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After spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on a fur coat, you want to make sure it lasts. Improper storage can cause the skin to dry out and shed, and there's nothing attractive about a coat with thin or bald spots. Folding it and storing it in a chest or hanging it up in the attic or basement will not keep the coat in good condition. A hot attic is completely out of the question, and although your basement tends to be the coolest area of the house in the summertime, it's not the optimal spot for your fur coat. If you want to avoid unsightly fur loss, leave it to the professionals.

No matter how well-kept and organized your house may be, it's doubtful that any of the rooms have the temperature and humidity control ideal for storing furs. Cedar chests and other home storage containers don't provide the proper conditions, either, and can cause the coat to take on odors. Call fur dealers, not dry cleaners, for estimates on summertime fur storage.

A professional furrier will store your coat in a fur vault. This dark, 45-degree, 50-percent-humidity, insect-free environment will keep your fur from drying out and shedding. If you want your fur coat to remain thick and lustrous for years to come, protect your investment.

When cooler weather rolls around, pick up your coat and take it home. Even an untrained eye can pick out a coat that has not been properly take care of. In addition to shedding, the coat can display cracking, tearing for discoloration from a loss of natural oils. A well-cared for fur coat can last for generations.

For a coat that has already lost hairs, contact a furrier or leather expert for estimates on repairing your fur. They can sometimes patch in new fur that matches your coat. Conditioning treatments and regular cleaning from a professional can help prevent future mishaps.