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shantell Apple Dumpling Designs
Willamette Valley Oregon
Posts: 3,128

Sounds like a silly question but does the fur smell?  I just remember as a child that I thought fur coats stunk.  My mom had (still has) a beautiful coat trimmed in rabbit fur.  It was very expensive at the time she got it and I just remember thinking the fur was smelly.

Just curious?  I have no intentions of working with real fur...but I've thought of adopting of few and that's the only thing that has held me back.


Daphne Back Road Bears
Laconia, NH USA
Posts: 6,568


Most old fur coats have an old musty smell. I don't think they smell like dead animal or anything like that.
You can get dry cleaning sheets that you use at home in your dryer on the AIR ONLY (NO HEAT!!!) setting. This will help to get rid of the dust and some of the smell. I've always used this method.... it's easy and quick.

We've talked about other ways to clean real fur... you'd have to do a search for cleaning or washing real fur. There were lots of great suggestions!

It's really not that bad!! :D

Dilu Posts: 8,574

Except for the musty smelll Daphne spoke of I have never had a real fur bear smell.....Ive made as many real fur as mohair when it comes to the larger bears and not had any odor or fragrance.

RE: dry cleaning sheets, they seem to work well....but the ones I got, DRYEL had such a strong fragrance that I had to hang the coat in the garage for a week before we could tolerate it in the house, and my honey conmplained about the "odor"  even after that.  :lol::lol::lol:

So that's something to consider.  But they do clean well and they did get rid of bad smells on fabrics and furs...

So Shantell, whip out the visa and order away! :D

easy for me to say, huh? 


Mutz Mutz's Tootsz Bears & Buds
New Berlin, Wisconsin
Posts: 397

I have some real fur that smells like moth balls. Can't seem to get the smell out either..
Go figure.

bearlyart Canna Bear Paint
Posts: 749

Real fur shouldn't really smell like anything in particular.  For what its worth, we did find a way to successfully eliminate the odor completely from one VERY stinky (moth balls, in this case) vintage fox fur coat.  This coat really stunk, it could have caused your to pass out completely from 50 feet away the smell was so bad.  It was such a gorgeous coat for such a good price, however, we decided to try to remove the odor.  First we took it to a professional fur cleaner.  This cost quite a bit and didn't do a thing for the odor.  Lesson learned.  The furrier told us 'you'll never get rid of that odor, throw it away!'  Always up for a challenge, we took it home and tried our own method, which worked perfectly. Here it is:

Step #1 is to remove the lining completely and discard it.  You will find that perhaps 90% of the odor is stuck in the lining.  Step #2 is to hang your coat somewhere with very good ventilation, take care so that it is not in direct sunlight or anything like that.  Just somewhere it can hang open and undisturbed for a long time.  Step #3 is to hang some pleasant-smelling things with the coat as it airs out.  We used mostly scented Bounce fabric softener sheets, just tucked them up the sleeves, in the pockets, anywhere we could.  When the odor wore off the Bounce sheets, we went out and bought sachets of real dried lavender, and hung those in paper bags along with the coat.  After several months (can't remember how long, may have been 3-6 months) the coat had absolutely no odor at all.  We've still got scraps of that coat left to use on another bear, and it still smells like nothing at all even though it now hangs in storage as opposed to hanging out in the open.

Hope this helps somebody!

Acipenser Bine-Teddies
Posts: 862

I did almost the same thing with some whole pelt mink stoles, which smelled disgustingly moldy. Yikes! I was ready to throw them away, but decided to experiment. Removed the padding and examined the skin, no mold there. Then I washed one by hand with shampoo. Didn't do anything about the smell, the pelt shrunk and stiffened a bit, but would still be useable with soft fur. Tried rubbing them with different things, which have been suggested to clean furs, but nothing helped. In the end I hung them out on the balcony, out of the sun, but freely for the whole summer (maybe 3 months). After that the smell was gone, the furs are soft and nice.
Most furs smell a little perfumed, but I don't know if that's from the previous owner or from the furriers process. They shouldn't smell musty, which may indicate mold. Just my very limited personal experience.


Acipenser Bine-Teddies
Posts: 862

Gina, sorry about your bad experience. Just a few tips from my personal experience. Always ask about odor before you bid. Buy furs meant for wearing. If you buy craft cutters ask lots of questions so that you can request a return if the fur turns out to be bad. Always read the feedback messages and buy from sellers who regularly sell fur. They know most likely at least a little bit about fur quality and won't try to deceive customers. I have bought lots of wonderful furs quite cheap on ebay, because I have no local source. I hope you dare try again, as real fur makes such incredible bears.


Judi Luxembears
Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,379

Hey guys, I know pelts can be controversial but they are soooooo much nicer in a finished bear than an old musty coat and almost always in better condition....strong supple hides, clean soft fur with no residue or dusty mold.  HOWEVER, you can find some pretty nice coats out there as long as they have been taken care of by thier owner.

As always on's buyer beware!  I can't even begin to tell you how much crap I have aquired from ebay by way of fur coats.  One wasn't even real fur but the seller  claimed it was.  On the other side of the coin , I have bought some really gorgeous fur coats on ebay.

Gina, I hope your bad experinec willnot turn you off from trying real fur.  They are a real challenge but are so nice in the end.   Here's a decent source....and I am sure there are many more too.

shantell Apple Dumpling Designs
Willamette Valley Oregon
Posts: 3,128

Thanks for the info.  I was just curious because of my childhood memory of my mom's coat stinking...or at least I thought it did.  Now off to find a bear to buy...or something!!


Winney Winneybears and Friends
White City, Oregon
Posts: 1,103

Yikes ! You are NOT  suppose to wash real will either get stiff, fall apart or turn to mush... When I get a stinky one I first check for MOLD  ...tug at it a bit to see if it rips or the fur pulls out real easy. If it does either one ...toss it!

I too remove the lining and anything you can...then I hang it up in the garage for at least two weeks. Then I set the dryer on NO heat...and put in 2 cotton towels and the fur ... tumble it for 5 min. that will remove a lot of the dust.

I learned from a taxidermy that most of the soiling occurs mainly on the top hairs.
If you think  the fur really needs some cleaning...I found some great non soap cleaner that is actually for comes in a spray bottle .You can find it at Pet stores or farm supply stores.
I lay the fur out flat and work in 6" x 6" sections... spray a section then gently wipe DOWNWARD with an old cotton toweling. Do not spray the fur so much that it runs past the top hairs and wets the skin underneath !
When you have finished cleaning , shake it gently  then hang the fur up to air dry or use a hair dryer on low heat to dry and fluff up the fur.

If the fur still smells a bit ...I lay it out flat and spray it lightly with Frebreez ..,.let that dry then repeat once more. Give it a few days and here should be NO odor at all except a pleasant light Frebreez smell which is nice.... Winney

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