Become a Fur Detective!

Be on the look out for real fur when you're out shopping, or in mail order catalogues. When you see real fur on sale:

There is a lot of fake fur that looks very real so please try and determine whether it is fake or real - check the label and ask the shop assistants. The shop assistants may not know - many shops simply buy designs that they like and don't know whether the fur trim is real, other shops are sent supplies from their head office so have less control over what they sell.

As the fur trade struggles to find new markets they are using more real fur as trim on all sorts of items and fur is now being aimed at a younger age group. Also, real fur is often shaved or dyed so may not look real. If you aren't 100% sure that a garment is made with synthetic materials don't buy it! Fur may also be used on items other than clothes. It is used on novelty gifts such as ornamental animals, toys for pets, etc.

The following is a rough guide, but the industry is changing all the time, so keep aware and keep active.

TEST FOR REAL OR FAKE FUR REAL FAKE
1. FEEL: Feel the difference by rolling the hairs between finger and thumb...    Feels smooth and soft, easily rolls between the finger. Feels coarse.
2. LOOK: collars of longhaired fur - blow on the hairs so they divide... Often made up of several layers of thin, almost curly hairs which form a dense under-wool, through which the longer hairs stick out. The base is leather. Simpler in structure, individual hairs are often the same length and even in colour.
3.  PINCH WITH A PIN: through the base... The leather resists, pin is hard to push through. Pin easily goes through the base.
4. BURN TEST: (pull, very carefully) a few hairs from the fur and hold them to a flame... Singes like a human hair and smells similar. Melts like plastic and smells like burnt plastic. Forms small plastics balls at the ends that feel hard between finger and thumb.

Source: World Animal Net

For a printable copy of this table please click here