Fur FAQ: The Most Frequency Asked Questions about Fur
Fur has always been a hot topic in fashion, but through it all, fur has remained a first choice in both style and function.
From inspired Haute Couture fashions to practical causal ware, fur is versatile like no other fabric in the world.
With such a dynamic legacy, there are bound to be a few questions. So we’re answering the biggest questions in fur when it comes to fashion, styles, ethics, and everything in between.
What is the history of fur?
There are two main reasons why fur has such an enduring history: warmth and style.
Humans have been wearing furs for warmth for almost 200,000 years. Fur provided essential protection from the elements. Thousands of years later, style was weaved into fur’s narrative.
As early as the 11th century, fur was worn to display wealth and status in Europe. Luxury furs during this time period included mink, sable, and chinchilla and were reserved for royalty, nobles, and other high ranking officials.
However, in the 13th and 14th centuries expanding access to trade lead to a growing mercantile class. Fur was now available for more citizens. Fur lined items and garments trimmed with fur also became popular.
Fast forward to the 1900’s, fur coats and accessories were a fashion favorite of Old Hollywood icons. From the 30s, 40s, and 50s, celebrities such as Joan Crawford, Lena Horne, and Marilyn Monroe adored full length furs in luxurious styles and patterns. Fur back then was typically worn for formal occasions only. Stars always wore their furs with pearl necklaces, diamond earrings, and shimmering dresses.
The 60s and 70s saw a movement of free spirits, love, and evolving fashion. During this time, furs were not exclusive to the Hollywood elite. Fur coats were often matched with flared jeans, wild prints, and platform shoes.
Fur’s popularity took a dip in the 80s and 90s but has seen a major reassurance in the last ten years. Inspired by the versatility of brands like Fendi, Alexander Wang, and Marc Jacobs, fur is being revamped into modern and chic styles. Say goodbye to your grandma’s furs and hello to wild colors such as coral, aquamarine, and violet. Social media mavens on Instagram are rocking furs and sharing fashion tips all with the hashtag #realfur.
From thousands of years ago to 2017, fur has a rich history.
Why has fur remained popular?
Name one other fabric that protects from the elements while always making a fashion statement.
The dual nature of fur—both utility and beauty—is why it remains popular.
More women and men are wearing fur as a way to express themselves without sacrificing comfort. Too often in fashion, comfort and style are at odds with each other. Fur combines both in a perfect package.
During cold winters, your coat needs to keep you warm as you traverse through snow, ice, and unforgiving winds. Unlike synthetic materials or fake fur, real fur coats have two layers of guard hair and underfur. These layers provide a higher level of warmth and insulation.
But while everyone else is bundled up in unflattering heaps of mismatched fads and outdated trends, a fur coat is a timeless garment that doesn’t need accompaniment. Fur can stand on its own both in style and comfort.
The price of fur is another reason why fur has remained relevant through the years. While some one-of-a-kind designer furs cost thousands of dollars, you can buy a quality fur for less than $1,000. The range of prices from affordable to extravagant means everyone can enjoy both warmth and style.
What are the types of furs?
There are dozens of types of furs, but some of the most popular types used for coats include:
Mink is considered the most popular and famous of all furs. Mink has been a top choice for European monarchs and celebrities, but is now widely available for everyone.
Mink is known for its cloud-like softness, lightweight feel, and easy maintenance. This type of fur is well suited for both elegant full length coats and more casual attire like vests or accessories.
Minks are part of the weasel family and can be easily found throughout North America. However, most minks used for furs are ranched. Female minks are smaller and typically have softer pelts compared to males.
Depending on where you purchase your mink garment, prices can range from $1,000 and up.
Rabbit is surprisingly affordable, flexible, and easy to wear. Rabbit fur is also known as the “Great Imitator” because of its ability to look like many other furs. This kind of fur can be left natural or be plucked, sheared, dyed, and processed in many ways to match the customer’s needs. You will often see rabbit fur dyed in fun colors like pink or rainbow.
Rare and luxurious, chinchilla is the softest fur in the entire world. This animal is native to the mountains of South America, but most chinchilla is ranched.
Chinchilla is luxuriously soft. It’s the softest fur in the world because it has the highest hair density of any animal. According to Fur Commission USA, “Humans grow one hair from each follicle; a chinchilla has more than 50.” While dense, chinchilla fur is still lightweight and fluffy.
This type of fur is also known for its radiant blue gray hues. With all of these factors in mind, chinchilla is expensive. If you’re buying chinchilla coat, expect one of the best furs available.
Other types of fur include fox, coyote, lamb, and sable. Ask your local furrier about what type of fur is best for your needs.
Is fur really that versatile?
When most people hear the word “fur,” they normally think of just coats. While fur coats are a classic way to wear fur, this material is now used for several types of garments and accessories
Fur vests are one of the latest hot trends in fur. There are dozens of ways to style fur vest for either causal or dressy occasions. For example, you can style a brown fur vest with a white button up shirt and skinny jeans for a causal day look. Or you can take a black fur vest and layer it over a chic dress and tall boots for an evening look.
Fur scarves can also give the same effect as a fur vest. Pair a long fur scarf over a chambray shirt on chilly days or wear a leather coat with a fur scarf to keep out the cold without too much bulk.
Another way fur is versatile is restyling. You may think your grandma’s old fur coat has seen its last days, but a fur restyle can bring it back to life. Professional furriers can take an outdated fur and make it look like it came straight from the runway. The best part of restyling is you can save hundreds of dollars on a new design without buying a brand new coat.
What are the biggest misconceptions about fur?
One of the biggest misconceptions about fur concerns the treatment of the animals. While myths and incorrect information about fur still linger, the truth about real fur is that the animals are not mistreated or abused. Animal welfare is a top priority of fur farmers. Providing animals with high quality care ensures quality products to sell.
Contrary to popular belief, the fur industry makes up only a tiny portion of animal product industry. The fur trade accounts for about one-quarter of one percent of the animals we use for food, clothing, and other purposes each year.
Another misconception is that animals are only killed for their fur and then the rest is discarded. This is untrue. Nothing is ever wasted. For example, mink oil is used to condition leather and is used in creating skin and health care products.
Can anyone stylishly wear fur?
Yes! Real fur looks great on both men and women of all body types. Fur garments and accessories are always a trendy addition to any wardrobe. Do you think fur is just for the wealthy and famous? Leave those old stereotypes in the past. Soccer moms, teenagers, and everyone in between can wear fur.
Fur’s unique style is ubiquitous.
Everyone should invest in a winter fur coat to keep out the cold while looking stylish. Depending on your area’s climate, consider buying lighter fur garments like vests or accessories that you can wear during the entire year. Two extremely popular fur accessories are purses and charms. These whimsical items add a touch of fun, and you can easily mix or match these accessories to anything you already own.
How do I buy a fur coat?
If you’re buying your first fur coat, the best step to take is to do your research. A fur coat is a sizeable investment and will last for years, so make sure to talk with at least three fur salons before making a purchase.
While some department stores sell fur coats, your best bet is to go with a locally owned company that offers a better selection.
If buying online, ask the fur salon questions about the type of fur, fit, and condition. Inquire about their return policy in case you have to ship the fur back to the store.
We recommend buying your first fur in person so you can touch the fur and try on the coat. Let the sales assistant help you find the best coat for your lifestyle and personal taste. Some people only wear their fur during special evenings. If this is the case for you, feel free to go extravagant. Long, full fur coats are entirely acceptable for black or white tie events.
If you want to wear your fur for more everyday occasions, select a shorter hemline and more practical silhouette. Think about the color of the fur. If you’re looking for a more traditional piece, pick fur in a black, dark blue, brown, or gray color. For a bold fashion statement, feel free to try different patterns and bright colors.
How should I take care of my fur coat?
While fur is a durable fabric, it still needs the right care and maintenance to look its best. Repair, cleaning, and storage are three easy ways protect your fur:
Repair – The moment you notice a slight rip or tear, go to a professional furrier to have your fur coat repaired. Minor damage may seem small at first, but it can grow into major problems. Fur repairs require the right kind of expertise and tools. Never go to a normal tailor or seamstress. To properly mend fur, repairs must be made on the inside with industry level needles and threads.
To catch small damage before it grows into major issues, remember to have your fur inspected at least once a year.
Cleaning – Fur needs to be professionally cleaned at least once a year to maintain a healthy shine and texture. But you may look at your fur and think it doesn’t look too dirty.
The main reason why fur cleaning is essential is to protect the natural oils in your fur. These oils are the reason your fur looks shiny and feels smooth. But without these natural oils, your fur will become dry, brittle, and can even crack. Repairing dried out fur is extremely difficult—and in some cases impossible.
Fur cleaning removes dirt and other particles that are attracted to the oils in your fur. Your fur cleaning session should also include conditioning and glazing. Both of these steps protect each hair on your coat for the entire year. If you ever spill wine or smudge lipstick on your fur, have it professionally cleaned immediately to prevent further damage.
Storage – During the off season, always store your fur in a professional cold storage vault. Fur loves cold weather, but hates warm temperatures. The warmer air of spring and summer can prematurely dry out the oils in your fur leaving it brittle. Professional fur vaults are climate controlled to limit direct sunlight and humidity. As soon as it’s too warm to wear your fur, have it professionally cleaned and put it in storage so it’s ready for fall and winter.