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restructuring a fur jacket

mitty | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I have 2 fur jackets that don’t give me any pleasure: blue fox and a brown rabbit. I would like to make a vest out of the blue fox. Any suggestions or hints on working with fur?


  1. Ralphetta | | #1

    That is a topic that I am certain was covered in an older Threads.  I don't have time to check it tonight, but if no one else can find it I will search tomorrow.  I remember it was such a  thorough piece that it stuck in my mind.

  2. krichmond | | #2

    I haven't actually worked directly on fur, but I worked in a tailor shop where we did leatherwork and the seamstress had had experience constructing fur coats back in Winnipeg.  We did get the occasional fur coat for 'consultation for restructuring' and the first thing to check is to see if the hide itself is in good enough condition to be re-worked.  I found that a number of older garments had been improperly stored (fur falling out), or were just too old to make it feasible.  In at least one case, the hide had deteriorated so much that simply tugging on it caused it to shred.  So the first thing to do would be to open the coats in the lining and check the hides.

    Another consideration is that in the fur garment industry, the machines that are used to construct the garments are quite specialized.  The machines that stitch the strips of pelt together sew sideways (left to right, that is) instead of front to back like a conventional sewing machine or serger.  I'm not saying it's impossible to stitch fur on a regular machine, but the hides can be surprisingly tough - even with a leather needle.  So check to see if your machine is up for the task.

    Lastly, are you up for it?  I'm assuming these coats were probably quite expensive to begin with.  I know it's tempting to want to get some use out of them, but I would be quite hesitant to start cutting into something without the experience of what you might be getting yourself into.  Is it all possible to see if there is a professional tailor (preferably with at least experience in leather, if not fur) in your area that can give you some feedback as to what s/he could do with the coats and at what price?  Also, I noticed an advertisment in my local paper about a company that buys unwanted and outdated fur garments for the purpose of restructuring and re-selling (I think)them.  I looked high and low for the the ad (hoping to find a website/more infor) but I guess I was a little zealous with the recycling last week.  This may be something you may want to look into.  I'll keep looking for the ad and keep you posted.


    1. mitty | | #3

      Wow. Thank you for the information. This was more than I hoped for. Good info on what to look for in the integrity of the pelts. I didn't think of that. I think my machine can handle the task. It is a Viking and I can gear it down for hard to sew or thick fabric.  The rabbit coat may become a pillow or cuff adornments. It is a little fragile.  Thank you again.


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