Nowadays, the vast majority of furs in the global market are from North America, Russia, Scandinavia, China, etc, with over 90% come from fur farms, and the remaining from wild animals.
To ensure the best quality of fur, all fur farmers are very concern about the animal welfare. The modern fur farms are well managed, each farmer takes good care of the animals by providing good nutrition and excellent living environment. In addition, animal hunting is strictly controlled by governments in various countries. All hunters must obtain a valid license and there are restrictions on the species and quantity of hunting, so as to ensure that the wild animals are maintained at certain level and also keeping the ecology in balance.
There are many types of fur, here are some popular varieties:
Selected 5 types of farmed furs and their scientific names:
CHINCHILLA (Chinchilla lanigera)
Originated in South America but now totally protected in the wild. It is farmed in North and South America and Europe. Very soft and silky with mainly grey, some black, white or beige-white natural colours. Used mainly for small articles and trimming but also for full length garments.
SILVER FOX (Vulpes vulpes)
Today Finland is the world's largest producer of farmed foxes. Silver fox has long, glossy, lightweight fur with natural colours in black and white, giving a feel of silver. Darker skins have more black and paler skins more white. Traditionally used for collars and cuffs, wraps and stoles.
KARAKUL LAMB (Ovis aries)
One of the oldest breeds of domesticated sheep in the world. Also known as Persian lamb and Astrakhan. Pelt is distinctive for softness and lustrous wavy curls. Natural colours are black, grey, white, silver grey, pink and brown. Typically used for full fur garments such as coats and skirts, and as trimming, edging and lining.
MINK (Mustela vison)
Denmark is the world's largest producer of farmed mink. This is the most common farmed species, producing dense, lightweight fur. Wide range of natural colours from white to black, taking in pearl, violet and sapphire, demi-buff (medium brown) and "ranch" (very dark brown). The fur can be worked in many ways, including shorn, knitted and also dyed in many different colours. Used for coats, jackets and trimmings.
SABLE (Martes zibellina)
Wild fur bearer found only in Russia, sable is the most expensive fur, highly valued for its rarity, lush dark colour and deep, silky pelt. Ranges in colour from dark brown (almost black) through brown to pale yellow / golden. Also farmed to a small extent. Used for garments, trimming and small pieces such as stoles.
Selected 5 types of wild furs and their scientific names:
NORTH AMERICAN BEAVER (Castor canadensis)
Large, semi-aquatic, wild animal from North America. Long guard hairs are very dark brown to reddish or "blonde". Often plucked or sheared by designers to show soft underfur and reduce weight. Used for trimmings and full fur garments.
MUSQUASH (Ondatra zibethica)
Semi-aquatic mammal which is very prolific. Found wild throughout North America and Europe, the former Soviet Union and China. Thick, waterproof underfur with long, glossy overlayer of guard hairs. Colour varies from light brown to black. Often used for coats, jackets and trimmings.
NUTRIA (Myocastor coypus)
Large, semi-aquatic rodent, mainly found in Argentina and southern USA (Louisiana). It is also farmed in Poland and the Czech Republic. Typically dense, greyish underfur and long glossy guard hair. Varies in colour from dark brown to yellowish brown. Used either long-haired or plucked for garments and trim.
RACCOON (Procyon lotor)
This wild furbearer is abundant throughout the USA and southern Canada. Raccoons from northern areas are more highly furred. Long-haired fur with grey and black markings. Mainly used for trimmings including collars and cuffs.
NORTH AMERICAN SQUIRREL (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)
Wild fur valued for its soft, reddish pelt. Typically used for linings, garments and some trimmings.
Fur fashion today boasts a wide profusion of colour, finishing and style, choose those best complement your personal charm and lifestyle.
- The quality of pelts, number of skins used and good workmanship determine the price of a fur garment.
- Look for a fur coat which is soft, supple and with natural colour that shines with a lustre.
- Fine quality fur has soft, dense underfur and long silky guard hairs that are even in length. There should be no bald spots, broken tips or matted fur.
- Check whether the lining is silk or silk-blend.
- Check under the lining – a well-made fur garment should be sewn without fur peeking through the seams.
- Finally, the colour of the pelts that make up the fur coat should be matched. There are internationally recognized labels to identify high-quality fur garments.
Fur fashion has become part of our wardrobe whether for daytime chic or evening glamour, and the modern new fur is just easy to care. Given the right care, you can keep your fur in its original beauty and luster for many years.
- To prevent fur being crushed and creased, use a broad-shouldered, padded hanger to hang your fur coat in a spacious wardrobe.
- Never store a fur coat in a plastic bag, or in place where the air is not circulating, because the fur will eventually become dry.
- Keep your fur coat away from fires and radiators as direct heat will cause leather to dry and crack.
- Do not comb or brush the hairs - just shake them out.
- If your fur coat gets wet from rain or snow, hang it to dry in a cool place with good ventilation. Do not put your fur into the wardrobe unless it is thoroughly dry. If your fur is wet through, take it to your furrier for proper treatment.
- Do not pin any decorations onto your fur as they can damage or flatten the hairs.
- Handbag straps and seat-belts may eventually cause damage to your fur.
- Never spray perfume directly onto your fur. The alcohol will dry the leather and stiffen the hairs; and it is difficult to remove even by dry cleaning.
Storage & Cleaning
- Keep your fur in a cold place during hot season, or let your furrier take care of it.
- Have your fur cleaned regularly by a specialist.
- Any split or tear requires a furrier to repair.