Monday, 20 June 2016

WarmUpYourFurCoat -tutorial part 1

You know animal rights are important matter to me. As are the environmental issues too. Not to mention I know few facts about clothing business... and fur business. That is why balancing to wear and not to wear is quite often in my mind.

Well, that's why people don't see me shopping clothes so often. I want to avoid issues about breaking human or animal rights, over production, over consumption, over coloring, pollution, waste and drilling of oil. Just to mention few facts that are closely and tightly connected to fashion business.

I do have fur clothes. I am very aware of fur business problems; as I am faux fur business problems too, especially connected to drilling of oil. Because I am living on the arctic area and having much outdoor life all around the year I need warm clothes. When I was 18 and faux fur got frozen at  the skin of my facial area I needed to tear it off with crying. More I was crying to realize it didn't work in difficult weather than the bleeding caused by the fact the faux fur fibers got off from my face only with the pieces of my skin. Pretty proper frost bites I had got because of it. The bites were still able to be seen after 15 years when the cold weather faced my facial area. Now they all are finally healed up. My heart is not.

But already then I found solution; recycling and wild fur. With wild fur I mean animal who has lived its life as wild and free and is hunted in fair traditional methods; not mass hunting but one man & one game. Some may call it free range or organic fur as well. Neither hunters should be blamed cruel. In Finland hunters do more practical grass-roots nature protection work than people we usually call conservationists. 

This is my vintage Karakul fur coat.  It is old. I don't know exactly how old. But I know I am the 3rd woman to have it. I know how Karakul is made. That is why I am taking good care of my fur coat. Making sure it won't become worth of nothing.

I wore it last time on January 2016. I realized it was getting old and cold. Since that it's been hanging on my veranda to wait for the summer and me having enough time to warm it up. I decided to make a tutorial for you about warming it up so that many other vintage fur coat could live on too.

The fur itself still looks great. It is dark brown. The fabric of lining was pretty fine too despite it was ruptured every here and there.

So, I went to the local fabric shop and bought cognac brown satin and cotton. 2 meters of each was enough. It cost 60,30€. What is enough for your vintage fur goat? Usually the measurement of cur coat's  neck to hem + shoulder to wrist (outside arm) is the right length for the lining and cotton.

Unpick the old lining. Be careful and watch out damaging the skin. In vintage fur coats the lining is usually fastened by hand sewing. Wrote notes about it how the lining was fastened to the coat. It may have several secured tacking by armpits and back area.

This is what comes out after taking away the lining. On the top is black wool lining that is typical for old winter coats before the time of cotton wool padding. The condition of this wool padding fabric turn out to be the reason my vintage fur coat was not so warm anymore. The fabric was very thin and frayed. I unpick the wool too. On the other hand I could have left it there as extra warming layer but it was so useless that I decided just to take it away.

This is was what was left out. Under the wool layer came out the cotton fabric layer. THIS is the one you should not touch unless it is broken. This cotton fabric forms out the buckram for the coat and its fur. You can change it but you need to be careful. See the amount of tacking! Notice: I took away only the satin and wool lining; nothing else.

Next step is to open all the folds and seams of the lining. Then just pick up all the trash away from the lining. Then iron the lining. You can use the old lining as a pattern for the new one! Remember to mark all the folds and write notes if you think you might need. You can use your smart phone camera too for the notes. The point is you just do it again like it was.

Cut the new lining fabric and cotton wool padding. I cut first the satin and then padding. I just pinned it all one under another.

I always use cotton wool padding called FinnFill. It is the best for the arctic winter. Actually around here the quilt makers have started to use it too because the padding feature doesn't fade away during the time like it happens with ordinary cotton wool padding fabrics. If you work with FinnFill you notice the other side of it is smooth and the other striped with fuzzy effect. It comes in this way as pictured above; striped side comes against the lining fabric. The stripes create "air pockets" which insulate very well.

As lining I used "wedding dress quality satin", not thinner lining satin.

Pin it all together; the lining and cotton wool padding parts. There should be something like two sleeves, back side (can usually consist of upper and lower parts), two front sides (can consist of upper and lower parts or central and side parts) and perhaps something else.

That's it. Now you have unpick the old lining and are just about to sew new one. See you later with tutorial part 2!

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