A client’s beautiful fur coats, hats, stoles and other garments are a significant investment in their wardrobe and warmth. When the cold season ends, they look to you to store their fur garments in an environment that will preserve them until next season. The longer the items remain in a climate-controlled facility, the longer they’ll last. Fur storage is about more than finding a facility that is large enough to accommodate the pieces you wish to store. The environment must also have conditions that promote the longevity of these fine garments.
Optimal Fur Storage Conditions
Light is one of the most damaging agents to fur garments because they are made from organic materials. Unnecessary light exposure can cause fur to fade or bleach. Items may also become brittle as the light breaks down the molecular bonds that give the fur its strength. The best type of light to use in rooms that store fur is one that’s 50 lux, or 5 foot-candles.
The ideal temperature for fur storage is between 35°F and 54°. The temperature should never exceed 55°F, or the fur’s natural oils will dissipate. Similarly, the temperatures in a cold storage facility should never be freezing. As temperatures decrease in a storage facility, the molecules that promote the biodegradation process slow down. Because fur is an organic material, it naturally contains water. As water freezes, it expands. If you freeze fur, the freezing and thawing within fibers stress, stretch and tear the materials on a molecular level, speeding up degradation. Cold storage at the appropriate temperatures preserves the oils and fibers in fur garments, keeping them soft and pliable.
Along with temperatures, appropriate relative humidity levels are paramount to preserving fur garments. If humidity levels are too low, or dry, the skin or leather the fur is attached to will become too dry. The natural oils in the pelt will evaporate faster, as well. Once the oils dry out, the pelt will tear easily. The ideal relative humidity levels are between 40 to 45 percent.
When storage facilities are too humid, fur garments are at risk of rotting at a fast rate. In addition to the molecules in fur breaking down, high relative humidity levels create the ideal conditions for mold growth. In nature, mold decomposes dead organic materials. To survive, it requires moisture and food. A humid fur storage facility provides everything mold needs to flourish.
Mold prevention in fur storage facilities is monumental to maintaining your clients’ trust and a positive brand image, as well as protecting against losses. It also deters losses that insects cause. While some insects, like moths, eat the organic fibers in fur garments, others eat the mold that grows in them. For this reason, it is important to ensure that fur garments are clean and dry before they go into storage. To promote good air circulation, you should also keep fur articles in fabric bags or acid-free cardboard boxes. Otherwise, moisture levels around the fur will increase, thus increasing the risk of mold growth.
Fur storage facilities require optimized conditions throughout the year. It’s not enough for it to be dark and feel cool. The environment must be controlled and monitored with specialized equipment. Polygon specializes in creating humidity and temperature control solutions tailored to your exact needs. Because the solutions are custom designed, you save on energy expenses and reduce the burden on the HVAC system. Your customers count on you to preserve their fur items all year long. You can count on Polygon to help you maintain the conditions needed to do this. Call us today to learn more.
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