Fur

Vintage bear collar - Courtesy of dorotheasclosetvintage.com

Fur Resource : Bear

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Bears are hunted for a variety of reasons but the main ones are for clothing and food. The hunting of black bear has been going on for centuries starting with the Norse tribes who as young men would hunt them with only a knife as a rite of passage. Different tribes traded animal pelts as they were highly valued for clothing. Russia was the main source of fur pelts before the discovery of North America.

Fur

Unsheared beaver - Courtesy of thespectrum

Fur Resource : Beaver

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Beaver fur is thick, soft, warm and hard-wearing. In the 17th century, beaver was primarily used for felt in the production of hats. The Russians were the masters of the fur trade until the European beaver was trapped into extinction. 17th century beaver exploration brought the French and British into Eastern Canada. In 1670 the British formed the Hudson’s Bay Company, which granted a monopoly for the trade of beaver pelts from all lands around

Fur

Bird Of Paradise - Courtesy of poppysvintageclothing@sympatico.ca

Fur Resource : Bird of Paradise

Monday, July 22, 2013

There are several varieties of the Bird Of Paradise, and most are found in inner jungles of Papua, New Guinea. The Greater Bird Of Paradise is the one most often seen on women’s hats from the Edwardian Era. Like the Great Snowy Egret or Heron, they were prized for their stunning and colorful fine plumage, and were once hunted to the point of extinction for use in the millinery trade. Whole birds were often used

Fur

Buffalo fur - Courtesy of pinky-a-gogo

Fur Resource : Buffalo

Thursday, July 29, 2010

American Bison is also known as American Buffalo. The fur is shaggy, long, dark brown in winter, and a lighter weight, lighter brown in the summer. The term Buffalo is sometimes considered to be a misnomer for this animal as it is only distantly related to either two true Buffalo, the Asian Water Buffalo and the African Buffalo. The Wild Water Buffalo is considered to be a different species, is brownish-grey, and is on the

Fur

Cheetah Fur - Courtesy of in-like-flynn

Fur Resource : Cheetah

Thursday, July 29, 2010

From the Hindu word Chita meaning “spotted one”, the cheetah’s coat varies from a tawny to golden tone covered in a pattern of solid black spots. It is coarse to the touch rather than silky. The throat and abdomen are a creamy white in color. The Cheetah has a small head with high set eyes and short rounded ears tipped with white on the back. The most well known characteristic is the distinct black ‘tear

Fur

Chinchilla fur - Courtesy of dorotheasclosetvintage.com

Fur Resource : Chinchilla

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Chinchilla is a rodent from the Andes mountain range of South America and is known for its long, dense, extremely soft fur. The fur is usually pale gray with a black streak running the length of the tail. Since around 1900 it has been mostly ranched. Written by Pauline Cameron & Katie Kemsley

Fur

Vintage civet coat - Courtesy of catphoenix501

Fur Resource : Civets and Genets

Saturday, September 01, 2012

The Civet may look like a cat but it is actually part of the Mongoose family. There are 35 species in 20 genera. The African Civet is the largest of the Civets. The Fishing or Aquatic Genet, or Congo Water Civet, is rare and inhabits small rivers and streams of the Central Africa forest. The common Genet can be found in France, Africa, Iberian Peninsula, and Palestine. The Genet’s tail makes up half of its

Fur

Vintage embossed cow leather handbag - Courtesy of pinky-a-gogo

Fur Resource : Cow

Thursday, July 29, 2010

While leather can be made from the skins of sting rays to the skins of kangaroos, most leather comes from cattle skin. The prime advantage of cattle leather is its large size. It is used for everything from watch straps to floor-length coats. The specific treatment of the hide can create different effects, Many people prefer this leather as it can breathe, making it ideal for shoes, purses, and other accessories ‘Slink’ is leather made

Fur, Exotic Skins

Vintage coyote collar - Courtesy of dorotheasclosetvintage.com

Fur Resource : Coyote

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Coyote, a member of the canine species, can be found across North America and parts of Central America. Coyote fur varies in color from gray to a light brown with white along the throat and belly and dark-tipped hair along the back and long, bushy tail. Coyote fur is used for coats and trim and is particularly popular in men’s fur coats. Written by VintageDevotion

Fur

Vintage deerskin 1940s jacket - Courtesy of dorotheasclosetvintage.com

Fur Resource : Deer

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Deerskin leather is extremely strong but at the same time very soft and supple. It has a tendency to stretch over time and can loose its shape with rough wear. Popular skin used for boots, moccasins, jackets. Written by The Vintage Fashion Guild

Fur, Exotic Skins

Ermine fur - Courtesy of dorotheasclosetvintage.com

Fur Resource : Ermine

Monday, June 06, 2011

The Ermine has chocolate brown fur in the summer but in the winter it grows a pure white coat of moderately fine fur. Only the black tip of the tail remains the same color year round. Ermine is found in the north temperate and frigid sectors of Eurasia and North America. The fur is usually prepared by having the black of the tail inserted at regular intervals, so that it contrasts with the pure white

Fur

Fitch fur - Courtesy of dorotheasclosetvintage.com

Fur Resource : Ferret - Fitch

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ferrets are sold under the name Fitch. Each year 15,000 are raised for their fur, primarily in Finland, but also in Sweden, New Zealand and Poland. In late November the Ferret’s fur becomes ‘prime’ and reaches its highest commercial value. They come in a wide variety of colors to include sable, albino, cinnamon, silver, white with black eyes, chocolate, Siamese, panda, and Shetland sable. The Ferret’s hair will thicken in the winter and lighten in

Fur

Fisher fur - Courtesy of alonesolo

Fur Resource : Fisher

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Fisher resembles a house cat in body size and shape but has shorter legs and a longer wedge-shaped snout. The fur is a dark brown to black and as the animal becomes older, the tips of the hair become frosted. The male’s hair is coarser; therefore the female pelts are more desirable to the fur trapper. Fishers will commonly travel 2-3 miles each day and while they are arboreal to some degree, most hunt

Fur

Artic fox - Courtesy of dorotheasclosetvintage.com

Fur Resource : Fox

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Fox is found in most of the world’s cool climates. The animal’s fur is known for its soft, glossy, luxuriant feel and is distinguished by its long under fur. It can be beige, blue, brown, red, silver or white. Since the 20th century most Fox fur has been ranched with the majority farmed in Scandinavia. Natural Fox pelts from North America, including wild red or gray Fox, cost much less Written by Pauline Cameron

Fur

Geoffroy's Cat fur - Courtesy of in-like-flynn

Fur Resource : Geoffroy's Cat

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Named after the French naturalist Geoffroy St. Hilaire, Geoffroy’s cat is found in a geographical range that covers practically the entire South America continent. Geoffroy’s cat is a small, lightly built, spotted cat, which is highly variable in coloration. The northern animals are colored a brilliant ochre, while the southern ones are more silvery gray, known as the silver phase. It is covered all over with equally placed small dark brown or black spots. On

Fur

Goat hide - Courtesy of southwedge

Fur Resource : Goat

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Kid gloves were commonly worn from the from the nineteenth to the early twentieth century and are still made today. Goatskin leather is softer than cow skin leather and tougher than sheepskin leather. It is used for shoes and boots, jackets and other clothing that require a soft durable leather. Cashmere goats produce a cashmere fiber that is extremely fine and soft. Cashmere is used for quality sweaters and men’s sports jackets, but can also

Fur, Exotic Skins

Jaguar fur - Courtesy of in-like-flynn

Fur Resource : Jaguar

Monday, August 05, 2013

The Jaguar is found in Central and South America (as opposed to the leopard, which comes from Africa and Asia) although they have also been seen in Southwestern United States. One simple way to distinguish the fur of the jaguar is to look at the spot pattern. Although we say leopards and jaguars have spots, some of the markings aren’t really spots at all. The markings form rings, which may or may not be solid

Fur

Kangaroo hide - Courtesy of thesouthwedge

Fur Resource : Kangaroo

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The fur of the kangaroo comes from two species that are harvested. The Eastern Grey and the Western Red. The Eastern Grey measures up to 6 feet. Fur is long and gray with brown flecks. The Western Red is the largest of the species measuring up to 8 feet. Kangaroos live in arid or semi-arid climates so their coats are usually short. The female red is actually a blue-gray color. The skins are usually chrome

Fur

Silver Persian lamb - Courtesy of daisyfairbanks

Fur Resource : Lamb - Sheep

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The fur from Sheep and Lamb is incredibly warm, hardwearing, practical and acceptable to wear in today’s anti-fur society, as it is a by-product of an animal that is also a food source. There has been much confusion over the identification of the many varieties of sheep and lamb fur treatments and breeds. Generally speaking, Persian Lamb, Broadtail Lamb, and Persian-Broadtail Lamb are of the same species of Karakul Lamb, which is native to Central

Fur

Leopard fur - Courtesy of dorotheasclosetvintage.com

Fur Resource : Leopard

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The leopard is most easily recognized by its rosette patterned coat and extremely long, dark tail. This large cat is sometimes confused in appearance with the South American jaguar but the leopard is less stocky and (unlike the jaguar) its rosette markings are generally smaller and have no internal spots. The base coloration of the coat also varies greatly depending upon location, ranging from golden/yellow in open grasslands, to yellow/cream in desert areas to deep

Fur

Vintage llama jacket - Courtesy of themerchantsofvintage

Fur Resource : Llama

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The outer coarse guard hair of llamas is used primarily for rugs, wall hangings and ropes. The finer undercoat is used for garments. Found mainly in South America, the color ranges from white to brown and black. A hollow fiber, llama is very warm for its weight. It has a natural capacity to regulate moisture (wicking). Llama garments shed moisture and are warm when wet. Alpacas are members of the llama family. Alpaca is used

Fur

Lynx fur - Courtesy of dorotheasclosetvintage.com

Fur Resource : Lynx

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The lynx is a medium size cat with a fluffy snow-white coat with black spots that is still rare and precious. Lynx are indigenous to North America and Russia, the more expensive coming from Russia. The ‘belly’ of the pelt is usually whiter and has longer fur and is more expensive, compared to the “back,” which is usually flatter and has more brown shadings. Written by Pauline Cameron & Katie Kemsley

Fur

Marabou feathers - Courtesy of daisyfairbanks

Fur Resource : Marabou

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Marabou is term often misused, as genuine marabou is no longer available for fashion use. True marabou feathers were from a member of the stork family found in the Arabian Peninsula and were fairly costly. Marabou feathers are characterized by their very fine, dense, downy and very fluffy short nap (length), and are velvety soft. Marabou was sometimes used as a fur substitute in the 19th century, as well as dress trimmings and muffs, and

Fur

Margay fur - Courtesy of in-like-flynn

Fur Resource : Margay

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The margay is often confused with its near relatives, the Ocelot and the Oncilla. Their coats are very similar. Found in South America, the margay has been called the “tree ocelot” or “long tailed cat”. The fur is soft and plush, brownish yellow to tan with black blotches, spots and stripes in longitudinal rows. Weight is 9-20 pounds and it is 34-52 inches in length. The center of each spot or rosette is slightly paler

Fur

Marmot fur - Courtesy of daisyfairbanks

Fur Resource : Marmot

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Usually marmots are uniformly colored but mountain forms can have brightly colored belly hair. Stripes or spots are found only on the woodchuck, yellow-bellied and, to a lesser extent, alpine marmots, which have ‘sparkles’ on the back and sides of the body. Fur on the head and back is often darker than on the belly. Light coloration is more or less characteristic, not only of the belly and sides of the body but also of

Fur

Vintage marten stole - Courtesy of couturallurevintage.com

Fur Resource : Marten

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Found primarily in the Northwest Territories of Canada, the marten includes 5 subspecies including the marten, Newfoundland pine marten, eastern marten, western marten, and the Rocky Mountain marten. The Northwest Territories, the winter coat starts growing in mid-October. The fur is basically brown but varies from almost black to a yellowish-brown color that is darker on the legs and tail and lighter on the head and under parts. The throat has an orange or yellow

Fur

Silver mink fur - Courtesy of daisyfairbanks

Fur Resource : Mink

Monday, January 27, 2014

There are two types of mink – wild and ranched. Wild is naturally dark in color whereas ranched is dyed into various shades. The fur is short napped, thick, glossy and hard wearing. The mink is a semi aquatic Weasel indigenous to North America, Siberia, China and Japan. Mink was not trapped in any quantity until the 19th century and did not become fashionable until the mid 20th century. Unless sheared, mink is a dense

Fur

Baboon fur - Courtesy circavintageclothing.com

Fur Resource : Monkey

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Made from the pelt of the Abyssinian, or Central African Colobus Monkey, the fur is very long (reaching lengths of 5 inches or so), sleek, shiny. It looks and feels eerily like human hair. Monkey fur was very popular from the mid nineteenth century through the 1940’s during which time the Colobus Monkey population dropped to alarmingly low numbers. Commonly you will see Colobus Monkey fur used in various trimmings on late 1920’s capes and

Fur

Muskrat fur - Courtesy of dorotheascloset.com

Fur Resource : Muskrat

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mostly found in North America, muskrats have long been prized for their fur and are the most frequently caught fur-bearing animal in the United States. Muskrat fur is made up of two kinds of hair; the long, coarse and glossy outer guard hairs protect the softer, dense insulating hairs from damage. Colors are mostly browns with lighter shades of grays or blonds on chest and stomach areas. The under fur traps air and prevents the

Fur

Nutria fur - Courtesy of dorotheasclosetvintage.com

Fur Resource : Nutria

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Nutria are small rodents. Known to multiply quickly they start to breed at 6 months and have two litters per year. They are semi aquatic and have glistening fur. Slightly smaller than a Beaver they are sometimes mistaken for them. Native to the coastal and lake marshes of Argentina, the population levels fluctuate with periods of drought and floods. In Louisiana nutria inhabit the freshwater and partial salty marshes along the Mississippi River delta. Trapping

Fur

Ocelot fur - Courtesy of in-like-flynn

Fur Resource : ocelot

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The ocelot is probably the best known of the South American cats because of its pelt being the mainstay of the fur trade. The ocelot is much larger than its cousins the Margay and the Oncilla, although they bear a striking resemblance. Its coat tends to be more blotched than spotted. Its chain-like blotches and spots are bordered with black but have a lighter colored center. These markings run the entire length of the cat.

Fur

Water opossum fur - Courtesy of thefashioneye

Fur Resource : opossum

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Australian Opossum: This is a wild animal that has spread throughout Australia and New Zealand. They tend to have fur damage for much of the year and up to 80% of production would be grade III or IV fur. Shearing, shorter furred types like Red Brown and Red Neck produces a good-sized shorn skin. Basic colors are dark brown (females with longer fur), red brown (males with shorter fur), pale grey (females with longer fur),

Fur

Ostrich leather - Courtesy of pinky-a-gogo

Fur Resource : Ostrich

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ostrich are native to the African continent but are farmed worldwide. Ostrich feathers have been used in fashion for thousands of years and were at one time worth more than their weight in gold. The best plumes are from the African male bird and were used for centuries in men’s hats, then later after the late 18th century the millinery usage was exclusively for women’s hats. Also used for capes, hand fans, boas, muffs, and

Fur, Exotic Skins

Otter fur - Courtesy of pinky-a-gogo

Fur Resource : Otter

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sea Otter: “Sea Otters have absolutely the finest fur in the animal kingdom. They have an incredibly dense and beautiful fur, up to one million hairs per square inch. By comparison, a dog has about 60,000 hairs per square inch. Otters don’t have a blubber layer like most marine mammals, it’s the fur that keeps them warm and allows them to live in Alaskan waters.” Jim Bodkin, marine biologist. River Otter: Known as the Land

Fur

Peacock feathers - Courtesy of lamplight feathers

Fur Resource : Peacock

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Peacocks are colorful birds. The male bird is technically called a Peacock, the female is called a Peahen, babies are called Peachicks, and the entire group is called Peafowl. There are Indian, Congo, and Green Peafowl. The most common is Indian. The Indian Peacock has some of the brightest feathers to attract a mate while the Peahen is more of a drab mottled brown so predators cannot see her while she is in the bushes

Fur

Pheasant feathers - Courtesy of pinky-a-gogo

Fur Resource : Pheasant

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Throughout history and all over the globe, the extraordinary pheasant has been hunted for game and sport, prized for its tail feathers and pelts, as well as being used for food and kept as pets. There are over 15 different species of pheasants, and many sub species. The most well known to the Western fashion world are the colorful male peacocks of Asia, the Long Tail pheasants such as the common RingNeck, and the Ruffed

Fur

1950s pony wallet - Courtesy of daisyfairbanks

Fur Resource : Ponyskin

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Ponyskin is a misnomer that comes from 1960’s fashion trends. In reality, pony skin as termed by designers usually means calfskin. Used as a flat, shiny fur for skirts, suit jackets and outerwear. It is not an inherently expensive pelt but prices depend on who’s selling it, its designer, colors (the natural black and white pattern is less expensive than any dyed colors) and the amount of material used. Written by Pauline Cameron & Katie

Fur

White rabbit fur - Courtesy of dorotheasclosetvintage.com

Fur Resource : Rabbit - Orylag

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Rabbit fur is the long-haired fur of a rodent found nearly everywhere in the world. The look and feel of this fur is sleek, flat, and soft, varying from white to black with every permutation in between. Rabbit furs are often dyed or marked to resemble other furs. However in the 1970’s the fur was appreciated for its variety of beautiful markings and this appreciation has continued to the present. Names that were often used

Fur

Raccoon fur - Courtesy of dorotheasclosetvintage.com

Fur Resource : Raccoon

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The raccoon is easily recognized by its ringed tail and black mask across its face. Although its habitat ranges throughout all of North America, but for tundra and desert regions, it is most easily found by the nearest garbage can at night. Its fur is long, varying from silver and iron gray to blackish brown tones with a dark stripe. It is hardwearing and was very popular during the 1920’s and 1930’s with a further

Fur

Sable fur - Courtesy of dorotheasclosetvintage.com

Fur Resource : Sable

Thursday, July 29, 2010

One of the most rare and expensive furs, the finest Sable is found almost exclusively in the Soviet Union. Even today the export of pelts is limited and the export of live animals is forbidden. Each pelt is extremely light, long and narrow. Crown Sable is brown with a blue cast. The Golden Sable has an amber tone. Look for soft, deep fur in dark lustrous brown with silky dark hairs. The finest Sables have

Fur

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