Trying to save an old (vintage) fox pelt

  I bought this really old (vintage) fox pelt some time ago. Recently, I discovered that it was in really bad shape, litterally falling apart… The tail had to be sewn together in a really awkward way because “saving” the pelt is more important to me than making nice seams and stitches… 
I’ve begun project savning old fox pelt, and it’s starting to come together. I had no idea how to do it, but something had to be done. I’m using leather needles and linen thread + fabric, trying to sew it to the hide in order to strengthen it a bit.At least the inside of the pelt will match my linen chemise 🙂  It was really hard to adjust the linen fabric to the shape of the hide. Found it easier to do as I go, hehe.

The pelt is really pretty and I’m hoping that I will succeed in this time consuming project. I find it better to make use of what I’ve got than to simply throw it away without even trying.

Have any of yoy guys got experience with this kind of work? I would deeply appreciate advice and tips! 

Ps:I know that many people have really strong feelings about fur, and I can understand that. The fur that I’ve got is inherited or bought from vintage shops. I believe in making use of resources, but I never buy new fur. Eco conscious fur for the win!



4 thoughts on “Trying to save an old (vintage) fox pelt

  1. I believe the Norwegian and Swedish governments recently signed an accord to save and preserve the Arctic Fox, so if that’s what you have there maybe you can get a grant ? 🙂
    This may well be a bit late, however…when a furrier makes a garment he will tightly sew in a fabric strip to the skin. The lining material is then pinned and sewn onto the fabric strip using a slip stitch. To make the garment stronger a second layer of lining material is then sewn on. The advantages are that sewing a fabric strip to the skin is easier than sewing the lining into to it and replacing the lining at a later date is a simple enough task. As you are using white linen, you may well want to replace it at some time in the future…
    When your fox is healthy again and you want to put him in storage. cover him with cheesecloth, or indeed linen, to keep dust and insects off the fur whilst allowing air to pass through (fur really likes air). Also, if you keep him in a cool temperature, which shouldn’t be difficult in Norway, he will be very happy and live a long time 🙂
    P.S. thank you for the reply you left me three months ago, Sol, I’ve only just seen it.

  2. Didn’t really get a good look at the condition of the skin itself, but the one picture of it where I could see the hide, it doesn’t look to be in too bad of shape. There isn’t that much discoloration, and if it was brittle to the point of falling apart, it wouldn’t have held up to the stitching you’ve already done.
    For future reference, use waxed thread so it doesn’t tear the hide as you pull it through. I’ve used unscented dental floss before (people thought I was crazy but it is strong and easy to use!)
    Also I’ve never heard of a grant being given to preserve a hide, most of the time when they find someone in possession of part of a protected animal, they’ll hand them a fine and destroy said part, which is sad. Yours is pretty obviously vintage so I don’t think anyone will give you any trouble, but never try to ship it out of the country.
    If you can, get your hands on a small amount of well-in-hand therapy oil and dab a little on the skin side of the face every now and then. The wolf I gave my husband when we were married is having cracking issues on the face and the oil is the only thing keeping it from crumbling away. The oil is also good for paws and claws on hides that are dry. And if you get it on the fur it doesn’t make it greasy or sticky.

  3. I have a gorgeous farm raised fox pelt in a very unusual color that I noticed is also falling apart. The skin is literally disintegrating and so fragile that it cannot be sewn. I am guessing that the tanning process was a failure. This was given to me by a very close friend who farm raised foxes and it no longer with us. I hope to somehow find a flexible thin glue of some sort that I can paint on the hide and lay fabric over it creating a support system to hold it together. Has anyone attempted this procedure ? Looking for ideas.

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