who eat on the run or have to contend with little ones’ sticky fingers and slobbery dogs.


From replacing a missing closure to completely restyling an older garment, the York Furrier Design Team makes sure your garments look spectacular for next season. When garments arrive for storage, each one will be carefully inspected – closures, lining and seams – to note any necessary repairs. For older furs, it may be time to alter or restyle. Shortening the hemline from full length to a jacket, reducing shoulder/sleeve fullness, converting a coat to a vest, adding a hood, or shearing a long-hair fur are just a few update ideas. For inherited or unused coats, consider recycling older furs into home decor such as pillows, throws or floor coverings; creating a coat for a short-haired puppy; or trimming with fur a pair of leather gloves, boots, or a clutch. There are so many ways to make an old fur new again.

Kathy Rezny is co-owner of York Furrier Inc., purveyor of exceptional furs, fine outerwear and accessories since 1931, located in the Elmhurst City Centre, in Elmhurst. Rezny is an executive board Member of Fur Information Council of America and the former president of the Associated Fur Industries of Chicagoland. For more information, call (630) 832-2200 or visit