May 24, 2024
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Give Your Fur Coat a Summer Vacation

Ilany Shamrony in Cedar Lane Furs.

A fur coat is the ultimate in luxurious warmth and style. It’s a sizable investment, and one you want to maintain. If you own a fur garment, now is the time to bring it to a specialized climate-controlled storage center, like Cedar Lane Furs in Teaneck, where it is stored at around 50 degrees until you’re ready for it again.

“Fur skins will dry out if exposed to warm air,” said Ilana Shomrony, the third-generation owner of Cedar Lane Furs. “Cold storage keeps the skins moist and supple and preserves the life span of the coat. The leather becomes brittle when the coat is not stored and cleaned, and the skins can open up. At $60 for the season, the cost is minimal, especially considering your investment in the coat.”

Ilana literally grew up in the store, started by her father and uncle in 1964. She took over her uncle’s share of the business, and had many great years working with her father. Now she’s on her own, but is surrounded by her customers, many who have been buying and storing furs there for years. Cedar Lane Furs has an average of 2,000 coats in storage every summer.

While your garment is in storage is the best time to do repairs like reinforcing the closures and fixing small tears. It is also a good time to consider a complete remodel of a coat that is still in good shape. Ilana will guide you through the process of redesign and alterations. She works with a very well-respected furrier who does all her remodeling requests.

Ilana Shamrony’s grandparents, left and center, with an apprentice, at their first fur store in 1930s Vienna.

A remodel can entirely change the look of your fur. A simple shortening to 7/8 length, just below the knee, with an adjustable drawstring waist gathering, will give you a cost effective, modern style. For a more extensive remodel, you can shear the top hairs of the fur which gives the coat a velvet looking texture, make the coat reversible with a wide selection of water repellent fabrics, or change the direction of the pelts into a more contemporary appearance.

A fur coat may not be top of mind now but this is a good time to buy one. This season is when many people trade in fur coats that are in great shape and they can be purchased at an excellent price. Ilana cleans and glazes them, and does any repairs needed including changing the monogram in the linings so they’ll be ready for their new homes. While a pre-owned coat is a good value, Ilana doesn’t recommend vintage coats, that is those older than 45 years. The skins will not hold up well.

Ilana has new fur coats made to her specifications. She will design the look, purchase the skins and have the garments created to your measurements. Or she can modify the details of an existing style to your preference.

Anyone in the market for a fur coat should do a little research about fur—know what to look for and what you’re paying for. Style is personal but there are some factors that determine coat quality. A reliable furrier will be able to explain differences in quality and cost when you are comparing coats.

If you have a fur that needs to be stored, remodeled or traded in, or you’re thinking about buying a fur coat and want a head start on winter, visit Cedar Lane Furs, 498 Cedar Lane, Teaneck.

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