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Subject: Fur


From: Jerry Shiner <70252.763>
Date: Saturday, September 30, 1995
>Sally Shelton <libsdnhm [at] class__org> forwards
>    From: Mariana Mace <macem [at] redbaron__wosc__osshe__edu>
>    To: Multiple recipients of list MUSEUM-L
>    Subject: sticky fur question
>    ...Our curator emeritus was in the habit of setting off monthly
>    tick and flea bombs as a pest control method. ...  All the furs
>    have a truly nasty, sticky feel and left me with black hands.

My family ran a fur cleaning business for almost 65 years. Should
you decide to have the fur cleaned by a fur cleaning establishment,
most of the dust, dirt, and chemicals will likely be removed from
the surface of the hairs.

Furs are cleaned by tumbling in a sealed drum filled with a few
litres of sawdust or ground corn cob that has been moistened with a
dry cleaning solvent (perchloroethylene, Stoddart Solvent, etc.)
The sawdust penetrates the fur and "scrubs" the fibres clean. The
garments are then tumbled again in an open wire "cage".  The
remaining sawdust is blown out of corners and pockets with
compressed air, and the fur is usually brushed or ironed on a
machine. Silicones, waxes, or oils are sometimes used to bring a
shine back to the fur.

Be certain to discuss your job with the cleaners (directly!), and
don't pay too much--museums are a mark, and the wholesale cost of
cleaning furs is still in the nineteenth century.  Retail furriers
in Ontario are paying as little as $19.00 Canadian for cleaning a
full length fur garment.

If the pelts are in good condition, cleaning is usually a safe
process, and a little water added to the sawdust will help remove
water soluble chemicals. Should you need more information, please
don't hesitate to contact me.

Jerry Shiner
Keepsafe Systems

                  Conservation DistList Instance 9:31
                Distributed: Wednesday, October 4, 1995
                        Message Id: cdl-9-31-007
Received on Saturday, 30 September, 1995

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