Mink from the wilderness is referred to as wild mink. Farmed mink is referred to as ranched mink. Mink comes in a variety of colors, sometimes natural, and sometimes dyed.
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 and lightweight fur with lustrous guard hairs and lush, soft under fur. Dark mink is the most recognizable even though, as early as 1930, breeders developed types such as clear light blue ‘Sapphire’, ‘Silverblue’ and white.
Female mink pelts are generally smaller, softer, silkier, lighter in weight, and have a higher luster than male mink pelts, however a female mink pelt is not necessarily better than a male mink pelt.
Better pelts are found using the touch test – look for silky guard hairs (longer hairs on top) and even-textured under fur (the thicker, shorter fur underneath the guard hairs.)
Written by Pauline Cameron & Katie Kemsley