Recycle Vintage Furs

Martin Swinton

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Vintage is all the rage in fashion from sparkling costume jewellery to those old fashion stoles grandma used to wear. The influence of fur is being seen in fashion and home décor. Here are a few things you’ll need about buying vintage fur.


There is lots of choice out there – stoles, cape, capelets, jackets, full length. Mink stoles from the 1950s to the shoulder pad 1980 full length fox coats are all available.

Good news

Vintage furs are very affordable. Prices range can start at under $50 for a hat, collar or cape. So, adding some vintage flair won’t break the bank.

Where To Find Great Vintage Furs

Search local resale shops, antique shops, flea markets, garage sales and Ebay. They are all good sources for vintage furs.


Canadian labels to look for are Oglivy’s, Eatons and Holt Renfrew.

Cold Care

Any fur, old or new, should be kept in cold storage during the hot humid summer months.

Avoid Ciggie Smell

If the fur you love is holding the smell of cigarettes, put it back on the rack. No amount of airing it will remove the smell.


When you try on your vintage fur, move around and swing your arms. If it feels fragile, it probably is and may rip on you in the future.

Avoid discoloration

Steer clear of a vintage fur with discoloration around the collar or armpits. No amount of cleaning can fix it.

Good Buys

Some furs have a longer life than others. Raccoon and mink are studier than muskrat and rabbit that do not stand up so well over time.


If you love the fur but the style doesn’t work for you consider recycling it into something else. Use fur to line a jean jacket, create cuffs or a collar for a sweater or make it into a scarf. Cut down a full length to a jacket. The possibilities are endless.

Home Décor

Lots of faux fur is seen in the home décor scene in throws and pillows. Enlist a furrier to give new life to an affordable vintage fur to give your home a cozy feel.

Martin Swinton owns Take-A-Boo Emporium, an antique shop located in Toronto, Canada. He does furniture restoration, caning and rushing repairs, custom reproductions, upholstery, teaches courses on antiques and does appraisals for estates and community events. He can be reached at 416-785-4555 or by visiting


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