Fur repair

Submitted by Michele on 01/10/2004. ( )

HELP! I have a fox collar/wrap with a tail that is "dropping" off in pieces - is this repairable? And if so, can it be done by hand with what kind of thread & needle?

The rest of the item is supple, soft and in good condition, it seems that just the tail that has the problem.


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I doubt it!

This response submitted by Bruce Rittel on 01/11/2004. ( rittel@mindspring.com )

I doubt if it can be saved. For the same reason - around here, once and awhile you will see a guy show up at a flea market with a lot of seemingly neat fur coats - cheap too! However - if you look at the coats closely you will notice that the seams are beginning to tear - and if you pull on the fur hard enough - you'll tear off a piece (like tearing paper). I wouldnt discourage anyone from buying one at such a cheap price - but have some fun with it and get some use out it before it falls apart completely. The sad story is - it's reached the end of the line.

It's one of the problems with an Alum Taw. The large amounts of residual Sulphates in the skin over the years combine with atmospheric moisture and turn into Sulphuric Acid. The acid in turn, slowly begins to weaken the skin. Under the best of conditions - a fur coat can only be expected to last for 9-14 years - tops! I hate to be the bearer of bad news - but you would do better to simply buy a new tail and sew it on.

Bruce is correct

This response submitted by fur repair on 01/11/2004. ( )

Your fox's tail has succumbed to dry rot. I bet it's an old silver or red from the 40's?

The problem with the tail is also that you will need to find one which matches in shade to the body, you can't just go buy a new silver fox or red fox tail and expect to have it match the old body. Oxidation (fur yellowing or redenning) is a common problem especially with the alum tawed skins, because the oil leaves so quickly.

So, why don't you just think of a nice new style for your fox body, and have it made into that style by a furrier.

Or begin the search for a new tail, you may go through several before you find the right color. Then, sew it on, any old home hand sewing needle and fine thread will do. Make sure to match pattern and stripe up. Fox is pretty forgiving so even if you're not a great seamstress, the results will look decent.

Good luck.

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