Fur coats are a timeless and elegant look for the winter season. Whether you’re buying a fur jacket secondhand or investing in a new one, there are a few things to make note of before you make your purchase. If you want to ensure you’re buying the most high-quality fur, here is everything you need to know about fur coats:
How to Tell If it’s Real
If you’re looking for a faux fur coat for affordability or ethical reasons, you’re in luck! There are a lot of fantastic fakes on the market today. However, if you’re looking for a real fur coat, it can be challenging nowadays to distinguish between real and faux. Here are a few methods to help you ensure your coat is genuine:
- Touch test: The easiest way is to simply feel the fur. Real fur is way more soft than fake. You can pretty easily tell the difference by touching the fabric. Fake fur is typically made out of synthetic fabrics like plastic, polyester and acrylic so it feels a lot less silky and smooth.
- Label test: A lot of time if the fur is real, it will be indicated inside the coat. Check what’s written on the labels to confirm its authenticity. The best-certified pelts are sold in the following auctions: SAGA in Finland, ALC in the USA, NAFA in Canada, SOJUZPUSHNUNA in Russia and KOPENHAGEN FUR in the EU. If the label on your coat is emblazoned with one of these names, you can rest assured it’s the highest quality fur on the market.
- Hair test: It’s important to note that the hairs on a real fur coat will taper to a very thin point. If it feels very soft to the touch and starts off thick then gets skinnier, similar to human hair, you can guarantee it’s real.
- Burn test: If you’ve already purchased your coat and want to be 100% positive that the fur is real, try removing a few of the strands of hair and lighting on fire with a lighter. When it burns, real fur will smell like burnt human hair whereas fake fur will smell like melted plastic. We don’t recommend trying this in a store unless you’ve asked members of staff first.
- Lining test: This is another test we don’t recommend trying in the store because it requires looking underneath the lining of the coat. Sometimes coats will have zippers or an opening so you can easily access the inside. If not, you need to cut a big enough hole in the lining so you can see or touch the interior. If the coat is made from actual animal pelts, you feel a smooth suede or leather underbelly.
Cropped vs Full Skin
The best parts of the animal when it comes to making fur coats are the back and the belly. The fur on these parts are more dense and softer and referred to as full skin. Furriers typically don’t use legs, tails or heads to make coats. These parts are referred to as cropped skin. Squares from this cropped skin are used to make accessories, vests and jackets. You can tell if your coat has been made from full skin or cropped skin by checking the pattern. If the pieces that are sewn together are not symmetrical, it’s likely made from cropped skins which means it’s of lesser quality.
Fur coats are typically made of mink, sable, chinchilla, fox or lynx. Here is a break-down on these most popular fur pelts so you can tell the difference:
- Mink: This is the highest-selling fur worldwide. Mink is lightweight compared to other furs. It’s very soft and shiny. The fur is very durable and long-lasting. The pelts taken from female animals are even more popular as they’re even softer and lighter. You can tell the fur from other pelts because it comes in gorgeous shades of chocolate brown.
- Sable: This fur is easily recognizable for its silky look and texture. You’ll be able to tell if it’s sable if you touch it. It’s similar to mink in that it’s lightweight and soft however it usually comes in lighter shades. It’s typically golden or reddish-brown with natural highlights.
- Chinchilla: This fur stands out because of its unique blueish grey colour. It’s very soft and insulating due to its high hair density. It’s hard to sew because of how thick it is which is why chinchilla coats are quite expensive.
- Fox: Fox fur coats are iconic due to their bright reddish-orange colour. They can be found all around the globe. The hair is a lot longer than with other furs so you can tell if your coat is fox by the hair length and the golden shades.
- Lynx: This is one of the rarest and expensive furs on the market. Consider yourself extremely lucky if you find a lynx coat. It looks like no other fur. You can tell its lynx if the fur is white with some light black and grey spotting. The belly of the lynx is typically pure white with longer hairs so this will be costlier. A factor that contributes to the cost of the fur is that it doesn’t shed.
Now that you know more about fur coats, you are equipped to get the best one on the market today. If you’re buying one secondhand, bring it in to Love Your Tailor. We’ll ensure that it’s the perfect fit for you and has zero flaws. We’re proud to offer coat alterations and repairs. We can fix pockets, tears, and zippers, as well as replace the lining and much more. Contact us today for more information on what we can do for you!