Dating Velvet Opera Coat and Fur ID

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion Q & A' started by greatglenvintage, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. greatglenvintage

    greatglenvintage Registered Guest

    Hello! I think this black velvet coat is from the 30s (similar to the one I posted recently), but I wanted to make sure. I also wanted to make sure that my guess of rabbit fur for the sleeves is correct. It is floor length, has an interior waist tie, exterior waist tie, and a button at the left side of the neck. The two sides overlap. There are not shoulder pads on the actual shoulders, but there are some sort of pads further out to keep the sleeves puffed. It is fully lined, but not attached at the bottom. The seams underneath are unfinished. Also, it smells pretty strongly of moth balls. Is there any way to really get rid of the smell? I feel like dry cleaning doesn't even do it. Thanks for any advice!

    Attached Files:

  2. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix Trade Member

    That is a bit of an unusual style for one of these coats, very nice too. It looks 1930s to me. In some photos, the fur looks like rabbit, but in other pix it has some of the look of ermine (which is more common on these 1930s coats). I think it is ermine. Can you show us a close up of the fur, please?

    I do not have advice about getting rid of the moth ball smell, but there are past threads in the VFG Forums and if you do a search you might find something. Or one of our members may have some advice if they stop by here.

    While the moth balls do smell, they are probably the reason that the fur survived, especially if it is rabbit which usually sheds and dries out over time or gets attacked by pests.
    greatglenvintage likes this.
  3. yumyumvintage

    yumyumvintage Trade Member

    I think the mothball smell will air out. It took months for a fur jacket I had to lose smell. Really nice coat
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  4. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix Trade Member

    I agree, Chris. The only method I ever found successful was a long long long airing out. There was no quick fix back when I got started in the business. And yes it could take months, I had a cashmere coat that took 6 months to air out successfully.
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  5. greatglenvintage

    greatglenvintage Registered Guest

    Here are some close ups of the fur!

    Attached Files:

  6. greatglenvintage

    greatglenvintage Registered Guest

    I figured that was the only solution for the smell. I don't think it's really wearable in public the way it smells now haha.
  7. Furwise

    Furwise Administrator Staff Member

    Hi there GreatGlen,

    The sleeves are indeed rabbit fur. Sadly the agents from mothballs seep into the skin and can permanently remain no matter what you do. As mentioned the best thing you can do is air it out and for the longest time possible.
  8. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix Trade Member

    Yes, it is rabbit, now that we see it close up.
  9. bycinbyhand

    bycinbyhand Trade Member

  10. violentpink

    violentpink Registered Guest

    I've aired out a few mothball smelling garments, including one with fur, for so long that they don't smell while being worn, but the smell kind of reactivates when there are changes in temperature (like seasonal changes, but it tends to go from very hot to very cold anytime in recent years) or when they're touching other garments in a closet / not in a well ventilated area. Sometimes I don't know if something's been affected by mothballs until it's been put away in a closet and the smell is, like I said, 'reactivated'.

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