Buying Furs: Basic Fur Types

Monday, October 05, 2015
Furs have been worn throughout the ages. Fur coats and clothing comes in a variety of styles, colors, types, and lengths. Most people associate furs with luxurious coats, but fur hats, cuffs, stoles, and wraps are also popular.

Before the Renaissance, Europeans and Britons wore fur clothing to get additional protection from the cold climate. In the United States, men and women alike continue to enjoy wearing lavish furs as a symbol of wealth and beauty. Learn more about fur styles at

Buying a glamorous fur coat or accessory starts with the basic fur types. Some of the most popular furs worn today include:

Mink – is considered the most popular fur choice in the U.S. and Canada. People started wearing mink in the 19th century because it is lustrous, lightweight, and durable. It is a warm and soft fur.

Female pelts are silkier to the touch but tend to be smaller than pelts of male minks. Although minks’ original habitat is in Asia (Japan, China, and Siberia), most minks are farm-raised in North America today. The Scandinavian region produces the most mink, raising approximately 70 percent of the world’s farm-produced mink fur.

Fox – is the second most desired fur in the United States. Fox fur is long and lustrous. The fur is soft and comes in a wide array of natural colors. Scandinavia also produces more than 60 percent of the world’s fox fur, but North American and Russian fox farms also contribute to the supply. Fox fur came into popularity at the end of the 19th century when women enjoyed “full pelt” fox furs. Christian Dior and Gucci brought back full fox pelts in styles shown at the turn of the 21st century. Fox fur is also used to trim other coats, on collars, and as stoles and wraps.

Chinchilla – fur is always in demand. The exquisitely soft fur of South American chinchillas is used to make some of the world’s most costly fur designs. Twentieth century demand for chinchilla was so high that the animals almost became extinct. Today, chinchilla fur is raised on farms in Hungary and Denmark. Wild chinchillas, a protected species, are not used for clothing. Chinchilla fur is available in a range of colors.

Sable – is considered the most costly fur in the world. Russian sable fur is the most desirable of all. This extremely lush, deep brown fur is mixed with silver to create an extraordinary effect. Sable is always soft regardless of the stroke direction. Wild sables are found in China, Siberia, and Canada. Many sables are raised on farms today.

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